Poster Session P1.16 The Overton Marina Move – A Benign Weather High Impact Event

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
Kim Runk, NOAA/NWS, Kansas City, MO

Handout (317.3 kB)

In January and February of 2007, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Las Vegas was called upon to provide forecast support for four projects by the National Park Service (NPS) in which relatively benign weather conditions had potentially high impact. The most dramatic event was a complex move of two large marinas during which mission success required two full days of fair weather and light wind.

Concerns over lowering water levels on Lake Mead caused the National Park Service to determine it was necessary to move the two marinas located at Overton Beach. A total of 185 slips, some as large as 75 feet in length and many with boats still lodged in them, had to be floated more than 40 miles across the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and re-anchored at Callville Bay and Temple Bar. Two flotillas, each powered by 12 large resort boats with a combined force of approximately 6000 HP, pushed the marinas across the lake at one (1) mph. Weather, especially wind, was a critical planning factor for the success of this move. Encountering a wind speed of as little as 10-15 mph would have rendered the flotillas uncontrollable, resulting in a multi-million dollar disaster. In order to mitigate a potentially catastrophic loss, the NPS employed the services of NWS Las Vegas to provide daily “Go To Meeting”® Internet weather briefings for a week in advance of the move. Indeed, due to a forecast of adverse wind and wave conditions, the original launch date was delayed 48 hours. The adjusted dates proved to be favorable and a successful move was accomplished.

Through examples of the briefing content and photos of the marina move, this poster demonstrates how even benign weather conditions can pose a significant threat to personal property. It serves as an example of how a NWS office might adjust its operational play book to focus on the best use of available resources toward addressing a high impact, value-added service need of another federal agency. Flexibility and prioritization such as this represent the heart of the new NWS Concept of Operations.

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