3.2 Marine Weather Decision Support in a Complex Coastal Environment

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 1:45 PM
Ballroom E (Austin Convention Center)
Kennard B. Kasper, NOAA/NWSFO, Key West, FL

The Florida Keys are home to a vast, diverse, and vulnerable marine community. Every day, members of this community participate in weather-sensitive, and inherently high-risk operations across the spectrum of maritime activities. These operations involve weather-related decisions that consider human safety, environmental protection, and economic interests. The primary meteorological hazards in the Florida Keys and the adjacent coastal waters include gale-force winds, thunderstorms, waterspouts, and hurricanes. These hazards pose a significant threat to life and property and require well-executed local emergency activities which necessarily consider marine weather information from the National Weather Service. Increasingly, non-meteorological hazards and events are requiring action from the emergency response community and, in the Florida Keys, much of these actions are weather-sensitive, high-risk maritime operations. Meteorologists working at the NWS Key West office have increased their efforts to connect with core partners and stakeholders in the local marine community to better understand their operations and weather information needs in order to provide necessary marine meteorological data, information, and forecasts to support those critical decisions. A summary of relationship-building and marine decision support activities will be presented in the context of NWS Key West customer operations. The importance of applied science and focused service outreach to the success of relationship-building and decision support activities will also be presented.
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