S89 Small Craft Advisory and Gale Warning verification for the Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Sarah Wugofski, FSU, Tallahassee, FL; and B. Jackson

Small Craft Advisory and Gale Warning verification for the Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office.

Sarah Wugofski

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL


Bryan A. Jackson

NOAA/NWS Baltimore/Washington WFO

Sterling, VA

The Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most heavily used recreational waterways in the country.  Annapolis, MD is nicknamed the sailing capital of the world and is home to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.  The users of this marine area are alerted to adverse wind conditions in the form of small craft advisories and gale warnings.  Over 200 Small Craft Advisories are issued by the Baltimore/Washington Forecast office each year.  This is by far the most frequent weather headline issued by the Baltimore/Washington office.  Verification of these headlines is vital to the operations of this office and to ensure the best service to our maritime community.

This project will analyze verification of Small Craft Advisories and Gale Warnings issued for the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay.  A previous local study, conducted in 2009 will form a basis for the method of this project.  Each marine wind headline will be verified by analyzing wind events in each forecast zone.  Wind events on the waters have been defined by a variety of methods, but generally involve frequent gusts in the criteria range.  These methods will be reviewed and the most appropriate wind event verification methods will be used.  The wind events will also be analyzed by duration, wind direction.  Best practices for issuing marine wind headlines will be produced.  These will inform the local forecast staff how to best meet our mission of saving lives and property with marine forecasts.

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