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This nowCOAST™ geolinks map service provides maps depicting the locations of geographic zones and points where NWS forecasts are available along with URLs to NWS web pages displaying the latest forecasts for these locations. Specifically, the map service provides links to forecasts by geographic zones or points for the following products: 1) air quality forecasts, 2) ecological forecasts, 3) river forecasts (i.e. AHPS), 4) terminal aviation weather forecasts (i.e. TAFs), 5) fire weather planning forecasts, and 6) public weather forecasts. These different types of forecasts are described briefly below.
The hyperlinks to the forecasts can be accessed by performing an identify or query operation on the desired map layer, which will return the attributes of any matching feature(s). The hyperlink is stored in the "URL" attribute field.
This layer includes links to U.S. EPA AirNow web pages posting the latest Air Quality Index, Ozone, and Particulate forecasts issued by from local and state agencies. The forecasts are generally produced for today and tomorrow. The forecasts are usually updated daily but states and local agencies can update them more frequently, if needed.
This layer includes links to NOS web pages posting the latest status and forecasts of Harmful Algae Blooms of Karenia brevis over the next 3-4 days. The status/forecast report identifies whether or not there are Karenia brevis cell concentrations. If present, a description of the general location of the bloom and forecasts of the highest potential level of associated respiratory irritation from the release of toxins as aerosols due to onshore winds and breaking surf. The forecast is issued by the NOS/Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) in Silver Spring, MD twice a week after confirmation of a HAB and once a week during the inactive HAB season.
This layer includes links to NWS Advanced Hydrometeorological Prediction Service (AHPS) web pages posting the latest NWS stage and discharge forecasts at forecast point locations along rivers and streams and frequently at sites of USGS river gages. The forecasts are issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices using forecast stage/discharge guidance from NWS River Forecast Centers. The AHPS forecasts are displayed using a hydrograph or time series plot which depicts the stage and discharge forecasts for the next 2-3 days. At some locations, the stage/discharge forecast is only available during times of high water. Frequently, the hydrographs also show observations from gages operated by USGS or another federal agency.
This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest decoded terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) for the next 24 to 30 hours for airports around the U.S. as well as airports in other countries. According to the NWS, a "TAF consists of the expected meteorological conditions significant to aviation at an airport for a specified time period. For the U.S., this is the area within five statute miles of the center of an airport's runway complex." A TAF consists of forecasts for surface wind velocity, surface visibility, weather, obstructions to vision, clouds, ceiling, icing & turbulence (for TAFs written by the military), and any expected significant changes to one or more of these weather variables during the next 24 to 30 hours. TAFs for U.S. airports are issued four times per day (i.e. every 6 hours) by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) in coordination with adjacent WFOs and NWS Center Weather Service Units (CWSU). For FAA's core airports, WFOs provide the forecasts 8 times per day (i.e. every 3 hours).
This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest NWS Fire Weather Planning Forecasts, a zone-type forecast providing the average fire weather conditions across the zone. According to the NWS, the forecast is "used by land management personnel primarily for input in decision-making related to pre-suppression and other planning." The forecast is valid from the time of issuance through day five and sometimes through day seven and usually has a minimum of three 12-hour time periods. The forecast will have included a discussion of weather patterns affecting the forecast zone or area, identification of any active fire weather watches/warnings and a table of predicted fire weather variables for the next two days: 1) sky/weather conditions, 2) max/min air temperatures, 3) max/min relative humidity, 4) 0-minute average wind direction/speed at 20 feet and sometimes at another height (e.g. 10,000, 15,000 ft), 5) precipitation amount, duration, and timing, 6) mixing height, 7) transport winds, 8) vent category, and 9) several fire weather indices such as Haines Index, Lightning Activity (LAL), Chance of Wetting Rainfall (CWR), Dispersion Index, Low Visibility Occurrence Risk Index (LVORI), and Max LVORI. In addition, it will usually have a forecast in plain text for days 3 to 7. Sometimes an optional outlook of expected conditions for day 6 or possibly for day 6 and 7 is expected. The forecasts are issued by NWS WFOs at least once daily during the local fire season.
Beach/Surf Zone Area Forecasts
This map layer contains links to NWS marine weather forecasts for surf or beach areas. The surf zone is often defined as the 'the waters or waves between the shoreline and the outermost boundaries of the breakers.' The content of the NWS surf-zone forecasts varies by region but most usually contain predictions on the risk level for rip currents, significant wave height, and either water temperature observations at specific locations or a statement of the average water temperature in the particular region. Some of the surf zone forecasts include times of high and low tides, UV index, lightning risk, and predictions of general weather, wind direction and speed for the day. The surf zone forecasts are issued by coastal NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFO).
Coastal Waters Marine Weather Forecasts
This map layer contains links to NWS marine weather forecasts for coastal or nearshore waters within 20nm of shore out to Day 5. It includes predictions on the likelihood of precipitation and/or reduced visibility, surface wind direction and speed, seas or combined seas, and icing. Air temperature forecasts are optional. The forecasts will also include any marine weather advisories, watches, and/or warnings. The purpose of the forecasts is to support and promote safe transportation across the coastal waters. The forecasts are issued twice per day with updates as necessary by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) along the coast and Great Lakes.
Offshore Waters Marine Weather Forecasts
This map layer contains links to NWS marine weather forecasts for offshore waters beyond 20 or 30nm of shore out to Day 5. The forecast provides information to mariners who travel on the oceanic waters adjacent to the U.S., its territorial coastal waters and the Caribbean Sea. The forecasts include predictions on the likelihood of precipitation and/or reduced visibility, surface wind direction and speed, seas and likelihood of icing out to Day 5 along with information about any warnings. The offshore forecasts for the Western North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific Oceans are produced by NWS/NCEP's Ocean Prediction Center. The offshore forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea are issued by the NWS/NCEP National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB). OPC and NHC/TAFB issues the forecasts four times daily at regular intervals, with updates when necessary. The offshore forecast for the waters around Hawaii are issued by the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Honolulu, HI four times daily at regular intervals, with updates when necessary. The offshore forecasts for Alaska waters in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska are issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices in Alaska at least twice a day with updates as necessary. The WFOs in Alaska include WFO Anchorage, WFO Fairbanks, and WFO Juneau.
High Seas Areas Marine Weather Forecasts
This map layer contains links to NWS text marine weather forecasts and warnings for the high seas for the next 48 hours. The forecast text product provides warnings and forecast information to mariners who travel on the oceanic waters or high seas. The text product includes forecasts of seas, surface wind direction and speeds, significant weather/visibility and potential icing. The forecasts also include information on positions and movements of significant weather features of concern to mariners such as fronts and low pressure systems. It can also include discussions of areas of dense fog (visibility below 1 nm) and significant structural vessel icing for the next 48 hours. The high seas forecasts for both the North Atlantic (north of 22N latitude) and North Pacific Oceans are issued four times per day by marine forecasters of the NWS/National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Ocean Prediction Center in College Park, MD. For the tropical Atlantic Ocean (south of 22N latitude) and Pacific Ocean (south of 31N latitude), the forecasts are issued four times per day by NWS/NCEP's National Hurricane Center/Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch in Miami, FL. The WFO Honolulu issues the high seas forecasts for the waters of the central North Pacific.
This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest NWS surface weather forecasts, a zone-type forecast providing the average forecast conditions across the zone, usually at the county-scale or sub-county scale. These text forecasts include predictions of weather, sky cover, maximum and minimum surface air temperatures, surface wind direction and speed, and probability of precipitation out to 7 days into the future. In addition, the forecast highlights at the top include any active weather advisories, watches, and/or warnings. These zone predictions are derived from gridded forecasts created by NWS Weather Forecast Offices throughout the U.S. The text weather forecasts are usually issued in the early morning (e.g. 4AM LT) and early evening (4PM LT). They are updated during late mornings and late night and during fast changing weather conditions.
The maps of the NWS forecast areas or points are obtained directly from NWS. The maps of NOS forecast zones for its HAB status and forecasts are based on geographic descriptions from the CO-OPS HAB OFS web pages. The maps of air quality forecast cities are based on information obtained from the U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
This nowCOAST™ map service is not time-enabled.