Marine zones for coastal waters in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and the Kuskokwim Delta have been reconfigured by the National Weather Service, with a goal of improved, concise marine weather services for all users.
Effective Oct. 1, the Anchorage forecast office of the National Weather Service had renamed, renumbered and realigned several zones, and added eight new forecast zones as well.
Several zone changes are in name only, while the zone number remains the same, weather service officials advised.
One of the big changes is splitting up the Cape Dillingham to Port Heiden area, and adding a specific zone for Bristol Bay coastal waters, said James Nelson, science and operations officer at the Anchorage office.
The changes have been a work in progress for a couple of years, and had been out for public review for the last four months.
“We found when we were changing parts of the forecast that we were splitting them up in these areas, so we made the zones smaller to highlight the areas better,” Nelson said.
The official announcement of the marine forecast zones changes is at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notification/scn13-36alaska_marine_zones.htm
An updated zone map shape file containing the new boundaries for these marine zones is available for download from http://www.nws.noaa.gov/geodata/catalog/wsom/html/marinezones.htm
A map showing the existing and additional marine zones is posted on the WFO Anchorage page at http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/newmarinezones/