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nowcoast/forecastdiscussion_meteoceanhydro_zones_geolinks (MapServer)

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Service Description:
Last Revised: February 2016

Map Information

This nowCOAST™ geolinks map service provides maps depicting the geographic areas where NWS regional weather forecast discussions for inland areas, coastal waters, and offshore waters along with hyperlinks to the NWS web sites posting the latest forecast discussions for the areas. Specifically, the map service provides links to 1) areal forecast discussions issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), 2) hydrometeorological discussions issued by NWS River Forecast Centers (RFCs), and 3) marine weather forecast discussions issued by the NWS/NCEP Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) and National Hurricane Center (NHC). These different types of forecast discussions are described briefly below.

The hyperlinks to the forecast discussions 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.

Regional, Coastal Marine, Aviation, Fire Weather Forecast Discussions

This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest forecast discussions regarding general weather, marine weather and aviation weather issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices for their geographic areas of responsibility, also called County Warning Areas. These discussions will also describe future fire weather conditions in the region when there is a potential for wildfire conditions. The WFO discussions are officially referred to as Area Forecast Discussions and produced at least four times per day. According to the NWS Glossary, the "product is intended to provide a well-reasoned discussion of the meteorological thinking which went into the preparation of the forecast. The forecaster will try to focus on the most particular challenges of the forecast...At the end of the discussion, there will be a list of all advisories, non-convective watches, and non-convective warnings."

Offshore Marine Weather Forecast Discussions

This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest marine weather forecast discussions for offshore waters (e.g. North Atlantic Ocean) from the NWS/NCEP OPC and NCEP NHC. These are referred to as Marine Weather Discussions and is produced four times per day by OPC and twice per day by NHC. The discussion covers the geographic areas of the NWS offshore forecast zones and adjacent waters (i.e. parts of the high seas forecast zones and coastal waters forecast zones). The discussions describes major wind, seas, and significant weather features forecasted to affect the area for the next 48 hours. According to NWS, "the product emphasizes timing and issuance of warnings, includes future trends of wind and sea conditions, and discusses the effects of currents such as the Gulf Stream on winds and seas." The discussions from OPC may also discuss extratropical storm surge potential when needed. The discussions will include descriptions of the latest guidance from numerical weather prediction modeling systems (e.g. NAM model) and wave forecast modeling systems (e.g. WaveWatch 3) operated by NCEP as well as other national operational forecast modeling centers around the world (e.g. ECMWF, UKMET). When there is a threat of storm surge during a non-tropical cyclone, the water level guidance from NOAA extratropical storm surge forecast modeling systems (e.g. ETSS Model, ESTOFS) will be discussed.

Regional Hydrometeorological Forecast Discussions

This layer includes links to NWS web pages posting the latest hydrometeorological forecast discussions issued daily by NWS RFCs for their geographic areas of responsibility or service areas. These discussions typically provide a description of recent and future weather features, their impacts in terms of precipitation and river/stream stages. However, not all RFCs issue hydrometeorological forecast discussions. For the service areas of a RFC that does not issue a discussion, a link is included to the RFC's web page which provides similar information in graphical and/or text form.

Background Information

The maps of the forecast discussion areas are obtained directly from NWS or created based on descriptions of the geographic coverage found in the forecast discussions. The maps depicting the forecast discussion areas are updated if changes are made to the boundaries and/or the NWS web page URLs.

Time Information

This nowCOAST™ map service is not time-enabled.


Map Name: Geo-Referenced Hyperlinks to Forecast Discussions for Geographic Areas


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Dynamic Legend

Dynamic All Layers

Layers: Description:

Copyright Text: NOAA/NOS/OCS nowCOAST and NOAA/NWS WFOs, RFCs, and national forecast centers

Spatial Reference: 102100  (3857)

Single Fused Map Cache: false

Initial Extent: Full Extent: Units: esriMeters


Document Info: Supports Dynamic Layers: true

MaxRecordCount: 1000

MaxImageHeight: 4096

MaxImageWidth: 4096

Supported Query Formats: JSON, AMF, geoJSON

Min Scale: 0

Max Scale: 0

Supports Datum Transformation: true

Child Resources:   Info   Dynamic Layer

Supported Operations:   Export Map   Identify   Find   Return Updates