National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Port Meteorological Officer / Volunteer Observing Ship Program

NOAA ship Ron H. Brown image

Observations from ships form the basis of marine weather forecasts in both coastal and high seas areas providing on the spot data and details about local surface conditions. The Volunteer Observing Ship (VOS) program is supported by Port Meteorological Officers (PMO). There are currently 17 NWS offices (excluding NWSHQ) with PMOs. Lake Charles is located between the New Orleans and Houston PMO areas. We have been tasked to assist these offices in anyway possible.

Due to the rigid ship schedules, a call received at the Lake Charles office for supplies, barometer adjustments, or information such as weather maps, will be responded to immediately.

We have a supply of:

  • NWS Observing Handbook No. 1, Marine Surface Weather Observations
  • Ship's Code Card
  • Ship's Weather Observations, NOAA Form B-81
  • Weather Report for Immediate Radio Transmission, WS Form B-80
  • Cloud Identification Chart (poster)
  • Sea State-Wind Speed Chart (poster)

The Lake Charles Office will also take plain language ship reports from watercraft in the near shore waters. These reports will be put into the NWS communications network as well as be aired on NOAA Weather Radio.

Click here for more information about the PMO/VOS Program.

Click here for current marine charts.


You may contact these offices for information:

NWS Lake Charles at (337) 477-5285

Houston PMO at (281) 534-2640 ext. 277

New Orleans PMO at (504) 589-4839.