National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 

Implementing Improved Marine Weather Zone for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

 

Effective Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 5:00 PM Atlantic Standard Time (AST) or  2100 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the National Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will adjust its current marine weather zones for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This adjustment will present a more accurate and correct description of Atlantic, Caribbean, and Anegada Passage Marine Zones 710, 715, 725, 722, and 732 to improve marine warning and forecast service for PR and the USVI. These changes consider the frequency and impacts of the north-northeast to northeast swell events that affect the Anegada Passage and spill over into the adjacent zones surrounding Culebra, Vieques, Saint Thomas,  and Saint John in our marine area of responsibility (AOR).

 

Marine Zone Modifications: 

 

To present a more accurate and correct description of Atlantic Marine Zones 715, 725, and 732, we are also submitting alternative descriptors for these zones (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). Therefore, the zone numbering will also be modified to reflect the new descriptions.

 

  

fire zones

Figure 1. WFO San Juan Marine Forecast Zones (Current)

 

 

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Figure 2. WFO San Juan Marine Forecast Zones (Proposed)

 

 

The Redesign of AMZ722 (see Figure 2):

 

Marine Zone AMZ722 will be renumbered to AMZ723, and we will modify its descriptor from: 

“Anegada Passage Southward to 17N” 

to 

“Anegada Passage east of Virgin Gorda and Saint Croix south to 17N”. 

 

Changes to descriptors and numberings

 

The following zones will be better described and therefore renumbered. AMZ715  will be renumbered as AMZ716, and its descriptor will change from:

 "Coastal Waters of Northern USVI and Culebra out 10 NM"

 to 

 "Coastal Waters from Cabo San Juan to the waters between Anegada Island and Virgin Gorda and north 10 nm"

 

The other zone that will suffer modifications is AMZ725, which will now be AMZ726. Its descriptor will change from 

 "Coastal Waters of Southern USVI Vieques and Eastern Puerto Rico out 10 NM"

 to

 "Coastal waters east of Puerto Rico, around Vieques, and around and just north of Culebra and Saint John"

 

Although Marine Zone AMZ710 descriptor will remain the same (Atlantic Waters of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from 10 NM to 17N), it will be renumbered to AMZ711, taking into consideration the boundaries modification near where it clipped by AMZ722 now AMZ723 (see Figure 1 and 2).

The Service Change Notice 22-116, issued on December 14th, can be found here.

For questions about these changes, please contact:

Ernesto Morales

Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM)

NWS San Juan

(787) 253-4501 

Email: ernesto.morales@noaa.gov

Ernesto Rodríguez

Science and Operations Officer (SOO)

NWS San Juan

(787) 253-4501 

Email: ernesto.rodriguez@noaa.gov

Katie Nguyen

SR Marine, Tropical & Tsunami Program Manager

NOAA NWS SRH OSD Meteorological Service Branch

(682) 703-3716

Email: Katie.Nguyen@noaa.gov