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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

National Weather Service News

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Big Easy Braces for Barry Flooding; Emergency Declared

New Orleans braced for severe flooding with residents told to hunker down as a growing tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico headed for landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana late on Thursday, hours after the region's oil production was cut by half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities and a coastal refinery.Tropical Storm…

File Image: A containership transits the Port of New Orleans on a better day. Image CREDIT: Port NOLA

New Orleans Braces for TS Barry

Some residents and visitors prepared to flee New Orleans on Thursday as Tropical Storm Barry closed in and city officials warned of severe flooding if it makes landfall by early Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2019 season.The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kph) as of 10 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.Forecasters issued a storm-surge warning for a stretch of Louisiana coastline south of already-sodden New Orleans stretching from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach.

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National Hurricane Center Miami Issues Hurricane Watch

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Pearl River to Intracoastal City. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River northward to the Mouth of the Pearl River.A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic available at hurricanes.gov.

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Florence Compared to North Carolina's Worst Storm Ever

As Florence bears down on the North Carolina coastline, the Category 4 storm is being compared to the worst storm ever to hit the Tarheel State - Hurricane Hazel, occurring back in 1954.Hurricane Florence, packing winds of more than 130 mph. Hazel, in comparison, brought winds of 150 mph, causing 19 deaths and destroyed thousands of buildings as it bulled its way inland.As many as 1.5 million residents have been told to evacuate coastal and low lying areas in South Carolina and North Carolina.

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In Blizzard's Wake, Northeastern US Brace for Intense Cold

Street crews in the U.S. Northeast raced through the night into Friday to clear snow-clogged streets after a powerful blizzard and restore power to homes ahead of a brutal cold spell that has killed more than a dozen people. From Baltimore to Caribou, Maine, efforts were under way to clear roadways of ice and snow as wind chill temperatures were to plunge during the day, reaching -40 F (-40 C) in some parts after sundown, according to the National Weather Service. The brutal cold was forecast to reach from New England across to the Midwest and down to the Carolinas…

Winter Weather Delays Grain Movement to US Ports

Severe winter weather has slowed rail deliveries of crops to shippers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, sending freight rates soaring and prompting Asian buyers to seek fill-in loads as they wait for the backlog at ports to clear. Blizzards, avalanches and heavy rain in recent weeks have hit transport of corn, soy and wheat to ports where they head for the lucrative Asian market, adding to the struggles that have plagued U.S. exporters since harvest. The setbacks come at a critical time for U.S.

2017 officers of the International Ship Masters’ Association: (front row, L to R) Grand Secretary-Treasurer Brian Eickel, Grand President Lee Barnhill, Grand 1st Vice President Harold Dusseau, Grand 2nd Vice President Mark Mather; (back row L to R) Grand Chaplain Mary Ann Schallip, Grand Sentinel Scott Reynolds, Grand Warden Caitlin Clyne, Grand Marshal Greg Stamatelakys. (Photo: Paul Jagenow)

Ship Masters Convene in Alpena, Mich.

The International Ship Masters’ Association 127th annual convention was held at Alpena, Mich., from February 2-4, 2017. In addition to business meetings and updates regarding Great Lakes and Seaway navigational matters, attendees heard speakers from a variety of agencies and organizations. Topics included U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation, current US Coast Guard licensing timeframes and procedures, National Weather Service updates, the Marine Technology Program at Alpena Community College…

U.S. Forecaster: La Nina Developing August-October

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday reduced its outlook that La Nina conditions would develop in next few months but said it still expected the weather phenomenon to occur this fall or winter. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly forecast that La Nina was "slightly favored" to develop through October. That was a small change from July, when it stated the conditions were "favored" to occur. The agency maintained its forecast of a 55 percent to 60 percent chance that La Nina would develop during the fall and winter of 2016/17.

Tampa Bay Pilots Suspend Operations

Gale force winds and high sea conditions offshore making it unsafe for pilots to board have led the Tampa Bay Pilots to suspend all inbound and outbound vessel traffic as of about 5:20 a.m. local time today.   Current wind conditions are approximately 13-17 knots NNW in the Middle Bay. Seas of are 8’.4-9’ at Egmont Channel   Gale force conditions are expected to persist through the evening, the National Weather Service reports.

Photo: The International Ship Masters’ Association

International Ship Masters’ Association Holds Annual Convention

The International Ship Masters’ Association 126th annual convention was held at Chicago, February 4-8. In addition to business meetings, attendees heard speakers from industry and government organizations, including James H. I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association, and Captain Amy B. Cocanour, Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. Other topics included maritime intelligence, virtual aids to navigation, the Great Lakes Conference of Governors and Premiers…

Images of HURRICANE JOAQUIN

USCG Urge Caution Ahead of Hurricane Joaquin

The Coast Guard urges the public Thursday to use extreme caution and to prepare for the onset of heavy weather, extreme sea conditions, storm surge and high surf throughout the Mid Atlantic region as Hurricane Joaquin approaches the coast. Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of Hurricane Joaquin through local television, radio and internet. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16. The National Weather Service predicts off shore conditions to include waves reaching up to 53 feet in height.

Antarctica as of Now

Burning All Fossil Fuels could Thaw Antarctica, Raise Seas-Study

Burning all the world's fossil fuel reserves could thaw the entire Antarctic ice sheet and push up world sea levels by more than 50 metres (160 feet), over thousands of years, an international study said on Friday. Such a melt, also eliminating the far smaller ice sheet on Greenland, is a worst case of climate change that would inundate cities from New York to Shanghai and change maps of the world with much of the Netherlands, Bangladesh or Florida under water. "Burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the (Antarctic) ice sheet…

U.S. Navy Pursues Better Weather Forecasting

Navy Researchers Seek to Improve Weather Prediction for Global Operations. With the Atlantic hurricane season officially beginning this month, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is pursuing a number of projects to help Navy forecasters and meteorologists around the world predict storms better. ONR's efforts in funding ocean research are yielding enhanced weather and ocean prediction models-highlighted in a new video-that help Navy leaders understand how to route ships around the globe to avoid storms, reduce fuel consumption, avoid Arctic ice flows and promote safety at sea.

Photo credit NOAA

Hurricane Season Stakes Raised by NOAA

NOAA raises hurricane season prediction despite expected El Niño, updated outlook calls for near- or above-normal Atlantic season. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with 6 named storms to date, and may have a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The updated outlook still indicates a 50 percent chance of a near-normal season, but increases…

Captain of the Port sets Port Condition ZULU, Closing Ports

The Captain of the Port for New York and New Jersey set port condition ZULU for all commercial waterways, effective 7 a.m., Monday,  in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. During Port Condition ZULU (sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 12 hours) the ports will remain closed to all incoming and outgoing vessel traffic until directed by the Captain of the Port. Owners and operators of recreational vessels should follow the small craft advisories from the National Weather Service, and take the necessary measures to safeguard the safety of their vessels.

Higher Tide Imminent in Ports of New York, New Jersey

The Captain of the Port of New York/New Jersey warns mariners, waterfront facilities & the public of imminent abnormal tide range. The warning concerns the Battery Park, N.Y., area from December 12 –15, 2012. The Port of New York/New Jersey will experience larger than normal tidal ranges due to a spring tide. According to forecasts from the National Weather Service, tides during this period at Battery Park are expected to be approximately one foot above the normal high tide of five feet.

Kulluk Aground: Photo credit USCG

Rig Breaks Adrift, Pounds Alaskan Island Foreshore

Shelll's drill rig 'Kulluk' broke towlines again in the storm & finally washed up on Sitkalidak Island, near Kodiak, on New Year's Eve. Salvage crews are on stand-by until the weather moderates (the National Weather Service reports seas in the area of being up to 30 feet high, though they're expected to drop down to 22 feet by Tuesday afternoon). Meanwhile the rig appeared sound so far, with no breach in the hull and no discharge of any pollutants into the water, reports the 'Alaska Dispatch'.

Suomi NPP: Image credit NOAA

New Polar-Orbit Satellite Under NOAA Control

These satellites are critical for advanced warning of severe weather including tornado outbreaks, heavy snowfall, hurricanes, heat waves, floods, & wildfires. Data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite will continue to strengthen NOAA’s ability to predict severe weather days in advance. Suomi NPP data are also used to generate dozens of environmental data products, including measurements of clouds, vegetation, ocean color, and land and sea surface temperatures.

Tsunami Dock: Photo courtesy of US National Parks Service

Japanese Tsunami Dock Removed from Olympic Coast

Crews from The Undersea Company of Port Townsend, Wash. have removed the 185-ton dock that crossed the ocean following the March 2011 tsunami. NOAA contracted with The Undersea Company to remove the dock from the remote wilderness coast in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and the Olympic National Park and work began on March 17. "This operation was challenging-imagine opening up a 185-ton concrete package filled with foam packing peanuts while standing near a helicopter on an extremely remote coastline," said John Nesset, president and C.E.O. of The Undersea Company.

Image courtesy of NOAA

TS Karen Approach Closes Mississippi SW Pass

Vessel traffic to vease at Southwest Pass at 6 a.m. Friday, but cargo operations at Port of New Orleans terminals will continue as scheduled Friday, despite the impending closure. The Associated Branch Pilots, the pilots that guide ships through the mouth of the Mississippi River, will cease operations at the above time. Carnival Cruise Lines has two cruise ships scheduled to berth at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal this weekend. The 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation is scheduled to arrive at the Port Saturday, while the 2,984-passenger Carnival Conquest is scheduled to arrive Sunday.

The heat escape lessening position (HELP), is ideal for reducing loss of body heat in cold water. Wearing a life jacket allows a person to draw their knees to their chest and arms to their sides.

USCG Warns Boaters of Cold Water Despite Warm Air

The Coast Guard 9th District is warning Great Lakes boaters that falling water temperatures pose safety risks even as air temperatures stay warm. The National Weather Service reports that the water temperatures in Lake Superior are already reaching 50 F, with lakes Ontario, Huron, Erie and Michigan down to 60 F after summer temperatures approaching 80 F. "Warm air temperatures can create a false sense of security for boaters," said Mike Baron, recreational boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District. "Cool water drains body heat up to 25 times faster than cool air.

The storm played havoc

Pacific Storm Triggers Tornado, Mudslides, Floods in Southern California

A Pacific storm pounded Southern California with heavy rain and high winds on Friday, triggering a small tornado, flash floods and mudslides that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes, damaged dozens of others and disrupted passenger rail services along the coast. One person was found dead on Friday in a rain-swollen flood-control channel in the Orange County town of Garden Grove, which could mark the third storm-related fatality on the West Coast since Thursday. Separately…

USCG

USCG Urge Precaution During Impending Storms

The Coast Guard is urging mariners and the coastal community to take precautions in preparation of two storms expected to impact the Northeast Wednesday and Thursday. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory in anticipation of storm surges and locally heavy rainfall. The pair of storms are expected to bring elevated sea-state and wind gusts up to 30 knots. Because of higher-than-normal tides, owners of small boats, kayaks and other paddle craft are urged to properly secure them.

Adverse Weather conditions

USCG Warns of Adverse Weather in Bay Area

The Coast Guard advises exercising caution on and around the San Francisco Bay coastline and waterfronts, as excessively high tides are expected through mid-week. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood statement for a series of King Tides, which are expected to run through Wednesday. The conditions are expected to result in minor coastal flooding of low-lying areas along our coastline and bay fronts. Low-lying coastal locations, such as parking lots or coastal trails, may experience minor flooding during high tide.

Emergency crews recovered the bodies of nine people from the wreckage

Crews Recover Bodies of 9 Victims of Alaska Plane Crash

Emergency crews recovered on Friday the bodies of nine people from the wreckage of a sightseeing plane that remains teetering on a steep rock face after crashing in Alaska, a rescue official said. Eight passengers and the pilot were killed when the aircraft, an excursion flight booked via a cruise ship, went down during a tour of the Misty Fjords area of southeast Alaska on Thursday afternoon, flight operator Promech Air said. A helicopter pilot spotted the wreckage against a granite rock face about 800 feet (240 meters) above Ella Lake, according to an Alaska State Trooper report.

Ignacio is east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and not expected to pass north of the islands until Monday night and Tuesday

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. With winds gusting up to 115 miles per hour (185 kmph), the hurricane centered 835 miles (1,344 km) southeast of Honolulu and 625 miles (1,006 km) south east of Hilo was moving northwest at 8 miles per hour (13 kmph), said center spokesman Neil Honda. "It just became a hurricane from a tropical storm," Honda said, noting the weather became fierce enough to be classified a hurricane at 5 a.m. Pacific on Saturday.