wind speed, and maximum gusts in a comma delimited text (or shapefile) format as these data become available during and immediately after a storm. We understand that these data would be considered preliminary, but it would significantly improve USDA capabilities to assess hurricane impacts on agriculture if USDA used the same data that NHC receives.
The primary motivation for our requests is to ensure that the data and products that USDA uses in preparing hurricane-related agricultural weather assessments are identical to the data and products that NHC analyzes, generates, and disseminates to their customers. We have been unable to maintain this consistency by importing NHC GIF images into a GIS, and we frequently find differences in point rainfall and wind speed measurements when comparing data from multiple data providers. Although hurricane- related data and products can be obtained from numerous sources (e.g., FEMA, private weather firms, educational institutions), we recognize that NHC is considered the Federal government authority on hurricanes and the official source for related information. Given this recognition and increasing requests for hurricane-related data and products by USDA decisions makers, USDA meteorologists would prefer to use only NHC-endorsed data and products in preparing agricultural weather assessments. This single source for information would help reduce questions about the differences, reliability, and accuracy of hurricane-related data and products, allowing USDA meteorologists to focus more on explaining the underlying science and messages conveyed by these data and products.
NOAA National Hurricane Center provide operational tropical cyclone forecast and advisory products in a GIS-ready format in real time.
Change to NHOP – Sections 2.3 and 6.4
Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)
Due to recent personnel and funding cuts, the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) can no longer dedicate the resources needed to sustain tropical cyclone satellite imagery surveillance and analysis support to the National Hurricane Operations Plan. This cessation of support requires changes in the NHOP to reflect the AFWA termination but continuance of support on request, resources