March update: Miscellaneous improvements in HURREVAC

Here’s a summary of changes and improvements implemented by the HURREVAC team in recent weeks.

Behavior of exercise storms and simulated storms

Exercise and simulated storms now show the first (or earliest) advisory when initially loaded onto the tracking map. This helps make training and exercises more realistic by avoiding a premature reveal of the scenario. Active storms continue to load to the most recent advisory. Archived storms also load to the most recent advisory, which is usually the final one issued. When building a simulated storm, toggle forward through advisories as you go through each of the steps to check the track and product generation.

Storm Simulator now prohibits importing an active storm to use as the basis of a track. Storm Simulator is only intended for creating exercises. During active storms, the official NHC, CPHC, or JTWC products are recommended for emergency management decisions.

Improved geography for the western Pacific and U.S. territories

The HURREVAC team made numerous improvements to the program’s geographic databases to provide more consistent report functionality for U.S. territories and the NWS area of responsibility in the Pacific region.

This effort primarily involved islands defined as forecast points for NWS Guam throughout the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The most significant change is that the previous “Western Pacific” or “WP” grouping used for HURREVAC’s timeline actions and reports was broken out to define all the territories and nations listed above.

The improved labeling means that any timeline actions created with the former WP reference are no longer functional. Users who had previously created custom timeline actions within those areas should delete the old actions and create them again.

Previous timeline action and report listings for Sorol and Ujelang Atoll were discontinued.

This project did not affect the underlying forecast products ingested by the program. Data availability varies by region and forecast agency, which is spelled out in the User Guide. But users may notice that some reports now generate results for Pacific locations that were not previously included.

The classic basemap was also enhanced with a higher-resolution depiction of the islands.

Some database enhancements were also implemented for American Samoa, Wake Island, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A base location can now be established in all U.S. territories. This lets users quickly filter multi-location reports to find the most relevant local results.

NWS references in resources tab and base location

HURREVAC users can now quickly reference the areas served by local National Weather Service offices. The new NWS County Warning Areas layer shows boundaries and labels on the tracking map. It is listed in the Resources tab alongside other useful boundaries like counties, FEMA regions, and USACE districts. Reminder: you can use the Quick Layers tool to adjust the opacity and display order of boundaries with respect to each other, and the weather data you have plotted on the map.

When setting a base location, the NWS office serving that area is now listed with the other data in the User Preferences. Click the link to open the office’s home page in a new browser tab.

The new NWS West/South Pacific AOR layer plots simple outlines of the areas of responsibility for WFO Guam within the Western Pacific basin and WSO Pago Pago in the South Pacific.

  • Posted by John Boyer
  • On March 21, 2024