NOAA launches maritime weather Web site

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched a new Web portal that provides marine forecasts and information on coastal wind and water conditions for the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

The Southeast U.S. Marine Weather portal grew out of a NOAA-funded project within the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, through the University of North Carolina/Wilmington.

The experimental portal was developed in cooperation with NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), the agency announced Aug. 19.

“The goal is to supply people with everything they might need to know to make the smartest decisions,” said Zdenka Willis, IOOS program director. “Easier access to timely and useful water, weather and climate information will save lives, property and resources.”

The portal is part of IOOS, which seeks to increase understanding of the nation’s waters and thereby improve safety, enhance the economy and protect the environment, NOAA said.

”The Southeast Marine Weather portal has been developed with the end user -- the mariner, sailor, surfer, beachgoer -- in mind,” said Jennifer Dorton, coordinator of the Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program at UNC Wilmington. “The portal provides the information they need to make safe and informed decisions before going out on the water or to the beach.”

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Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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