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Alaska Marine Zone Changes (March 8, 2023)

In an effort to provide more specific marine weather information to our partners and the public, the National Weather Service Forecast Offices in Alaska have realigned Alaska’s marine forecast zones, due to be implemented on March 8, 2023.

The planned changes will result in more geographically-representative forecasts, advisory, watch, and warning products. This will be achieved with the creation of a 'nearshore' forecast zone that will cover areas from the coastline out to 15 Nautical Miles (NM), a 'coastal' forecast zone which will then exist from 15 NM up out to 100 NM, and the creation of new zones that will pair down very large geographic areas, including to areas in the eastern Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, along the Aleutians, and within the Bering Sea. Due to the scope of these changes, most marine forecast zone names and numbers in Alaska will change.

Lastly, the outer boundaries of the coastal marine forecast zones previously denoted as “out to 100 NM” will not change. However, with the use of improved technology we are able to more accurately reflect the distance of these boundaries from the Alaska coastline. Each of these zone names will now include a more precise description of how far out they physically extend.

See the official Press Release here from the National Weather Service.

Important

NWS partners and users should take the appropriate action to ensure systems recognize the new UGCs and new zone alignments and names.
In addition, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) listeners using receivers equipped with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) will need to add new SAME location codes to their receivers prior to March 8, 2023. This is a critical requirement in order to continue receiving automated notifications of Special Marine Warnings. The new SAME location codes are included in the updated database for Coastal and Offshore Marine Area and Zone Codes for NWR are online at:  https://www.weather.gov/gis/EasNWR.   

 

New Marine Zone maps can be viewed in the tabs below. Additionally, printable PDFs of the maps and zone name/number table are available as links.

  • Statewide Map of the New Alaska Marine Zones
  • Beaufort Sea
  • Prince William Sound
  • Eastern Gulf of Alaska
  • Western Aleutians
  • Eastern Aleutians
  • Kodiak Island to Cook Inlet
  • Bristol Bay
  • Saint Lawrence Island to Norton Sound
  • Kotzebue Sound
  • Statewide Map of the New Alaska Marine Zones
  • Beaufort Sea
  • Prince William Sound
  • Eastern Gulf of Alaska
  • Western Aleutians
  • Eastern Aleutians
  • Kodiak Island to Cook Inlet
  • Bristol Bay
  • Saint Lawrence Island to Norton Sound
  • Kotzebue Sound

 

Printable PDFs of the above maps and table

Color

Black and White

Zone Name and Number Table

 

For higher bandwidth users, please visit the StoryMap and GIS Map to visualize the planned marine zone changes.

Updated shapefiles for the changes can be found here.

 

Additional Resources

NWS Juneau Marine Page

NWS Anchorage Marine Page

NWS Fairbanks Marine Page

Alaska Sea Ice Program

 

For questions or feedback regarding the NWS Alaska marine zone changes, please contact:

Lindsay Tardif-Huber

National Weather Service, Alaska Region Headquarters

lindsay.tardif-huber@noaa.gov

(907) 271-5132

Tim Steffen

National Weather Service, Alaska Region Headquarters

timothy.steffen@noaa.gov

(907) 271-3886