PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
700 AM EDT FRI MAY 25 2000

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SEVERAL DIFFERENT TYPES OF
WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES FOR MARINE WEATHER OCCURRENCES.  THESE
ADVISORIES AND WARNINGS COVER WEATHER RANGING FROM STRONG WINDS
TO MAJOR STORMS.  THE FOLLOWING LIST DETAILS EACH TYPE OF MARINE
WARNING AND ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE WILMINGTON OFFICE OF THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. 

A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN WIND SPEEDS OF 25 TO 33 KNOTS
ARE OCCURRING OR EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 12 HOURS.  IN
ADDITION...A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SEA HEIGHTS OF SIX
FEET OR GREATER ARE OCCURRING OR EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 12 HOURS.

A GALE WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN WIND SPEEDS OF 34 TO 47 KNOTS ARE
OCCURRING OR EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 24 HOURS.  

A STORM WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN WIND SPEEDS OF 48 KNOTS OR GREATER
ARE OCCURRING OR EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 24 HOURS. 

A HEAVY SURF ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN HIGH SEAS WITH LONG PERIODS
BETWEEN WAVES ARE PRODUCING  ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS OR ARE
EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS WITHIN 12 HOURS.  THE
ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS WILL MAKE NAVIGATION THROUGH AREA INLETS
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT AND COULD PRODUCE MINOR FLOODING OF BEACH
FRONT AREAS.  

A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN MODERATE OR MAJOR FLOODING
FROM THE OCEAN IS POSSIBLE WITHIN 12 TO 36 HOURS.  IN MOST
CASES...A HEAVY SURF ADVISORY WILL BE IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE
ISSUANCE OF A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH.  IF A HEAVY SURF ADVISORY IS NOT
ALREADY IN EFFECT...A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH ALSO MEANS THAT HEAVY
SURF CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN 12 TO 36 HOURS. 

A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN MODERATE OR MAJOR FLOODING
FROM THE OCEAN IS OCCURRING OR EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 12 HOURS. 
SINCE COASTAL FLOODING ONLY OCCURS WHEN HEAVY SURF CONDITIONS
EXIST...HEAVY SURF INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN A COASTAL FLOOD
WARNING WITHOUT THE ISSUANCE OF A SEPARATE HEAVY SURF ADVISORY.  IF
A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING IS IN EFFECT...ROUGH SURF CONDITIONS CAN
MAKE NAVIGATION THROUGH AREA INLETS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS...IF NOT
IMPOSSIBLE. 

A SPECIAL MARINE WARNING OR SMW IS ISSUED FOR SEVERAL DIFFERENT
REASONS. AN SMW MAY BE ISSUED FOR THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING WINDS
OF 34 KNOTS OR GREATER AND FOR THUNDERSTORMS ACCOMPANIED BY
FREQUENT LIGHTNING.  AN SMW WILL BE ISSUED FOR WATERSPOUTS OVER THE
COASTAL WATERS.  AN SMW MAY ALSO BE ISSUED FOR WIND SPEEDS OF 34
KNOTS OR GREATER WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO LAST LESS THAN 3 HOURS OR
FOR WIND SHIFTS ACCOMPANIED BY A SIGNIFICANT SHORT TERM INCREASE IN
WIND SPEED.  IF A SPECIAL MARINE WARNING IS ISSUED FOR THE AREA IN
WHICH YOU ARE BOATING...YOU SHOULD RETURN TO PORT OR TAKE SOME
OTHER TYPE OF EVASIVE ACTION.

A MARINE WEATHER STATEMENT OR MWS IS ANOTHER MULTI-PURPOSE
PRODUCT.  AN MWS IS ISSUED ABOUT EVERY 6 HOURS DURING A HEAVY SURF
ADVISORY TO PROVIDE THE MOST RECENT SEA AND SURF INFORMATION.  AN
MWS CAN ALSO BE ISSUED TO PROVIDE GREATER DETAIL REGARDING THE
EXPECTED ONSET TIME AND DURATION OF GALE OR STORM CONDITIONS.  AN
MWS MAY ALSO BE ISSUED FOR THUNDERSTORMS WITH WIND GUSTS LESS THAN 
34 KNOTS OR FOR OTHER SHORT DURATION INCREASES IN THE WIND SPEED TO 33 
KNOTS OR LESS.  AN MWS MAY ALSO BE ISSUED FOR DENSE FOG...RIP CURRENTS...
GIVING GREATER DETAIL REGARDING A WIND SHIFT ASSOCIATED WITH A FRONT 
OR TO CANCEL A SPECIAL MARINE WARNING.  IF A MARINE WEATHER STATEMENT 
IS ISSUED FOR THE AREA IN WHICH YOU ARE BOATING...HEED THE ADVICE GIVEN 
IN THE STATEMENT.  
                    
A SHORT TERM FORECAST IS ISSUED AS A FORECAST OF CONDITIONS
EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 1 TO 6 HOURS.  OVER THE COASTAL
WATERS...SHORT TERM FORECASTS ARE TYPICALLY ISSUED TO COVER
WEATHER CONDITIONS THAT GENERALLY DO NOT REPRESENT A HAZARD SUCH AS 
LIGHT RAIN OR FOG WHERE VISIBILITY IS BETWEEN 1 AND 6 MILES.

THIS IS THE LAST STATEMENT ISSUED FOR SAFE BOATING WEEK.  WHEN OUT
ON THE WATER...ALWAYS KEEP ABREAST OF THE WEATHER BY MONITORING
NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR VHF RADIO.  THE BEST WAY TO AVOID HAZARDOUS
WEATHER CONDITIONS IS TO CHECK THE FORECAST BEFORE YOU LEAVE PORT. 

$$