New Graphical Beach Forecast Page and Changes to Beach Forecast

NWS Chicago is excited to unveil a new graphical webpage for the Recreational Beach Forecasts for northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. This page will be linked through September on the bottom right portion of our webpage under Summer Preparedness Pages. The link to the page is: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=rip_risk.

Below is a look at the layout of the page on a day with a “High Risk” of swimming hazards. The red coloring along the county shorelines indicates the high risk. The coloring for low risk is green and the coloring for a moderate swim risk is yellow. When you click on the map for each county, a text window will pop up with the specific surf zone forecast for that county. Underneath the Indiana maps are helpful links for beach hazards and Lake Michigan beach information, as well as our latest Weather Story and regional radar.

 

Graphical Beach Forecast Page: Lake Illinois and Cook County Graphical Beach Forecast Page: Lake Indiana and Porter County

Another change we made to the Surfzone Forecast itself is to add the UV Index, Sunrise and Sunset Times and an extended forecast for planning purposes. Here’s an example:
SURFZONE FORECAST FOR ILLINOIS AND INDIANA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
243 PM CDT TUE JUN 18 2013
 
ILZ006-191945-
LAKE-
INCLUDING THE BEACHES OF...ILLINOIS BEACH STATE PARK
243 PM CDT TUE JUN 18 2013
 
...BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...
 
.TOMORROW...
SKY/WEATHER............SUNNY.
MAX TEMPERATURE........63-68.
BEACH WINDS............EAST WINDS AROUND 10 MPH.
AVERAGE WAVE HEIGHT....1 TO 3 FEET.
WATER TEMPERATURE..... UPPER 50S.
UVI INDEX..............8 - VERY HIGH.
SUNRISE................5:14 AM CDT.
SUNSET.................8:31 PM CDT.
SWIM HAZARD RISK.......LOW...WHICH MEANS THAT LARGE WAVES AND
                       STRONG CURRENTS ARE NOT EXPECTED ALONG THE
                       SHORE.
 
 
.EXTENDED...
.THURSDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 70S. SOUTHEAST WINDS
AROUND 5 MPH.
.FRIDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE
UPPER 70S. SOUTH WINDS AROUND 10 MPH.
.SATURDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE
LOWER 80S. SOUTH WINDS AROUND 10 MPH.
 
These changes have been made to go hand in hand with our transition to alerting to the risk of various swimming, or beach hazards, as opposed to just rip currents, since there are far more dangers associated with swimming in Lake Michigan than from rip currents alone. To highlight this transition, go to this link.


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