Changes to NOAA Marine Products Could Make Heavy Weather Avoidance More Difficult

From gcaptain Notice to Mariners: Changes to NOAA Marine Products Could Make Heavy Weather Avoidance More Difficult By Lee Chesneau

Prior to November 13th, 2017, NOAA depicted TROF axes on its 500 Mb charts,


After November 13th, 2017, the 500 Mb charts now


I wondered what happened, I was at sea when this change was made. For me the 500 mb are far less useful without the troughs marked. I used to mark them with a highlighter.

Yes, and now the tracking of lows and highs has been severely restricted, although NOAA has added new 72 hour forecast surface and wave charts.


@fredwx is there contact info for NOAA where we can let them know these changes are for the worse?

I wrote Ben Friedman, who was listed in the original article by L. Chesnault, and this is what I got back. Ironically he sights another gCaptain article for clarification.


Thank you for your email concerning the suite of NOAA’s marine weather products and services. Please know that we take your concerns seriously, and our goal is to deliver the very best impact-based decision support services and products possible to our users. The following article addresses some of the issues that you raise, and provides more detail on our efforts to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea:

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Director of NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center, Tom Cuff, who may be reached at

Thank you again for your e-mail,

Ben Friedman

Ben Friedman
Deputy Under Secretary for Operations
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
202-482-4569 (O)
202-408-9674 (Fax)

The gcaptain article has changed, the last section is missing. It’s still at the linked site

URGENT “Notice to Mariners” – Changes to NOAA marine products effective March 7th, 2018

Action Needed

For those mariners who have been trained well enough to understand and rely on NOAA’s products, the time to let your viewpoints known is NOW, by contacting Benjamin Friedman, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere ASAP!

Phone: 202-482-4569

Notifying congress (e.g., congressmen/women) & senators as well can have an important effect as well. This is all about accountability from tax foundered service provider(s), in this case NOAA, and the impact on stakeholders (mariners at all levels). This issue must be addressed and acted upon, as to enhance logical decision making in support of SOLAS & IMO objectives & beyond, to minimize weather related incidences & disasters at sea!

Ask for a restoration of 500 Mb TROF Axes and moratorium on planned changes to NOAA marine products on March 7th, 2018 that is urgently needed to allow for constructive dialogue, feedback & consensus solutions!

Updated op-ed from the man…the myth…Lee Chesneau.

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A lot of people are preparing to retire from N0AA and I don’t know how many will actually be replaced. From what I am told, things are not projected to improve in the near future.

Rebuttal from OPC.