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Text below is from the nowCOAST "About" page.

NOAA/NOS nowCOAST™ is a GIS-based web mapping portal displaying near real-time observations, analyses, tide predictions, model guidance, watches/warnings, and forecasts for the coastal United States.

nowCOAST™ provides situational awareness on present and future environmental conditions for coastal and marine users by integrating data and information from across NOAA, other federal agencies and regional ocean and weather observing systems. For example, users can assess present conditions by creating maps of the latest in-situ weather/marine weather observations, weather radar reflectivity mosaics, cloud images from satellites, surface wind and sea-surface temperature analyses, and precipitation amounts for the last few hours. In terms of future conditions, users can obtain maps of critical weather and marine weather advisories, watches, and warnings, weather forecasts, tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts, and forecast guidance of water levels, temperature, salinity, and currents from oceanographic forecast models.

In addition, nowCOAST™ provides users with thousands of geo-referenced hyperlinks to observations, forecasts, forecast guidance, and forecast discussions located on web pages operated by NOAA and other federal agencies to obtain more detailed data and information. For example, users can obtain weather observations from buoys operated by NWS or regional ocean observing systems, NOS tide predictions at specific stations, river discharge observations at USGS gauges, river stage forecasts at NWS forecast locations, and NOS Harmful Algae Bloom forecasts for coastal waters.

Users can display maps of this information using the nowCOAST™ interactive map viewer or by connecting to its map services. The interactive viewer allows users to zoom and pan, animate, chose different map backgrounds and overlays, click on mapped hyperlinks to obtain more detailed information, and even click at a point to obtain the latest weather or marine weather forecast for that specific location. The nowCOAST™ map services (REST and WMS) allow users to obtain maps from nowCOAST™ and create mashups with their own map layers such as coastal evacuation routes, critical infrastructure, or fishing areas.

nowCOAST™ is designed to support recreational and commercial mariners and fishermen, coastal and emergency managers, first responders, and search and rescue operations. nowCOAST™ has been available to the public since August 2002. nowCOAST™ is operated by NCEP Central Operations (NCO) in the high-availability NOAA Integrated Dissemination Program (IDP) infrastructure, where it is monitored 24x7x365.


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