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Joint Typhoon Warning Center Improves Tsunami Readiness

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170822-04
Release Date: 8/22/2017 7:08:00 AM

From Joint Typhoon Warning Center Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) released a new, publicly available tsunami decision-support website that improves tsunami readiness for U.S. and coalition forces.

"The new website is designed to improve the tsunami information dissemination processes, which will improve access to, and enable the expeditious delivery of, time-sensitive tsunami information and products for U.S. and coalition forces operating near coastal areas," said JTWC Commanding Officer Cmdr. Jillene Bushnell. "The changes increase access to tsunami products that are critical for decision makers and mission planners preparing for approaching tsunami waves. The degree to which destructive waves extend from the point of origin influences decisions regarding installation and aircraft evacuations as well as ship sorties."

Communicating through JTWC's public facing website, in addition to JTWC's notifications sent over email, chat and text, enables swift repackaging of tsunami information from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) through JTWC for American and Coalition Forces in low-lying, coastal areas.

This information was added to JTWC's existing Tropical Cyclone Warning website due to the collaborative efforts led by Lt.j.g. Chi K. Maxey and Mr. Angelo Alvarez, as well as, contributors from PTWC, NTWC, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"JTWC is repackaging tsunami warning data and making it quickly available publically, as well as, through classified means, to DoD personnel all over the world, even during denied communications scenarios," stated JTWC Tsunami Program Manager LT.j.g. Edward Jacobs. "By having tsunami warning information on our existing website, we open another path of information to the public that could potentially save lives."

On JTWC's website, tsunami threat messages, information statements, travel maps, predicted wave heights, a Google Earth overlay file (.kmz), and asset impact table arrival times are expeditiously displayed for seismic events with magnitudes of 6.5 and greater, up to 100km deep and that have the potential for tsunami generation. The website refreshes every 30 seconds, enabling new information to populate as it becomes available; eliminating manual refresh by users. Previously, tsunami information was not as widely and easily accessible. Former methods relied on email distribution and restricted website access, which, at times, delayed information dissemination.

Further details on available tsunami products can be found at

JTWC provides tsunami advisory information and decision support services to shore installations and afloat units, as well as ISR impact forecast and decision support services for operational advantage to U.S. Pacific Fleet and other commands, as directed.

JTWC also provides tropical cyclone reconnaissance, forecast, safety warning, and decision support services to U.S. government agencies throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

JTWC is jointly staffed by U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel and falls under the operational control of Commander, Task Group 80.7 -- Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. U.S. Air Force personnel are sourced to JTWC by the 17th Operational Weather Squadron, a subordinate squadron of the 557th Weather Wing.

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