The FCC is already preparing for the 2017 hurricane season by adding three new event codes to its Emergency Alert System.
According to a posting on the ARRL website, the codes cover a range of potentially hazardous weather situations, and are designed to provide the greatest information and awareness to the public. The codes are as follows:
- Extreme wind warning (EWW): Already in use by the National Weather Service (NWS), the EWW code provides advance notice for conditions with a sustained surface wind speed of 115 MPH or more. The NWS Gulf and East Coast Weather Forecast Offices issue this code.
- Storm surge watch (SSA): This code can be issued when rising water presents a possibly life-threatening situation to residents of an area. Most likely to be used during tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclones, an SSA will generally be issued within 48 hours of the potential flooding surge. The watch can also be issued if a location is in danger of being cut off due to flooding of surrounding areas.
- Storm surge warning (SSW): An SSW may be issued in the face of a fast-oncoming surge, usually within 36 hours or less. The code can also be used if uncertain conditions and tropical-storm winds could reduce the time available for a potential evacuation. This code can also be used to warn citizens of isolation due to flooding.