We could move up the start date to May 15 without a major impact on staffing, since we already begin our forecast shifts on that date with the start of the eastern North Pacific season. However, starting the season earlier than May 15 would have costs in terms of increased salaries as well as lost productivity on the part of the forecasters, who, when they’re not working forecast shifts are engaged in research and development projects, outreach and training, and other activities. The outreach and training season is an extremely busy and productive time for us, so we’d hate to pull the forecasters away from that activity to mostly be writing empty Tropical Weather Outlooks.Similarly, moving the start day earlier than May 15 would reduce the time available for off-season technical development. This year, for example, we were working on formatting changes to the Public Advisory and introduction of a storm surge watch/warning graphic. (And we’re still working on the finishing touches of the surge graphic generation.) These development efforts currently get targeted with either June 1 or May 15 implementation dates depending on the basin and the nature of the development.
May 12, 2015 at 12:01 PM EDT