El Faro received out-of-date storm track data

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On Wednesday, May 18, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation continued its hearings into the loss of the El Faro with testimony from Jerry Hale and Rich Brown of Applied Weather Technology (AWT), the firm which provided the vessel’s subscription weather products, and from Jim Wagstaff, vice president of operations for TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico.

Hale and Brown testified that there was a time delay between the issuance of an official National Weather Service forecast and the publication of AWT's latest weather model updates for subscribers. In the AWT system's main presentation, “the age of that tropical storm track would be four to five hours" after the government's forecast, said Rich Brown, vice president of operations for AWT. In an example from testimony, NWS-published forecast data from 0900 GMT would be used as the basis for AWT's 1500 GMT update.

Click here for the full report by The Maritime Executive.