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Central Pacific Breakpoints

Coastal areas placed under tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings are identified through the use of "breakpoints." A tropical cyclone breakpoint is defined as an agreed upon coastal location that can be chosen as one of two specific end points or designated places between which a tropical storm/hurricane watch/warning is in effect. The U.S. National Weather Service designates the locations along the U.S. East, Gulf, and California coasts, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. These points are listed in NWS Directive 10-605 (PDF).

In 2015, the NWS began conveying the approximate lateral extent of areas at risk for life-threatening storm surge for the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico in its text products using fixed 'communication points', similar to the breakpoints used to convey the tropical cyclone watches and warnings. The tropical cyclone warning breakpoints also serve as surge communication points, with additional surge communication points defined. This display is centered on Hawaii, but contains all the breakpoints used by NHC and CPHC. If you pan or zoom to the East Coast and/or Gulf of Mexico, you can see these storm surge points.

Interactive Map

Last Updated May 2016

National Hurricane Center Watch/Warning Breakpoints

Breakpoints Map Legend


Download Data


International Hurricane/Tropical Storm
Watch/Warning Breakpoints
KMZ Shapefile (.zip)
Additional US Storm Surge
Watch/Warning Communication Points
KMZ Shapefile (.zip)

Note:  The same information on this page exists in the official National Weather Service Directive 10-605 (PDF) and includes pronunciation guides.