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Four HAL Ships Win VOS Awards

Four Holland America Line ships won Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Awards for making important marine observations that aid in weather forecasting and analysis. The VOS program is an important source of marine weather data from coastal, offshore, and high seas areas for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service.

Announced by Larry Hubble, NOAA port meteorological officer in Alaska, awards went to Zaandam with 1,729 marine observations; Zuiderdam with 1,484 marine observations; Noordam with 1,397 marine observations and Amsterdam with 800 marine observations.

HAL volunteer crew members around the world observe the weather, encode each observation in a standard format, and send the data over satellite or radio to national meteorological services that forecasts marine weather. This data is archived for future use by climatologists and other scientists.

Ships take observations at standard time while at sea. Additional reports are requested at three hourly intervals when within 300 nautical miles of named tropical storms or hurricanes and when within 200 nautical miles of the U.S., Mexican and Canadian coasts.

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