Using MetEye for rock fishing

MetEye is your interactive tool for viewing weather forecasts. Rock fishers can use it to find information on forecast waves, winds and weather for an area or specific locations. The video tutorial and case study example below shows how MetEye can be used to plan a rock fishing activity. MetEye forecasts are routinely adjusted by meteorologists to better represent local conditions.

Case Study example using MetEye for Maroubra, New South Wales

Kevin decides he wants to go rock fishing near Maroubra on Thursday morning. He needs to know if it will be safe to fish off the rocks. He has already read the Sydney Coastal Waters forecast.

Just looking at a small area over a limited time span can blind you to nearby hazardous weather conditions. Reviewing forecast maps for a larger area and over a longer period, can help Kevin better understand his risk if significant conditions are approaching. Kevin can investigate the weather situation further using MetEye.

Step 1: Open MetEye

From the New South Wales tab of the Marine & Ocean page the link 'MetEye forecast wind and waves maps for Sydney waters' takes Kevin to the Sydney area, which includes Maroubra.

Where to find MetEye link

Step 2: Search for a point of interest

Kevin can search for Maroubra in the text box located above the map. A 7-day forecast window now appears. Clicking the 'Detail' button for Thursday displays three-hourly weather and wave conditions for that day.

Meteye Forecast Example

If Kevin goes rock fishing here regularly, he can click on the 'Save location' button in the left of the popup window. Whenever Kevin uses MetEye, he will now see a purple balloon at that location on the map, which will help him to select the same point in future.

Step 3: Select the date and time and review wind forecast

After closing the 7-day forecast popup, Kevin can check the forecast maps for a larger area and over a longer period, to see if significant conditions are approaching.

The wind forecast maps show the averaged 10 minute wind speed and direction for the time selected, based on a 10 metre standard height. Wind speeds vary with gusts and lulls during a 10 minute period so Kevin should be prepared to experience wind gusts that may be 40 percent stronger than the average speeds presented on the map.

Arrows pointing towards the land indicate that the winds are blowing onshore and would cause choppy wave conditions. Kevin can also zoom in on the map for more detail.

Step 4: Review the wave forecast

The wave forecast maps (wind wave and swells) show the total wave heights using a colour scale. Rock fishers should also be prepared to experience waves nearly double the total wave height three to four times a day.

Meteye Forecast Example

Kevin can check the wave forecast throughout the day by clicking on the three-hourly time steps or by clicking the play button (top left corner of the map) to see an animation of the wave forecast.

Kevin can use this information to help decide when and where to go fishing (e.g. when the wave heights are not too large, or which side of a headland might be more sheltered from the direction of the swell). In the example above, there is a larger swell coming from the south, and a smaller swell coming from the northeast.

Note: 'Total wave height' is the combination of wind wave and swells. There may be multiple swells; with up to two arrows denoting swell direction (the longest arrow represents the direction of the largest swell). It is important to investigate both swells if there are two present, using the controls on the left, as one swell may be more significant than the other.

Step 5: Repeat for other weather elements

Using the menu on the left, Kevin can look at forecasts for thunderstorms, rainfall and UV levels.

Meteye Forecast Example

If Kevin needs more information about any of these features, he can click on the 'Info' button.

Other useful information

  • While checking the forecast wind and waves, it is also important to check the tides. Take note of the time of the low tide and the high tide. The tide level rises the quickest around the mid-tide, which is generally between 2 and 4 hours after low tide. The height of the tides will help you learn which rocks become covered by water at low, mid and high tide. You can check the tides for your location by finding it on the interactive map on the Bureau's website:
  • Local and coastal waters forecasts for each state, including any current warnings, can be found at
  • The Bureau has additional educational material about rock fishing weather safety. These pages are also translated into traditional and simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Malay.