Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology

Changes to the Bureau's HF Marine Radio broadcasts (Voice only)

Effective 31 March 2009, the following capital city local waters forecasts will no longer be broadcast via the Bureau's HF voice broadcast service:

  • Sydney Closed Waters, Pittwater, Port Jackson and Botany Bay (New South Wales)
  • Port Phillip and Western Port (Victoria)
  • Moreton Bay (Queensland)
  • Perth Local Waters (Western Australia)
  • Adelaide Metropolitan Waters (South Australia)
  • Southeast Inshore (Tasmania)
  • Darwin Harbour (Northern Territory)

This action has been taken to ensure the ongoing delivery of important observational weather reports, also broadcast via this service, which have been occasionally truncated due to the transmission extending beyond its allocated 30 minutes. Mariners are advised to obtain the capital city local waters forecast via other methods such as VHF marine radio. See the Bureau's Radio and Satcom services for more information on accessing weather information at sea or contact your state maritime safety agency.

Background information

Currently the Bureau's HF voice broadcast service has a comprehensive program of forecasts, warnings and observations for Australia's high seas, coastal waters areas and a selection of capital city local waters areas. In recent times a number of enhancements to the forecasts, resulting in increased detail, have put pressure on the time available for the HF broadcasts to be repeated every 4 hours. More recently the Bureau has received complaints regarding weather observations not being broadcast within their allocated slot. This is due to the fact that these observations are broadcast near the end of the allocated half hourly slots and vulnerable to truncation.

The local waters forecasts mentioned above were originally included in the program for completeness rather than necessity as HF is primarily for long-range use. The decision to no longer include the local waters forecasts in this service and free up more time for the observations is supported by the knowledge that most mariners venturing in these local waters areas would be more likely to use VHF marine radio or some other method rather than long-range HF marine radio.

There are no other changes to this service planned. Please contact the Bureau's National Manager, Marine Weather Services by email at webmar@bom.gov.au if you require more information on these changes.

Sailboats on Port Phillip Bay, photograph by Rob Morton.

Marine & Ocean

© Australian Government 2008, Bureau of Meteorology