Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology

High Seas Wind Warnings Service Change

Storm force and hurricane force teminology

From 1 November 2006 the Bureau of Meteorology will be changing the way it describes wind conditions in the forecasts and warnings for all High Seas wind warnings when severe weather prevails.

In reflecting international practice concerning the terminology used for warning of weather of hurricane intensity at sea (all weather systems on the high seas having predicted winds over 63 knots - i.e. Beaufort Force 12 and above), the Bureau will apply a 'hurricane force' warning category more broadly to its high seas wind warnings.

To promote consistency in our warning services, the Bureau will introduce the terms 'storm force' and 'hurricane force' to describe wind conditions during extreme weather events that may affect both coastal waters and high seas. This will reflect more the severity of the winds rather than the nature of the weather system involved. It would therefore not detract from the impact of the Tropical Cyclone Warnings which are issued as public weather products.

Sailboats on Port Phillip Bay, photograph by Rob Morton.

Marine & Ocean

© Australian Government 2008, Bureau of Meteorology