Enhancements to Marine Forecast and Warning Services in New South Wales

From Wednesday 1 September 2010 a number of marine service enhancements were introduced in New South Wales to provide mariners with an improved level of service.

Adjustments to New South Wales coastal waters zones

As of 1 September 2010, New South Wales has some newly named coastal waters zones. These changes have been developed in conjunction with marine stakeholder groups.

The current South Coast zone which covers Gabo Island to Ulladulla will be split into two zones at Montague Island. The new zones are named Batemans and Eden. The current Mid North Coast zone which covers Seal Rocks to Wooli will be split into two zones at Smoky Cape. The new zones are named Coffs and Macquarie. The current Far North Coast zone will be renamed "Byron coast".

This new division will provide mariners with more detailed coastal waters forecast information between Gabo Island and Ulladulla, and between Seal Rocks and Wooli.

The eight New South Wales coastal waters zones are summarised as follows:

  • Byron Coast - Point Danger to Wooli
  • Coffs Coast - Wooli to Smoky Cape
  • Macquarie Coast - Smoky Cape to Seal Rocks
  • Hunter Coast - Seal Rocks to Broken Bay
  • Sydney Coast - Broken Bay to Port Hacking
  • Illawarra Coast - Port Hacking to Ulladulla
  • Batemans Coast - Ulladulla to Montague Island
  • Eden Coast - Montague Island to Gabo Island
Map of new coastal waters zones for NSW
Map of new coastal waters forecast zones from 1 September 2010

Separate Forecast and Warning service for Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and Botany Bay

As of 1 September 2010, a separate forecast and warning will be available for Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and Botany Bays.
Also, terminology for wave information in these forecasts will be consistent with the coastal waters forecasts. Therefore sea (or wind) waves will be referred to as heights in metres instead of descriptive terms.

New webpage service of forecast wind and wave maps for Sydney Local Waters

A new webpage service has been developed to replace the Sydney Weekend Boating Forecast. The new service will display highly detailed maps of forecast wind and wave conditions on a 3 hourly time interval for the next 3 days. The new service will assist mariners to plan their trip for the safest and most comfortable time of the day. Tables of forecast data will no longer be available, however plans are in place to re-introduce tables as well as graphs in future upgrades.

Improvements to Coastal and Local Waters warnings

Coastal and local waters marine warnings have been improved to highlight the worst conditions expected within the next 24 hours. Warnings will provide information on the highest winds and highest waves expected in a designated area.

The highest waves are derived from the expected total wave height and to be consistent with terminology used in coastal waters forecasts, the highest waves will be referred to as 'Combined sea and swell'. A lookup table is available to assist mariners to familiarise themselves about Combined Sea and Swell.

There will be no changes to the wind warning thresholds for strong winds, gale, storm force and hurricane force wind warnings.

Note that these highest winds are averages and do not include gusts. Similarly the highest waves are the significant waves and not maximum waves. For more information on wind and waves see: About marine services.
Mariners are reminded that more detailed information is contained within the coastal and local waters forecasts.

Example Warning

Example of new style Coastal Waters Wind Warning for New South Wales.  Example includes reference to the new term, Combined Sea and Swell.

If you need further information, or wish to provide feedback, please email webmar@bom.gov.au .