About Marine Weather Warnings

Marine weather warnings are issued whenever strong winds, gales, storm force or hurricane force winds are expected. Marine wind warnings aim to provide around a 24-hour lead time and are normally renewed every six hours.

Introduction

These pages provide information on the Bureau's warnings services for the marine community. Information includes the types of warnings that are issued, when and where they are issued, and some examples.

Six things you need to know about wind warnings

Marine weather warnings


Definitions of wind strength used in coastal and high seas warnings

Wind warning Wind range*
Strong wind 26 to 33 knots
Gale 34 to 47 knots
Storm force 48 to 63 knots
Hurricane force 64 knots or more

*Note: These wind speeds are 10-minute averages

Wind speed and wave heights

In the tropics, hurricane force winds are associated with severe tropical cyclones (Category 3 and above)

Wave heights can be influenced by the size and movement of the weather system, shallow waters and proximity to the coast.

*Please be aware wind gusts can be a further 40 per cent stronger than the average and maximum waves may be up to twice the height of forecast (average) wave heights.

Wind speed categories Beaufort scale

Strong wind
26 to 33 knots

Probable wave heights
around 3 to 5 metres

force 6
force 7

Gale
34 to 47 knots

Probable wave heights
around 5 to 8 metres

force 8
force 9

Storm force
48 to 63 knots

Probable wave heights
around 8 to 11 metres

force 10
force 11
Hurricane force
64 knots or more
Probable wave heights
around 11 metres or more
force 12

Images courtesy Environment Canada

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