Coastal Waters Wind Warnings

Introduction

When a wind warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, marine radio operators will broadcast the latest forecast information on marine radio. If you are out on the water, keep your ear tuned into the six things you need to know about wind warnings to ensure you arrive home safely.

Marine wind warnings now included in Coastal Waters forecasts.

Mariners can now see wind warnings that are current for up to 42 hours ahead.

Features of the warnings:

  • Statewide overviews
  • Which day is affected
  • Updated every 6 hours whenever a warning is current

By including the wind warnings in the coastal waters forecasts, there is no longer a need to issue separate wind warnings. Instead, the statewide summary will show all the Coastal Waters and Local Waters affected by warnings for that day and the following day.

Coastal wind warning categories

Strong wind warning Winds averaging from 26 knots and up to 33 knots.
Gale warning Winds averaging from 34 knots and up to 47 knots.
Storm force wind warning Winds averaging from 48 knots and up to 63 knots.
Hurricane force wind warning Winds averaging 64 knots or more.

When did the new service begin?

The Bureau of Meteorology introduced the changes for Queensland in October 2013 and Northern Territory in 2014. Victoria and New South Wales were completed in 2013, Western Australia in 2012, and Tasmania and South Australia in 2011.

Examples

Coastal Waters forecast with wind warnings for days 1 & 2

Example A - Coastal Waters forecast with wind warnings for days 1 and 2

State-wide warnings summary

Example B - State wide warnings summary

FAQs for new wind warning service

What's new?

  • Marine wind warnings will cover the first two days - not rolling 24 hour periods.
  • A wind warning label will be added to the Coastal Waters Forecast for days one and two indicating the highest category of wind warning applicable.
  • The Coastal Waters Forecast will usually be issued every 6 hours during wind warning periods.
  • The lead time of the warning statements will increase by 24 hours – i.e. giving up to two days advance notice in some instances.
  • A Marine Wind Warning Summary will be issued during warning periods, covering all the State’s coastal and local waters. It will make it easy to see all zones affected by wind warnings for days one and two.

Why change?

Feedback indicated confusion as to the period for which the warnings applied. Mariners have commented that the Coastal Wind Warning was divided into too many sub-sections, making it difficult to broadcast and understand via marine radio. Marine radio broadcasters highlighted that:

  1. the warning information was becoming too lengthy to read out within the allocated schedules and interfered with distress monitoring duties; and
  2. detailed information about changes in wind speed and direction during days one and two of the forecast period was available in the coastal waters forecasts resulting in duplication of information being read out during broadcasts