Coastal Waters Wind Warnings

When is a Coastal Waters Wind Warning issued?

Warnings for coastal waters are issued whenever strong winds, gale, storm force or hurricane force winds are expected within one or more coastal waters forecast areas.

The initial warning attempts to provide around 24 hours lead-time (sometimes out to 32 hours) and warnings are normally renewed every six hours. If the warning conditions are expected on the following day then it will be mentioned specifically in the warning message.

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.

Conversion: 1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour = 1.85 kilometres per hour.

What information is included in a Coastal Waters Wind Warning?

Coastal Waters Wind Warnings contain the following information:

  • Issuing office
    • The Bureau office responsible for issuing the warning
  • Priority of the message
    • The warning message is given "Top Priority" for any Storm Force or Hurricane Force wind warnings and "Priority" for the first warning issued for a weather event
      (needs an explanation that this is for media response)
  • Affected area(s)
    • Description of the coastal waters areas affected by the warning
  • Issue time
  • Synoptic situation
    • Description of the weather pattern responsible for the warning conditions
  • Warning information section
    • Full details of wind and waves
  • Next expected routine issue time
  • Information about gusts and maximum wave height
  • Further information

The word "UPDATED" will be included in the warning when the warning is changed outside the routine six hourly issues.

When winds have moderated or are no longer expected to reach strong wind strength, the warning will be preceded by "CANCELLATION OF".

Who is the target audience?

Coastal Waters Wind Warnings are prepared for mariners involved in recreational and professional activities in coastal waters areas around Australia. They are available directly via the web or radio, fax, or via media and other third party broadcasters, publishers and agencies.

What areas do the Coastal Waters Wind Warnings cover?

Coastal waters areas extend to around 60 nautical miles from the coast.
See: Map of coastal forecast areas.