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Learn more about marine weather services and boating safety from our videos, blogs, and graphics.

Marine videos

Learn more through our videos:


Marine blogging

Articles on marine topics from the Bureau’s blog.

The art of the chart: how to read a weather map

25 June 2020

You might see it on the TV news or online, with its sweeping curves, dashed lines, and cryptic numbers. But what does a weather map actually tell you? Find out about some of its most distinctive and useful features to help you better understand the weather.

Explainer: dangerous ocean waves

14 February 2020

Powerful waves are a source of fascination when they break along our shores. While surfers seek out the 'perfect' wave, dangerous waves can put your safety at risk if you like being in, on or around the water. They can also cause damage to coastlines and property. So what causes dangerous waves and how can you stay on top of wave conditions?

Know your weather: rock fishing

11 December 2019

Rock fishing is a popular but risky recreational activity around Australia's coastline. Wherever you’re planning your rock fishing trip, it’s always important to check the weather and ocean conditions before you go. Read on to find out how to use weather information for rock fishing so you can enjoy your time out and come home safely.

Know your weather: kayaking, canoeing and rafting

20 September 2019

Whether you're looking for a relaxing paddle around a calm bay or adrenaline-fuelled white-water rafting, paddle sports are a great way to explore Australia's diverse waterways. However, the weather and water conditions are essential factors in how safe and enjoyable your paddling will be. So how can you make the most of your time on the water?

Explainer: what is coastal inundation?

21 February 2019

The majority of Australians live near the coast, but the rise and fall of coastal sea level doesn't usually affect their daily lives. However, occasionally higher-than-usual tides can cause sea water to flow further onto land than normal. So, what causes coastal inundation and how might it affect you?

Explainer: what is a marine heatwave?

7 June 2018

Marine heatwaves happen when sea temperatures are warmer than normal for an extended period. Warmer waters for swimming and surfing—what’s not to like? Unfortunately, quite a lot. The effect on marine life and the aquaculture industry can be devastating. So what causes marine heatwaves and should we expect to see more of them?

Explainer: tidal range—the difference between high and low tide around Australia

26 February 2018

Tidal range varies dramatically around our coastline, averaging from less than a metre in southwest Australia to a whopping 11 metres in the northwest. So why the difference and why do boaters, fishers, and anyone who enjoys coastal activities need to know about it?

Explainer: king tides

2 January 2018

They're natural, predictable, and ancient, but so-called 'king' tides hit the headlines time and again. What causes these tides, how will you know one is coming and what happens to our coastlines when they coincide with severe weather?

Weather data from the seas: the Australian Voluntary Observing Fleet

28 September 2017

A worldwide network of 4000 ships supplies ocean weather data to international weather agencies. The data are transmitted around the globe for the purposes of forecasting, which in return benefits the safety of life at sea and ocean navigation. The observations are also archived as a long-term record of the world's climate.

Cold water shock: be prepared before boating

2 June 2017

Falling into cold water (under 15 °C) can have extreme effects on your body and its ability to function—and these can kick in much faster than you think. If you participate in water activities you need to be prepared for these risks all year round.

The 'Ekman transport' effect-cold water upwelling on Australian coastlines

15 February 2017

Have you ever gone to the beach to find the water much colder than the day before? A range of factors influence sea surface temperatures in coastal waters. This article looks at the 'Ekman transport' effect—a wind-driven process that brings colder water to the coastline.

Ruling the waves: How a simple wave height concept can help you judge the size of the sea

17 December 2015

Predicting the size of the wind-generated waves that roll in from the sea around Australia is not as hard as you might think - especially if you understand the concept of 'significant wave height'.

Going with the flow: Why it pays to check the tides before heading for your favourite rock fishing spot

15 December 2015

Much has been written about the dangers of big waves for people fishing on exposed rock platforms. But it's also worth keeping a wary eye on the tides, which can sneak up on the unsuspecting angler.

Six sun safety tips whilst boating

15 December 2015

If you're a fan of outdoor activities, you're more likely to suffer sunburn and skin damage. Boaters are no exception. We all need to learn about the potentially dangerous effects of ultraviolet radiation and the steps we can take to limit our exposure.

Marine weather safety awareness month 2015

08 December 2015

Boating is a fun activity that many Australians enjoy on our oceans, bays, rivers and lakes. As conditions can change quickly, knowing what weather you are headed into is the key to a safe and enjoyable journey.

On a roll: MetEye adds new swell maps and wave forecasts to skippers' planning toolbox

14 September 2015

Three new features on the Bureau's map-based weather viewer provide a comprehensive voyage planning service for Australian boat skippers.

Marine graphics

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These graphics are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-ND 4.0). More details available via email: webreg@bom.gov.au.

Five vital weather safety checks

Thunderstorms and boating

Wind gusts

Wave heights and tides

Five vital checks for rock fishing (translated content)

BOM marine update

 
 

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