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Shipping Forecast

The latest Shipping Forecast issued by the Met Office. An explanation of the terms used is included below.

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Gale warnings
Gale Winds of at least Beaufort force 8 (34-40 knots) or gusts reaching 43-51 knots
Severe gale Winds of force 9 (41-47 knots) or gusts reaching 52-60 knots
Storm Winds of force 10 (48-55 knots) or gusts reaching 61-68 knots
Violent storm Winds of force 11 (56-63 knots) or gusts of 69 knots or more
Hurricane force Winds of force 12 (64 knots or more)
Imminent Expected within six hours of time of issue
Soon Expected within six to 12 hours of time of issue
Later Expected more than 12 hours from time of issue
Fog Visibility less than 1,000 metres
Poor Visibility between 1,000 metres and 2 nautical miles
Moderate Visibility between 2 and 5 nautical miles
Good Visibility More than 5 nautical miles
Movement of pressure systems
Slowly Moving at less than 15 knots
Steadily Moving at 15 to 25 knots
Rather quickly Moving at 25 to 35 knots
Rapidly Moving at 35 to 45 knots
Very rapidly Moving at more than 45 knots
Pressure tendency in station reports
Rising (or falling) slowly Pressure change of 0.1 to 1.5 hPa in the preceding three hours
Rising (or falling) Pressure change of 1.6 to 3.5 hPa in the preceding three hours
Rising (or falling) quickly Pressure change of 3.6 to 6.0 hPa in the preceding three hours
Rising (or falling) v. rapidly Pressure change of more than 6.0 hPa in the preceding three hours
Now rising (or falling) Pressure has been falling (rising) or steady in the preceding three hours, but at the time of observation was definitely rising (falling)
(direction Indicates the direction from which the wind is blowing)
Becoming cyclonic Indicates that there will be considerable change in wind direction across the path of a depression within the forecast area
Veering The changing of the wind direction clockwise, e.g. SW to W
Backing The changing of the wind in the opposite direction to veering (anticlockwise), e.g. SE to NE

Sea Areas

The Shipping Forecast is divided into sea areas. This is a map of the areas close to shore, together with (some of) the coastal stations.


Wind Speed

Wind speed to described in terms of the Beaufort Scale

Force Knots Wind Probable sea state
1 1-3 Light airs Ripples
2 4-6 Light breeze Small wavelets
3 7-10 Gentle breeze Crests begin to break
4 11-16 Moderate breeze Waves becoming larger, frequent white horses
5 17-21 Fresh breeze Moderate waves, many white horses, some spray
6 22-27 Strong breeze Large waves, extensive white horses
7 28-33 Near gale Sea heaps up, waves breaking, white foam blown in streaks
8 34-40 Gale Moderate high waves, crests break into spindrift, white foam
9 41-47 Strong gale High waves, crests topple spray affects visibility
10 48-55 Storm Very high breaking waves, dense foam streaks

This scale is only a rough guide and reflects average speeds, gusts up to the next force should be anticipated. Sea conditions are generally more severe nearer to land.





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Page last updated on October 16, 2007
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