Guide to shipping forecasts
This is a brief guide to the main terms used in the shipping forecasts that are broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and also as a reference to the main shipping areas (known as the coastal waters) surrounding the British Isles.
Weather bulletins for shipping are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4 at the following times: 0048 and 0520 (long wave and FM), 1200 and 1755 (normally long wave only). The bulletins consist of a gale warning summary, general synopsis, sea-area forecasts and coastal station reports. In addition, gale warnings are broadcast at the first available programme break after receipt. If this does not coincide with a news bulletin, the warning will be repeated after the next news bulletin.
A glossary of terms used in the shipping bulletin
Latest shipping forecast/gale warning
Forecasts for inshore waters
In addition, some bulletins include a forecast for all UK inshore waters, as distinct from the coastal waters. This can be heard on BBC Radio 4 at the end of programmes (approximately 0048), and on BBC Radio 3 at 0535. The forecast covers the area up to 12 miles offshore and is for the period up to 1800 the next day. It includes a general synopsis, the forecast of wind direction and force, visibility and weather. The broadcast on Radio 4 also includes the latest available reports of wind direction and force, visibility, sea-level pressure and tendency for approximately 20 stations around the UK.
Latest inshore waters forecast
Specifications and equivalent speeds
Web page reproduced with the kind permission of the Met Office
Shipping Forecast weather system excercise notes and worksheet.