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Weather conditions are unpredictable, weather can change at any second! What do you do when stormy weather approaches while you are out on the ocean?
Strong winds, rough seas, a sudden storm! This is not the weather information you received, an unexpected storm can arise at any moment, that is mother nature! You never know, but you can always prepare yourself to deal with storms and have the proper equipment aboard.
Rough weather during a boating trip can spoil a trip at the very least; however, at the very worst, it can cause an emergency. As a safety precaution, it is best to check the Marine forecast before heading out. Keep in mind weather can change at any time. We will be covering the following in this blog; Warning signs of bad weather, what to do when a storm approaches, what to do when a storm hits, understanding marine forecasts.
Cloud formations, rough seas, floating debris, are all signs of stormy weather, for many boaters who spend their time daily on the oceans, have the knowledge of all the signs to look for, they can even tell the direction the storm is moving when it is still far far away, and sometimes what seems like a great danger to us might be nothing for them because they deal with the type of weather on a daily basis, they know what to expect, how to handle the situation, and most importantly how to prepare prior departure (safety equipment), for us who don't know it all, here are some signs to look out for:
Having the proper equipment aboard, can help you a lot, with the rough seas you can easily get wet, keep dry with an immersion suit, protect your body heat, in some cases weather conditions like a strong wind, and rough waves can cause a smaller boat to capsize, or you might find your self in a man overboard situation, having the right equipment on board can protect you. What safety equipment do you need on your boat in case of emergencies? – Marine Supplies US All boats, must be equipped with the necessary safety equipment, from small boats to large boats.
If a storm is heading your way, prepare yourself and the passengers by following these steps:
We all know that when lightning strikes, it seeks the highest point, and in open water, the highest point would be the boat and yourself.
Always check weather conditions, don't plan a trip without looking at the national weather service report, never go out boating if there is a hurricane warning! Even if you look outside and the weather seems perfect, don't do it!
The weather forecast, can be confusing if there is no person to explain it, that is why understanding the forecast is so important, what do most of the words even mean? Below is information that will help us to understand marine forecasts! Drop a comment if you find this information helpful.
Very Poor = Visibility less than 1000 meters
Poor = Visibility between 1000 meters and two nautical miles
Moderate = Visibility between two and five nautical miles
(3.704 km to 9.26km)
Good = Visibility more than five nautical miles
A nautical mile measures distance, nautical miles are used for charting and navigation; one nautical mile is equal to 1.1508 statute miles. One nautical mile is equal to 1.852 kilometers.
Smooth = Wave height less than 0.5m
Slight = Wave height of 0.5 to 1.25m
Moderate = Wave height of 1.25 to 2.5m
Rough = Wave height of 2.5 to 4.0m
Very Rough = Wave height of 4.0 to 6.0m
High = Wave height of 6.0 to 9.0m
Very High = Wave height of 9.0 to 14.0m
Phenomenal = Wave height of more than 14.0m
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)
Gust reaching: a sudden intense rush of wind
Knot (kn or kt): is a term used to indicate wind speed; a knot is equal to one nautical mile per hour. 1 knot is equivalent to 1.852 km/h.
Imminent: Expected within six hours of the time of issue
Soon: Expected within six to 12 hours of the time of issue.
Later: Expected more than 12 hours from the time of issue.
Perhaps Later: Used when a gale is considered possible in the "later" period, but the forecaster is not sufficiently sure to issue a warning.
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
Wind directions: Indicates the direction from which the wind is blowing
Becoming cyclonic: Indicates that there will be a considerable change in wind direction across the path of depression (low pressure, which moves from west to east) 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 E
Storms are unpredictable, and it’s not a question of if you will experience rough weather while boating but when. The best thing you can do is be prepared for any eventuality by knowing what to do in the event of a storm, If you do find yourself in a sudden storm, the best thing you can do is prepare by understanding how weather works and knowing when storms might hit your area and know what the signs look like. Do you find this blog helpful? I hope this blog has provided some helpful information about preventing or surviving bad weather while boating. Have you ever experienced bad weather while boating? Please share your story with us by commenting below or write a blog about it and we will add your story to this blog.
Prepare, prevent, and practice. Knowing what to do if a storm approaches while boating and understanding the weather forecast is a step in the right direction.
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