5 - Meteorological Services and Warnings
Governments are obliged to provide and promulgate meteorological
information and warnings to shipping.
for recording and reporting observations from ships (5.2)
of ship reports (5.3)
Governments undertake to encourage the collection of meteorological
data by ships at sea and to arrange for their examination,
dissemination and exchange in the manner most suitable for
the purpose of aiding navigation.* Administrations shall encourage
the use of meteorological instruments of a high degree of
accuracy, and shall facilitate the checking of such instruments
upon request. Arrangements may be made by appropriate national
meteorological services for this checking to be undertaken,
free of charge to the ship.
In particular, Contracting Governments undertake to carry
out, in co-operation, the following meteorological arrangements:
warn ships of gales, storms and tropical cyclones by
the issue of information in text and, as far as practicable
graphic form, using the appropriate shore-based facilities
for terrestrial and space radiocommunications services.
to issue, at least twice daily, by terrestrial and space
radiocommunication services**, as appropriate, weather
information suitable for shipping containing data, analyses,
warnings and forecasts of weather, waves and ice. Such
information shall be transmitted in text and, as far
as practicable, graphic form including meteorological
analysis and prognosis charts transmitted by facsimile
or in digital form for reconstitution on board the ship's
data processing system.
to prepare and issue such publications as may be necessary
for the efficient conduct of meteorological work at
sea and to arrange, if practicable, for the publication
and making available of daily weather charts for the
information of departing ships.
arrange for a selection of ships to be equipped with
tested marine meteorological instruments (such as a
barometer, a barograph, a psychrometer, and suitable
apparatus for measuring sea temperature) for use in
this service, and to take, record and transmit meteorological
observations at the main standard times for surface
synoptic observations (i.e. at least four times daily,
whenever circumstances permit) and to encourage other
ships to take, record and transmit observations in a
modified form, particularly when in areas where shipping
encourage companies to involve as many of their ships
as practicable in the making and recording of weather
observations; these observations to be transmitted using
the ship's terrestrial or space radiocommunications
facilities for the benefit of the various national meteorological
transmission of these weather observations is free of
charge to the ships concerned.
in the vicinity of a tropical cyclone, or of a suspected
tropical cyclone, ships should be encouraged to take
and transmit their observations at more frequent intervals
whenever practicable, bearing in mind navigational preoccupations
of ships' officers during storm conditions.
to arrange for the reception and transmission of weather
messages from and to ships, using the appropriate shore-based
facilities for terrestrial and space radiocommunications
to encourage masters to inform ships in the vicinity
and also shore stations whenever they experience a wind
speed of 50 knots or more (force 10 on the Beaufort
endeavour to obtain a uniform procedure in regard to
the international meteorological services already specified,
and as far as practicable, to conform to the technical
regulations and recommendations made by the World Meteorological
Organization, to which Contracting Governments may refer,
for study and advice, any meteorological question which
may arise in carrying out the present Convention.
information provided for in this regulation shall be furnished
in a form for transmission and be transmitted in the order
of priority prescribed by the Radio Regulations. During transmission
"to all stations" of meteorological information,
forecasts and warnings, all ship stations must conform to
the provisions of the Radio Regulations.
warnings, synoptic and other meteorological data intended
for ships shall be issued and disseminated by the national
meteorological service in the best position to serve various
coastal and high seas areas, in accordance with mutual arrangements
made by Contracting Governments, in particular as defined
by the World Meteorological Organization's System for the
Preparation and Dissemination of Meteorological Forecasts
and Warnings for the High Seas under the Global Maritime Distress
and Safety System (GMDSS).
Refer to the Recommendation on weather routeing adopted
by the Organization by resolution A.528(13).
Refer to regulations IV/7.1.4 and IV/7/1.5.
5 emphasises to Administrations, Companies and Masters that
although there have been significant technological developments
in weather forecasting, weather reports from ships still play
an essential role in providing accurate weather forecasts.
Regulation obliges Administrations to encourage the use of
highly accurate instruments and proposes that national meteorological
services check the instruments' accuracy free of charge; (paragraph
1) this service is provided by the Met Office for UK Ships.
Paragraph 2.6 states that weather reports shall be transmitted
free of charge.
Met Office, the UK national meteorological service, provides
shipping forecasts for north European sea areas and UK inshore
waters, which are promulgated throughout the day on radio,
NAVTEX, SafetyNET and Internet. Severe weather warnings are
broadcast as soon as possible. Navigational Warnings are promulgated
by the UKHO.
MCA administers the budget for these services under a Memorandum
of Understanding with the Met Office.
second footnote refers to SOLAS Chapter IV, Regulations 7.1.4
and 7.1.5, which lay down the requirements for ships' radio
equipment for receiving NAVTEX and other safety information.
member Governments are urged to support the World Meteorological
Organizations's (WMO) Voluntary Observing Ship Programme
(VOS). The MCA strongly encourages UK companies to volunteer
their vessels. Despite technological developments, ship
meteorological reports still play an essential role in providing
accurate forecasts and will continue to do so for the foreseeable
future. UK shipowners should contact the Meteorological
Office to nominate their ships for the Voluntary Observing
MSC/Circ.1017 - Participation
in the WMO Voluntary Observing Ships' Scheme underlines
the importance of the Scheme. This circular is reproduced
at ANNEX 4,
details of the Scheme can be found on the WMO Website on
the following link: WMO
Voluntary Observing Ship Scheme (www.bom.gov.au/jcomm/vos/vos.html)
(also at ANNEX
ANNUAL NOTICE TO MARINERS 13 - WWNWS and WMO
WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION
VOLUNTARY OBSERVING SHIP SCHEME (VOS)
MGN23 - Use of NAVTEX