Inshore Waters Forecast Notes

The inshore waters forecast includes the general synopsis and a more detailed forecast up to 12 miles to sea. It gives the sea state, local observations and the 24hr outlook.

The forecasts are broadcast on National or local Radio, VHF radio, and Navtex

Navtex: Navigational Telex,  is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information (MSI) to ships. Navtex transmits on MF on a standard frequency of 518khz and some on 490khz channel to receive national Navtex messages.


The Navtex system divides the world into 21 nav-areas ,The UK is NAVAREA I.


518khz provides the shippinf forecast and Navigation Warnings

490khz provides inshore waters forecast and outlooks


Local Forecasts and local condition are sometimes broadcast by port control VTS on VHF. Stating local visibility, wind strength, tidal height, tidal surge and local safety information with traffic movements

  • Inshore waters forecasts are issued four times a day, covering a period of 24 hours 0000, 0600, 1200 and 1800 UTC
  • UK coastal waters, up to 12 miles offshore are divided into 19 areas.
  • Strong coastal winds (force 6 or more ) are displayed for the first 24 hours.
Inshore Waters forecast Example

Rattray Head to Berwick upon Tweed – Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: South 5 or 6, veering west 3 or 4, occasionally 5 later. Slight, becoming moderate for a time at first in north. Rain later. Good, occasionally moderate later.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: West 4 or 5, becoming variable 3 or 4. Slight. Rain then fair. Good, occasionally moderate at first.

Berwick upon Tweed to Whitby

24 hour forecast: South, veering northwest 4 or 5, decreasing 3 for a time. Slight. Mainly fair, occasional rain later. Good, occasionally moderate later.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Northwest 4 or 5, becoming variable 2 or 3. Slight. Showers then fair. Good, occasionally moderate at first.

19 Areas

  1. Cape Wrath to Rattray Head Including Orkney
  2. Rattray Head to Berwick Upon Tweed
  3. Berwick upon Tweed to Whitby
  4. Whitby to Gibraltar Point
  5. Gibraltar Point to North Foreland
  6. North Foreland to Selsey Bill
  7. Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis
  8. Lyme Regis to Lands End including the Isles of Scilly
  9. Lands End to St Davids Head including the Bristol Channel
  10. St Davids Head to Great Orme Head, including St Georges Channel
  11. Great Orme Head to the Mull of Galloway
  12. Isle of Man
  13. Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough
  14. Mull of Galloway to Mull of Kintyre including the Firth of Clyde and North Channel
  15. Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan Point
  16. The Minch
  17. Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath
  18. Shetland Isles
  19. Channel Islands