Environment Canada provides a marine forecasting service for boaters to help them make informed decisions about their safety on the water. The forecasts include information about wave height, visibility, freezing spray and marine winds.
When conditions may prove hazardous for boaters, Environment Canada adds warnings to its forecasts. There are four levels of wind warnings that are used to notify boaters of high wind speeds.
Strong wind warnings are issued for wind speeds of 20 to 33 knots (37 – 61 km/h). These warnings are intended for coastal and inland waters and are usually only used during the recreational boating season. They are not issued for marine areas where winds of this speed occur regularly.
Gale warnings are issued for wind speeds of 34 to 47 knots (62 – 87 km/h). They can be issued for any inland, coastal, or offshore area that is provided with a marine forecast.
Storm warnings are issued for wind speeds of 48 to 63 knots (88 – 117 km/h). They can be issued for any inland, coastal, or offshore area that is provided with a marine forecast.
Hurricane force wind warnings are issued for wind speeds of 64 knots or more (118 km/h or more). It’s important to note that a hurricane force wind warning does not mean that a hurricane is imminent—it simply indicates that wind speeds will be comparable to hurricane conditions.
Drive a Boat Canada offers a boating safety course that teaches new boaters everything they need to know before taking the online exam to obtain an official boating license. Register today to get your pleasure craft operator card, and check out our blog for more useful boating safety tips!