Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Coast Guard | Pêches et Océans Canada, Garde Côtière Canadienne
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PART 5 – ENVIRONMENT CANADA MARINE AND ICE WARNING AND FORECAST PROGRAMS

General

Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is the agency responsible for delivering Canada's weather service. The MSC offers a broad range of products and services that are designed to help mariners make informed decisions on how weather will affect them. The Canadian Coast Guard also plays an important role in disseminating forecasts and warnings, and in collecting and relaying weather information from volunteer observers and ships.

The constant stream of data coming from both automated and manned coastal observation stations, as well as ships and weather buoys, is supplemented by satellite imagery, weather radar and a full set of numerical weather products adapted for marine operations.

Marine Warning Program

Warnings of extreme weather events that pose a threat to life and property at sea such as strong winds, freezing spray, high coastal waters, squall lines and other localized phenomena shall be issued for the offshore economic zone including the St. Lawrence Seaway and major inland waters.

Major inland waters are defined as having significant marine activity and where time to reach safe harbour is comparable to the marine weather warning lead time. The criteria for issuing weather warnings is based on national guidelines, but determined regionally to account for regional climatology and the nature of the regional marine community. The following table describes the warning program:

→ Table 1: Synoptic warnings
Synoptic warnings * Warning criteria
Strong wind warning (1) Winds (2) 20 to 33 knots inclusive occurring or expected to occur in any portion of a marine area including any portion defined by a local effect or an "except" statement.
Gale warning Winds (2) 34 to 47 knots inclusive occurring or expected to occur in any portion of a marine area including any portion defined by a local effect or an "except" statement.
Storm warning Winds (2) 48 to 63 knots inclusive occurring or expected to occur in any portion of a marine area including any portion defined by a local effect or an "except" statement.
Hurricane force wind warning Winds (2) 64 knots or above occurring or expected to occur in any portion of a marine area including any portion defined by a local effect or an "except" statement.
Freezing spray warning Ice accretion rate of 0.7 cm/hr or more occurring or expected to occur in any portion of a marine area including any portion defined by a local effect or an "except" statement.

→ Notes:

* These warnings are included in the body of the text forecast.

(1) The strong wind warning program is active on a regional basis as required for coastal and inland waters during the recreational boating season. A warning is not required when the wind is described using the range 15-20 knots. This range is normally used for greater accuracy.

(2) Gusts are excluded from the definition.

→ Range: With the exception of Note (1) above, when a range is used to describe the wind speed, the upper value of the range determines the warning category.

Table 2: Localized warnings
Localized warnings/watches * Warning criteria
Squall watch Advance notice of conditions that are favourable to the development of squalls.
Squall warning Wind gust ≥ 34 knots associated with a line or an organized area of thunderstorms.
Tornado watch Advance notice of conditions that are favourable to the development of Tornados.
Tornado warning Evidence of tornado formation (radar, report from a reliable source, etc.) over a marine area, or an existing tornado moving from land to an adjacent marine area.
Waterspout watch Advance notice of conditions that are favourable to the development of cold-air waterspouts.
Waterspout warning Evidence of waterspout formation, (radar, report from a reliable source, etc.) over a marine area,
High water level warning Issued to warn mariners and coastal populations of potentially hazardous impacts due to abnormally high water levels or waves along coastal areas.
Special marine warning/watch Used to describe conditions other than those defined above that may have potentially hazardous impacts on navigation.

Notes: * These warnings/watches are delivered using separate messages.

Ice warnings: refer to the Canadian Ice Services, Part 5, page 5-23.

Marine and Ice Forecast Program

Marine forecasts are issued for the offshore economic zone including the St. Lawrence Seaway and major inland waters. For sea ice, ice forecasts are issued for offshore marine areas as well as the Great Lakes. The production schedule is detailed in each regional section of this chapter. The forecast program includes the following bulletins:

Table 3: Marine forecast program
Forecast or bulletin name Details
Technical marine synopsis Provides the positions and trends of the main weather systems for the forecast period covering Days 1 and 2.
Marine forecast (or Regular marine forecast) Provides information on: synoptic warnings, wind, visibility, precipitation and freezing spray. It may include air temperature as appropriate. Valid for Days 1 and 2.
Recreational boating marine forecast Tailored to the needs of recreational boaters, it is available on a seasonal basis and only in specific regions.
Marine weather statement Issued when deemed necessary, it provides additional information on potentially high impact marine conditions.
Wave height forecast Provides information on significant wave heights for Days 1 and 2. It is not available for the Arctic waters or central and western Hudson Bay.
Extended marine forecast Meant for longer-range planning purposes, it provides an extended marine wind outlook for Days 3, 4, and 5.
Iceberg bulletin Provides information on distribution of icebergs valid for the time of issue of the bulletin.
Ice forecasts Provides information on hazardous ice conditions for Days 1 and 2.
NAVTEX 1 International Maritime Organization (IMO)-compliant NAVigational TelEX bulletin issued with each regular marine forecast or ice forecasts in a standardized abbreviated format - see Table 5, page 5-7 for Abbreviations.
MAFOR 1 This is a specialized coded marine forecast produced for Québec and Ontario regions.

1: More details on NAVTEX and MAFOR are provided on page 5-6.

Monitoring the Forecast

Forecasts are monitored, and amended as necessary, to reflect unexpected or changing weather conditions according to criteria based on the following principles:

  1. when safety or security is at risk;
  2. when inconvenience to the marine community will be extensive; or
  3. when the product could adversely affect the credibility of the marine forecast program.

Marine and Ice Forecast Areas

Marine forecasts and ice forecasts are issued for marine and ice areas as outlined in the regional maps. The sizes and boundaries of these areas are determined regionally based on the following considerations:

  1. marine traffic density;
  2. the ability to forecast to the proposed resolution;
  3. the degree to which, climatologically, marine weather varies; and
  4. the ability to distribute the information effectively to the marine community.

Current Conditions

Current weather data is available to Canadians for their local area. The frequency and quality of the data will be consistent with the standards established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The data may include, as appropriate:

  • wind speed and direction,
  • atmospheric pressure,
  • sky conditions,
  • precipitation type,
  • restrictions to visibility,
  • wave height,
  • current temperature.

General information on current sea-ice will be provided to the marine community once a week to provide an adequate planning tool for those considering entering ice-encumbered waters.

Emergency Response

Meteorological support is provided during emergencies and includes the provision of meteorological information and forecasts. In the case of a pollution event, Environment Canada adheres to the “polluter pay" policy for the provision of all services. Where agreements are in place, Environment Canada will make its distribution systems available to transmit vital information during emergency situations.

Delivery of Marine Warning and Forecast Services

Delivery of marine warning and forecast services to Canadians is primarily by mass communication in order to reach the greatest population base through technology available to most Canadians. The following principles apply, regardless of the specific available technologies:

  1. Internet access via the World-Wide Web. All forecast and warning information will be found at the following address: http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html;
  2. Basic services to Canadians shall be delivered primarily by mass distribution in partnership with media, relying on current and developing technologies in radio, television, newspaper and the Internet. These distribution mechanisms represent the primary methods by which most Canadians receive their weather information, now and in the future;
  3. Marine and Environmental Advisories, Watches and Warnings are distributed through various mechanisms including partnerships with national and regional media distributors and local emergency measures organizations.

Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Program

The VOS program is organized for the purpose of obtaining weather, ice and oceanographic observations from moving ships. An international program under the auspices of the WMO, the VOS has nearly 8,000 vessels participating from 60 nations. It is part of the WMO Global Observing System of the World Weather Watch. Canada has approximately 235 vessels participating in the VOS. It closely follows WMO guidelines for VOS programs.

The Canadian program is supported by full-time Port Meteorological Officers (PMO). The national program office in Toronto manages the program and oversees PMO activities. The office also maintains a VOS Program Computerized Data Management System to record PMO ship visits, vessel mailing addresses, vessel equipment inventories and other information about vessel reports. Any vessel willing to take and transmit observations in marine areas where Environment Canada prepares weather forecasts (see the regional annexes) can join the program. The importance of ship reports cannot be overstated. Without your participation in VOS, there would be vast marine areas without data, making marine forecasting nearly impossible for these areas. We thank ships' officers and crew for their fine work, dedication and commitment.

Mariners are also encouraged to inquire about the SEAS (Shipboard Environmental data Acquisition System) program with their local PMO. Under the SEAS program, observations are sent via INMARSAT C and the cost of transmission is absorbed by a consortium of countries interested in timely marine observations on a global scale.

The WMO establishes the ships synoptic code, and procedures and standards for the collection and dissemination of information worldwide. The WMO also maintains information about countries and vessels participating in the program.

Buoys Program

In order to complement the observational network, Environment Canada operates a network of buoys across the country. This data becomes part of the collection of weather reports sent to the distribution network and is used to improve marine forecasting. The location, WMO identifiers and names of the Environment Canada buoys are given in the regional annexes.

Mariners are requested to use caution when approaching buoys as mooring chains are normally not detectable from a ship and can be damaged or even severed if there is contact. Such a mishap could possibly result in the buoy going adrift thus requiring a costly effort to recover the platform. Please keep the regional PMO informed of any incidents involving buoys.

Buoy Locations: buoy positions are described in each specific regional annex.

MAREP (MArine REPorting Program)

MAREP gives mariners the opportunity to informally report local weather conditions and to receive up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings. MAREP stations are generally operated on a semi-volunteer basis by a member of the marine community who is concerned about marine safety. The stations operators are in regular contact with the Marine Weather Forecaster of the area.

Since the program is informal, the individuals at the stations do not provide a 24 hour service, but are likely available during day-time and early evening hours.

Port Meteorological Officers (PMOs)

In addition to a variety of other duties, PMOs also act as a liaison between Environment Canada and ships involved in the VOS program. This is to encourage vessels to report weather and ice conditions, to instruct observers about procedures and the use of code; to supply observing forms, handbooks (free of charge!); to calibrate equipment; and, in some cases, to install, on loan, meteorological or oceanographic instrumentation. The PMO is also responsible for recruiting new vessels to participate in the VOS program.

If a PMO visits your ship, feel free to ask questions about observing and coding, and reporting weather and ice conditions. Inform the PMO of any concerns you may have with forecasts, warnings, or facsimile products, especially if you have specific problems. The PMO will contact the appropriate party for investigation. Keep the PMO informed of your contact information.

Table 4: Port Meteorological Officers (PMOs)
Great Lakes Atlantic - Maritimes Atlantic - Newfoundland

Tony Hilton, Superintendent
Environment Canada, MSC
100 East Port Boulevard
HAMILTON, ON L8H 7S4
Telephone: 905-312-0900
Facsimile: 905-312-0730

Email: anthony.hilton@ec.gc.ca

Randy Sheppard, Supervisor
Derek Cain, PMO
Environment Canada, MSC
45 Alderney Drive, 16th floor
DARTMOUTH, NS B2Y 2N6
Telephone: 902-426-6616
Cellular: 902-456-6927
Facsimile: 902-426-6404
Email: randy.sheppard@ec.gc.ca
Andre Dwyer, PMO
Environment Canada, MSC
6 Bruce Street.
MOUNT PEARL, NL A1N 4T3
Telephone: 709-772-4798
Cellular: 709-689-5787
Facsimile: 709-772-5097
Email: andre.dwyer@ec.gc.ca
St-Lawrence - Québec Pacific Great Slave Lake / Lake Athabaska/ Western Arctic

Erich Gola, PMO
Environment Canada, SMC Canada
Place Bonaventure, Portail Nord-Est
800 de la Gauchetière ouest

Suite 7810
MONTRÉAL, QC H5A 1L9
Telephone: 514-283-1644
Facsimile: 514-496-1867
Email: erich.gola@ec.gc.ca

Bruce Lohnes, Supervisor
Vaughn Williams, PMO
Environment Canada, MSC
140 13160 Vanier Place
RICHMOND, BC V6V 2J2
Telephone: 604-664-9188
Facsimile: 604-664-4094
Email: bruce.lohnes@ec.gc.ca

Email: vaughn.williams@ec.gc.ca

Ben Lemon, PMO
Environment Canada, MSC
M.J. Greenwood Centre
9345 - 49 Street
EDMONTON, AB T6B 2L8
Telephone: 780-495-6442
Email: ben.lemon@ec.gc.ca
Manitoba Lakes    
Barry Funk, PMO
Monitoring and Systems
Environment Canada, MSC
Suite 150, 123 Main Street
WINNIPEG, MB R3C 4W2
Telephone: 204-984-2018
Email: barry.funk@ec.gc.ca
   

NAVTEX

MSC will provide Canadian Coast Guard with marine forecast information in NAVTEX format for coastal and offshore areas of responsibility based on IMO standards. Marine forecast information provided will include:

  1. Warnings (Winds & ice accretion),
  2. Synopsis (major features),
  3. Forecasts (wind, visibility, ice accretion, wave height)

Each bulletin will contain a WMO telecommunication header, a valid period, notes on parameters used within the bulletin, a synopsis section, a weather forecast section and a wave forecast section. Below is a sample of a partial NAVTEX produced for Canadian Coast Guard MCTS Sydney. Note that NAVTEX will make use of abbreviations: this is necessary in order to comply with the physical limitations of the NAVTEX system. In the example, text in superscript indicates how abbreviations are used.

NAVTEX service sample (518 kHz)
Header FQCN34 CWHX 171400
Title(part one) ► NAVTEX/1 FOR SYDNEY VCO AT 10:00 AM AST FRI Friday 17 NOV November 2006.
Weather forecast  
Parameters ► VLD valid period 17/14Z-19/03Z,
WND(KT) wind in knots, VIS(NM) visibility in nautical miles ABV above 1 NM UNL IND unless indicated, FOG IMPLIES VIS 1 NM OR LESS.
Synopsis ► SYNOPSIS:
17/14Z STRM storm 980 MB OVR SRN NFLD over southern Newfoundland
18/14Z STRM storm 985 MB OVR NRN NFLD. over northern Newfoundland
17/14Z RIDG OVR WRN QUE. ridge over western Québec
18/14Z RIDG OVR WRN GU ST LAW. ridge over western Gulf of St Lawrence
Area name ►
Warning ►
Wind forecast ►

Visibility forecast ►



End of weather ►
EASTERN SHORE, FOURCHU:
WNG warning: NIL.
WND: SWsouthwest10-15. 17/18Z SEsoutheast15-20. 18/06Z V15. 18/12Z SWsouthwest15-20. 18/18Z SW20-25. 19/00Z SW15-20.
VIS: 17/13Z-19/03Z PTH-FG .fog banks

{... other marine areas }

END/
Wave height forecast  
Parameters ►

Area name ►
WAVES(M) metres VLD 17/09Z-18/10Z.

EASTERN SHORE, SABLE, EAST SCOTIAN SLOPE–N – northern half, FOURCHU, BANQUEREAU:
Height in meters ► 1-2.

End of waves and part one ►
{.... Other marine areas}

END/
NAVTEX service sample (518 kHz)
Header ► FQCN34 CYQX 171330
Title (VCO part two) ► NAVTEX/2 FOR SYDNEY VCO.
Weather forecast  
Parameters ►

Marine areas ►
Warning ►
Wind ►
Visibility ►
VLD 17/13Z-19/03Z.

GULF-PORT AU PORT, SOUTHWEST COAST:
WNG: NIL.
WND: S10-15G20. 17/23Z S10-15. 18/11Z S15-20. 18/18Z SW20.
VIS: 17/12Z-19/02Z FG-PTH.


End of weather ►
{... other marine areas}

END/
Wave height forecast  
Parameters ►

Marine areas ►
Waves ►
WAVES(M) VLD 17/09Z-18/09Z.

GULF PORT AU PORT:
1-2. 18/06Z 0-1.

End of waves and part two ►
{... other marine areas}

END/
Table 5: Abbreviations used by MSC within NAVTEX
Date/Time standards
April APR June JUN September SEP
August AUG March MAR Sunday SUN
December DEC May MAY Thursday THU
February FEB Monday MON today TDY
Friday FRI November NOV tonight TNGHT
January JAN October OCT Tuesday TUE
July JUL Saturday SAT Wednesday WED
Marine Forecast Area dividing standards
- eastern half -E - northwestern half -NW - southwestern half -SW
- northeastern half -NE - southeastern half -SE - western half -W
- northern half -N - southern half -S    
Forecast parameters
valid VLD unless UNL millibar MB
indicated IND knots KT nautical mile NM
implies IMPL meters M    
Wind elements
east E south S west W
north N southeast SE light LGT
northeast NE southwest SW with gust to G
northwest NW variable VBR warning WNG
Freezing spray qualifier
freezing spray FRZ-SPR risk RSK outside the ice edge OUT-EDGE
moderate MOD severe SEV over open water OVR-OW
at times OCNL        
Wave elements
ice covered ICE        
Weather elements
blizzard BZ hail HL mist patches PTH-MIST
blowing snow BS heavy rain HVY-RA rain RA
drizzle DZ heavy snow HVY-SN rain and snow mixed MIX-RASN
flurries LGT-SN heavy thunderstorm HVY-TSTM scattered SCT
fog FG ice fog IFG showers SHOWRS
fog banks PTH-FG ice pellets IP snow SN
freezing drizzle FRZ-DZ light snow LGT-SN thunderstorm TSTM
freezing rain FRZ-RA mist MST waterspout WTSPT
Weather/visibility elements (qualifier)
at times OCNL as low as 1 mile NR 1 one mile or less O-1
heavy HVY in precipitation IN-PRECIP visibility VIS
occasional OCNL near zero NR 0    
Trend descriptors (synopsis)
building BLDN intensifying INSTF splitting SPLIT
dissipating DISS merging MERG weakening WKN
deepening DPN quasi-stationary QSTNR    
Systems descriptors (synopsis)
cold front C-FRONT hurricane HURR ridge RIDG
col COL low LOW storm STRM
disturbance DISTURB trough TROUGH tropical depression TD
flat low FLAT LOW post tropical storm POST-TS tropical storm TS
frontal system FRONT high HIGH warm front W-FRONT
Position descriptors (synopsis)
cape CAP lake LK Pacific PAC
coastal CSTL longitude LONG peninsula PEN
from FM near NR river RIV
island IS located on a line ON LINE strait STR
latitude LAT over OVR    
Cardinal point descriptors (synopsis)
central CENTRAL northeast-southwest NE-SW southeast SE
east E northern NRN southeastern SERN
eastern ERN north - south N-Ss southern SRN
east – west E-W northwest NW southwest SW
from FM northwestern NWRN southwestern SWRN
north N northwest-southeast NW-SE west W
northeast NE south S western WRN
northeastern NERN        
Territorial references (synopsis)
Alberta ALTA New Brunswick NB Ontario ONT
British Columbia BC Newfoundland NFLD Prince Edward Island PEI
Great Lakes GRT LKS Newfoundland and Labrador NL Québec QUE
Gulf of St Lawrence GU ST LAW Nova Scotia NS Saskatchewan SASK
Labrador LAB Northwest Territories NWT Yukon Territory YT
Manitoba MAN        
ICE ELEMENTS
Ice concentration
1 tenth 1 6 tenths 6 bergy water BW
10 tenths 10 7 tenths 7 consolidated CONS
2 tenths 2 8 tenths 8 ice free IF
3 tenths 3 9 plus tenths 9+ open water OW
4 tenths 4 9 tenths 9 trace of TR-
5 tenths 5 9 to 10 tenths (lake ice) 9-10    
Ice type
first year ice FYI medium ice MEDI thick ice TKI
grey ice GI new ice NI thin ice THI
greywhite ice GWI old ice OI very thick ice VTKI
Ice qualifier
light LGT moderate MOD strong STRG
    pressure PRESS    
Ice general
conditions CDNS except EXC possible POSS
edge DEGE ice ICE along the coast ALNG CST
estimated EST including INCL    
Ice direction
eastward EWD northwestward NWWD southwestward SWWD
northeastward NEWD southeastward SEWD westward WWD
northward NWD southward sSWDwd    

Table 6: MAFOR DECODE TABLE

MAFOR

YYG1G1/ 0AAAam 1GDFmWm

YYG1G1/ YY: Day of the month

G1G1: Time of commencement of forecast (UTC). Midnight is encoded as 00

0AAAam The maritime area to which the whole forecast or set of forecasts refers. If the geographical name for the forecast region is used instead of the indicator AAAam, it shall be inserted at the place of this group.

am Portion of the maritime area    
Code   Code  
0 Whole of the area AAA 5 Southwest quadrant of the area AAA
1 Northeast quadrant of the area AAA 6 Western half of the area AAA
2 Eastern half of the area AAA 7 Northwest quadrant of the area AAA
3 Southeast quadrant of the area AAA 8 Northern half of the area AAA
4 Southern half of the area AAA 9 Rest of the area AAA

1GDFmWm G: Forecast period Fm: Beaufort number

D: Direction from which the wind is blowing Wm: Forecast weather

G Forecast period D Wind Fm Wind Wm Forecast weather
Code Descriptive Code direction Code Beaufort Code  
0 Beginning of period 0 Calm 0 0 - 3 0 Visibility greater than 3 nm
1 Valid for 3 hrs 1 Northeast 1 4 1 Risk of accumulation of ice on superstructures
2 Valid for 6 hrs 2 East 2 5 2 Strong risk of accumulation of ice on superstructure
3 Valid for 9 hrs 3 Southeast 3 6 3 Visibility ≥ 1 nm and ≤ 3 nm
4 Valid for 12 hrs 4 South 4 7 4 Visibility < 1 nm, including fog
5 Valid for 18 hrs 5 Southwest 5 8 5 Drizzle
6 Valid for 24 hrs 6 West 6 9 6 Rain
7 Valid for 48 hrs 7 Northwest 7 10 7 Snow, or rain and snow
8 Valid for 72 hrs 8 North 8 11 8 Squally weather with or without showers
9 Occasionally* 9 Variable 9 12 9 Thunderstorms

Suggestions/Comments

NORTHERN CANADA

Includes: Western and Eastern Arctic, Central and Western Hudson Bay & Major Inland Lakes of Manitoba, Northern Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories.

Marine Weather Forecast Program

The Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre (PASPC), which is jointly located in Edmonton and Winnipeg provides marine forecasts in support of Arctic marine activity during the open water season from summer into parts of the fall. The forecast area encompasses Lake Athabasca, Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River, as well as the waterways of the Western and High Arctic, and Baffin Bay. Note that wave height forecasts are not produced for the Arctic areas.

The PASPC also provides marine forecasts for Central and Western Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Foxe Basin, Ungava Bay, and Davis Strait. Marine forecasts are also provided for Lake Winnipeg (north and south basins), Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis during the open water season in support of pleasure and commercial activities. Note that marine forecasts for Eastern Hudson Bay and James Bay are provided by the MSC Québec Region.

The forecast program for the Manitoba Lakes continues through the winter months as a public rather than a marine forecast in aid of commercial ice fishing. Minimum and maximum temperatures along with wind chill are included in the forecast.

Table 7: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast name Issue Time Time Zone Marine region
Technical marine synopsis 06:30, 18:30 MDT / MST Western and High Arctic
  04:45, 16:45 EDT / EST Eastern Arctic
Suite of Marine forecasts 05:00, 17:00 MDT / MST Inland waters
  07:00, 19:00 MDT / MST Western Arctic Waterway
  05:30, 17:30 EDT / EST Arctic
  05:00, 17:00 CDT / CST Western Hudson Bay
  05:30, 17:30 EDT / EST Southern Nunavut
  05:00, 17:00 EDT / EST Eastern Nunavut
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTS Centre Name Header Issue Time
Iqaluit VFF NAVTEX FQCN36 CWNT 05:30, 17:30 EDT / EST
Marine Weather Warnings(refer to Table 1, page 5-1)
 Warning Types Comments
1 Strong wind warning Applies to Manitoba Lakes, Lake Athabasca, Great Slave Lake and Mackenzie River

Weather and Ice Messages

Ship weather and ice reports in the international meteorological code, taken at the standard synoptic hours of 0000, 0600, 1200 and 1800 UTC are solicited from ships of all nationalities which have been recruited by their national weather service, or other weather services. These reports should be transmitted directly to the circuit using INMARSAT. Alternatively, the observation should be passed to the nearest Canadian Coast Guard MCTS centre, irrespective of the ship's position. Reports made close to, or even within sight of land, are as important as reports made offshore, due to the greater variability of weather conditions in proximity to a coastline. Such reports contribute to the overall knowledge of Arctic weather from both a real-time operational perspective and from a climate perspective.

The PASPC welcomes weather, sea, and ice observations from the lakes. Real-time observations, and those up to a few hours after the event, are most valuable. Relay observations to 1-800-66STORM (1-800-667-8676).

Buoys deployed during the open water season
WMO # Location / Information → LAT
(deg)
→ LONG
(deg)
45140 Lake Winnipeg South Basin (moored buoy) 50.800 N 096.733 W
45141 Great Slave (moored buoy 25 nm northeast of Hay River) 61.181 N 115.314 W
45144 Lake Winnipeg North Basin (moored buoy) 53.230 N 098.290 W
45145 Lake Winnipeg between North and South Basins 51.870 N 096.970 W
45150 Great Slave (moored buoy - immediate west of Inner Whaleback Rocks) 61.980 N 114.129 W
45158 Hudson Bay SW 59.000 N 094.000 W

The Great Slave Lake buoys are deployed in early July and retrieved in late September or early October. They provide hourly wind, air temperature, surface water temperature, and wave data.

The Lake Winnipeg South Basin buoys are deployed annually in May or June, and retrieved in October. They provide hourly wind, air temperature, surface water temperature, and wave data.

The Hudson Bay buoy is deployed annually mid to late July and retrieved late September or early October. It provides hourly wind, air temperature, surface water temperature, and wave data.

Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio is a public service designed to make weather information available over VHF or FM radio continuously. Weatheradio is dedicated to transmitting up to the minute weather reports and forecasts directly to all users including the marine community.

Environment Canada Weatheradio operates several stations serving Northern region. These are:

Stations CALL SIGN Frequency (MHz) Effective Radiated Power (Watts) Location
Arviat

CKO583

162.400 27 Arviat
Cape Dorset (Kingait)

XJS717

162.550 25 Cape Dorset (Kingait)
Iqaluit VEV284 162.550 30 Iqaluit
Iqaluit (FM) CIQA 93.3 42 Iqaluit Airport
Rankin Inlet (Kangiqliniq) XJS716 162.400 40 Rankin Inlet (Kangiqliniq)
Hay River CIE211 162.550 245 Hay River
Inner Whaleback Rocks XKI403 161.650 8 Inner Whaleback Rocks
Inuvik VBU996 162.400 54 Hidden Lake
Pine Point XJS786 162.475 389 Pine Point
Yellowknife VBC200 162.400 148 Yellowknife Seismic Station
Dauphin VBA814 162.550 123 Moon Lake
Long Point* VCI386 162.550 72 Long Point
Riverton* XLF471 162.400 195 Riverton
Winnipeg* XLM538 162.550 126 Trizec Building

* Winnipeg, Riverton and Long Point provide continuous broadcast of marine weather forecasts and warnings for the Manitoba Lakes, and of marine weather observations when available. Further information regarding EC's Weatheradio network can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=792F2D20-1.

MARINE FORECAST AREAS

Marine Forecast Areas: Northern Canada

Eastern and Western Arctic Waters
Number Area Name Forecast Availability Period * Number Area Name Forecast Availability Period *
100 Prince Alfred Shipping season 138 East Baffin July-August
101 McClure Shipping season 139 West Clyde July 01 - Oct. 31
102 Prince of Wales Shipping season 140 East Clyde July-August
103 Melville Shipping season 141 West Davis July 01 - Oct. 31
104 Rae Shipping season 142 East Davis July 01 - Oct. 31
105 McClintock Shipping season 143 Cumberland July 01 - Oct. 31
106 Byam Shipping season 144 West Brevoort July 01 - Oct. 31
107 Queens Shipping season 145 Central Brevoort July 01 - Oct. 31
108 Maclean Shipping season 146 East Brevoort July 01 - Oct. 31
109 (unused) - 147 Frobisher Bay July 01 - Oct. 31
110 (unused) - 148 Resolution July 01 - Oct. 31
111 Yukon Coast July 01 - Sept. 30 149 Ungava July 01 - Oct. 31
112 Mackenzie July 01 – Oct 10 150 Nottingham July 01 - Oct. 31
113 Tuktoyaktuk July 01 – Oct 10 151 West Foxe Shipping season
114 Baillie July 15 - Sept. 30 152 East Foxe Shipping season
115 Banks Shipping season 153 Igloolik Shipping season
116 Amundsen July 15 - Sept. 30 154 Prince Charles Shipping season
117 Holman Shipping season 155 Coats Shipping season
118 Dolphin July 15 - Sept. 30 156 Central Shipping season
119 Coronation July 15 - Sept. 30 157 Arviat July 01 - Oct. 15
120 Dease July 15 - Sept. 30 158 Churchill July 01 - Oct. 15
121 Maud Shipping season 159 York Shipping season
122 St. Roch Shipping season 160 South-central Hudson Shipping season
123 Larsen Shipping season 161 South Hudson Shipping season
124 Peel Shipping season 162 Rankin July 01 - Oct. 15
125 Barrow July 01 – Oct. 31 163 Baker July 01 - Sept. 30
126 Jones Shipping season 164 Roes Welcome Shipping season
127 Norwegian Shipping season 170 North Tuktoyaktuk July 01 - Oct. 31
128 Eureka Shipping season 171 North Mackenzie July 01 - Oct. 31
129 Clarence Shipping season 172 West Prince Alfred July 01 - Oct. 31
130 Kane Shipping season 173 Northwest Beaufort July 01 - Oct. 31
131 Robeson Shipping season 175 Navy Board July 01 - Oct. 31
132 Regent Shipping season 176 Pond July 01 - Oct. 31
133 Boothia Shipping season 177 Bathurst July 01 - Oct. 31
134 Committee Shipping season 310 James Bay Navigation season
135 Admiralty Shipping season 311 Belcher Navigation season
136 Lancaster July 01 – Oct. 31 312 Povungnituk Navigation season
137 West Baffin July 01 – Oct. 31      

* If required, marine forecasts may also be made available outside the regular availability period upon user request.

Inland waters:
Number Area name Availability period
180 Great Slave Lake June 15 - October 31
181 Lake Athabasca Open water season
182 Lake Manitoba Open water season
183 Lake Winnipeg - south basin Open water season
184 Lake Winnipeg - north basin Open water season
185 Lake Winnipegosis Open water season
190 Wrigley Harbour (mile 0) to Axe Point (mile 91) June 01 - Oct. 20
191 Axe Point (mile 91) to Camsell Bend (mile 290) June 01 - Oct. 20
192 Camsell Bend (mile 290) to Tulita (mile 512) June 01 - Oct. 20
193 Tulita mile (512) to Fort Good Hope (mile 684) June 01 - Oct. 20
194 Fort Good Hope (mile 684) to Point Separation (mile 913) June 01 - Oct. 20
195 Point Separation mile (913) to Kittigazuit Bay (mile 1081) June 01 - Oct. 20
Danish Marine Forecasts for Baffin Bay Waters available via Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen Tel: (45) 39 15 7500:
NumberArea NamePeriodNumberArea NamePeriod
907 Nunap Isuata Kitaa Year round 911 Attu Year round
908 Nuuarsuit Year round 912 Uiffaq Year round
909 Narsalik Year round 913 Qimusseriarsuaq Year round
910 Meqquitsoq Year round 914 Kiatak Year round
Marine Weather Observations - Manned station reports for:
Aklavik Lake Winnipeg: Gimli Norman Wells
Fort MacPherson Lake Winnipeg: Grand Rapids Sachs Harbour
Fort Resolution Lake Winnipeg: George Island Tuktoyaktuk
Hay River Lake Winnipeg: Norway House Yellowknife
Inuvik Lake Winnipeg: Berens River  
  Lake Winnipeg: Victoria Beach  
Marine Weather Observations – Automatic station reports for:
Inner Whale Back Island auto-station
Egg Island auto-station (Lake Athabasca)
Marine Weather Observations – Buoy reports for:
45141 Great Slave Lake Buoy 45140 Lake Winnipeg Buoy (South Basin)
45150 Great Slave Lake Buoy 45144 Lake Winnipeg Buoy (North Basin)

→ Marine Forecast Expansion to Ssections of METAREAS XVII and XVIII

→ Forecast Areas:

As part of Environment Canada's METAREAS Expansion Project, which began in 2011, the following METAREAS forecast bulletins have been modified to include new forecast zones:

FQCN01 CWNT - marine forecasts for METAREA XVII north of 75N:
NumberArea NameNumberArea Name
201 Zone 1 centred on 75.7N135W 204 Prince Patrick
202 Zone 2 centred on 77.3N135W 205 North Prince Patrick.
203 South Prince Patrick    
FQCN03 CWNT - marine forecasts for METAREA XVIII north of 75N:
NumberArea NameNumberArea Name
207 Fitzwilliam 219 Massey
208 Griper 220 South Sverdrup
209 Ballantyne 221 North Sverdrup
210 Brock 222 South Axel Heiberg
211 Wilkins 223 Axel Heiberg
212 Borden 224 Greely
213 Hazen 225 Nansen
214 Gustaf 226 Ellesmere
215 Peary 227 Ward Hunt
216 South Ellef Ringnes 228 Bartlett
217 Ellef Ringnes 229 Alert
218 Hassel    
FQCN04 CWNT - marine forecasts for METAREA XVIII south of 75N:
NumberArea Name
206 Liddon

These new marine forecast zones are generally located between the northwestern Canadian Arctic archipelago and the Canadian Exclusive Economic Zone boundary. A map illustrating the new marine areas is provided in the following figure.

Detailed information regarding the geographic boundaries associated with these new marine zones may be obtained by contacting the Meteorological Service of Canada at the following:

Telephone: +1 (709) 256-6612

Facsimile: +1 (709) 256-6627

Email: metareas17.18@ec.gc.ca

Or by consulting the Joint Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) website at http://weather.gmdss.org or by consulting the Canadian Coast Guard notices to mariners (NOTMAR) website at http://notmar.gc.ca.

Additional forecast areas will be added in the future. Any such changes will be communicated via Notice to Mariners.

→ Forecast Transmission:

During the navigation season meteorological warnings and forecasts for sections of METAREA XVII and XVIII south of 75 degrees latitude will be broadcast via Inmarsat-C EGC SafetyNET. Scheduled broadcast times are:

METAREA XVII (POR) at 0300 UTC and 1500 UTC daily.

METAREA XVIII (AOR-W) at 0300 UTC and 1500 UTC daily.

Messages will be transmitted to a rectangular addressed area until Inmarsat-C or Mini-C terminals operating in Arctic waters have been updated. Users should note that meteorological MSI received by their Sat-C terminals may be labeled as navigational MSI.

During the navigation season meteorological warnings and forecasts for sections of METAREA XVII and XVIII north of 70 degrees latitude will be broadcast via HF Narrow Band Direct Printing on 8416.5 kHz from the Canadian Coast Guard centre in Iqaluit NU. Scheduled broadcast times are 0330 UTC and 1530 UTC daily.

Mariners should note that actual HF service provision dates will be announced by Canadian Coast Guard notice to shipping.

→ 

METAREA XVII

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Marine Weather Forecast Program

The Newfoundland and Labrador Weather Office (NLWO) in Gander provides year-round marine weather and wave height information for the waters around Newfoundland and Labrador out to approximately 250 nm and the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and for other specific bodies of water.

The regular program

This consists of a full 24 hours, 7 days a week weather watch, warning and amendment service provided by the Newfoundland and Labrador Weather Office in Gander. The regular marine forecast covers the period out to midnight of the following day (days 1 and 2). An extended marine wind outlook covering the next 3 days (days 3, 4, and 5) is also produced.

Wave height forecasts are produced twice a day and cover the period out to midnight of the following day.

Table 8: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast nameIssue TimeTime ZoneMarine region
Technical marine synopsis 03:00, 10:00, 15:30, 20:00 NDT / NST Newfoundland
  04:00, 09:30, 16:00, 21:30 NDT / NST Labrador
Marine forecast 03:00, 10:00, 15:30, 20:00 NDT / NST Newfoundland
  04:00, 09:30, 16:00, 21:30 NDT / NST Labrador
Marine weather statement As needed    
Wave height forecast 06:00, 18:00 NDT / NST Newfoundland
  06:00, 18:00 NDT / NST Labrador
Extended marine forecast 05:00, 16:30 NDT / NST Newfoundland
  05:00, 16:30 NDT / NST Labrador
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTS CentresNameHeaderIssue Time
St. John's VON Navtex FQCN33 CYQX 03:00, 06:00, 10:00, 15:30, 18:00, 20:00 NDT / NST
Labrador VOK Navtex FQCN35 CYQX 04:00, 06:00, 10:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:30 NDT / NST

Marine Weather Observations and Forecast Bulletins

Observations available on the Environment Canada Weatheradio network are updated hourly and include a series of coastal stations extending around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and from the coast of Maine, around the Maritimes and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as offshore buoys. Marine forecast bulletins are updated at regular intervals or whenever necessary. These bulletins are available on MSC's Automated Telephone Answering Device (ATAD), as well as Weatheradio and Canadian Coast Guard's Continuous Marine Broadcast (CMB).

Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio is a public service designed to make weather information available over VHF or FM radio continuously. Weatheradio is dedicated to transmitting up to the minute weather reports and forecasts directly to all users including the marine community.

There is 1 main station in the Newfoundland and Labrador region:

StationCALL SIGNRepeaters
Gander XLM 616 15

Frequencies in use: 162.400 MHz and 162.550 MHz.

Broadcasts can be received over most coastal areas of Newfoundland and southern Labrador, and include marine weather and ice warnings, regular marine and wave height forecasts, and synopses. Hourly updated observations from coastal stations and offshore buoys are all incorporated in the broadcast. Further information regarding EC's Weatheradio network can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=792F2D20-1.

MARINE FORECAST AREAS

Marine Forecast Areas Newfoundland and Labrador Waters

Newfoundland and Labrador Waters:
220 Gulf - Port au Port 227 South Labrador Sea 233 Southwestern Grand Banks
221 Northeast Gulf 228 North Labrador Coast 234 Southeastern Grand Banks
222 Strait of Belle Isle 229 Northwest Labrador Sea 235 East Coast
223 Belle Isle Bank 230 East Labrador Sea 236 Northern Grand Banks
224 South Labrador Coast 231 Southwest Coast 237 Northeast Coast
225 Lake Melville 232 South Coast 238 Funk Island Bank
226 Mid Labrador Coast        
Marine Weather Observations:
Argentia Englee Natashquan
Blanc Sablon Ferolle Pt. Pool's Island
Bonavista Goose Bay Port aux Basques
Burgeo Grates Cove Sagona Island
Cape Whittle Hopedale St. Anthony Airport
Cape d'Espoir LaScie St Anthony's Harbour
Cape Race Makkovik St. John's
Cartwright Marticot Island St. Pierre
Chevery Mary's Harbour Stephenville
Daniel's Harbour Nain Twillingate

Observations will be broadcast only when available.

Hourly updated observations from coastal stations and offshore buoys may also be available on Weatheradio

MARITIMES REGION

Marine Weather Forecast Program

The Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre (ASPC) in Dartmouth NS provides year-round marine weather, sea state and wave height information for the waters around the Maritimes to approximately 250 nm offshore, and the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as for other specific bodies of water. Additionally, a wave analysis and forecasting program provides analysis and forecast wave charts of the North Atlantic Ocean for the Department of National defence, Maritime Forces Atlantic. These charts are subsequently re-broadcast to the fleet on Radiofax.

The regular program

This consists of a full 24 hours, 7 days a week weather watch, warning and amendment service, including a detailed forecast for Halifax Harbour. The regular marine forecast covers the period out to midnight of the following day (days 1 and 2). An extended marine wind outlook covering the next 3 days (days 3, 4, and 5) is also produced.

Wave height forecasts are produced twice a day and cover the period out to midnight of the following day.

The recreational program

The recreational program covers the waters of Bras d‘Or Lakes in Cape Breton during the summer season (May 1 to October 31) and is provided as a service to recreational boaters. Recreational forecasts are issued 3 times a day.

Table 9: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast name Issue Time Time Zone Marine region
Technical marine synopsis 03:00, 10:00, 15:30, 20:00 ADT / AST Maritimes
Marine forecast 03:00, 10:00, 15:30, 20:00 ADT / AST Maritimes
03:00, 10:00, 15:30, 20:00 ADT / AST Halifax Harbour and Approaches
Recreational boating marine forecast 03:00, 10:00, 15:30 ADT / AST Bras d'Or Lakes
Marine weather statement As needed    
Wave height forecast 05:00, 17:00 ADT / AST Maritimes
Extended marine forecast 03:00, 15:30 ADT / AST Maritimes
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTSNameHeaderIssue Time
Saint John VAR NAVTEX FQCN33 CWHX 03:00, 05:00, 10:00, 15:30, 17:00, 20:00 ADT / AST
Sydney VCO NAVTEX/1 FQCN34 CWHX 03:00, 05:00, 10:00, 15:30, 17:00, 20:00 ADT / AST
NAVTEX/2 FQCN34 CYQX 03:00, 06:00, 10:00, 15:30, 18:00, 20:00 NDT / NST
Marine Weather Warnings (refer to Table 1, page 5-1). Note the following regional particularities:
 Warning Types Comments
1 Strong wind warning This warning is indicated in the forecast for coastal waters of the Maritimes and for the Halifax Harbour and the Bras d'Or Lakes
Issued between April 15 and November 15.

Marine Weather Observations and Forecast Bulletins

Observations and forecast bulletins are available on MSC's Automated Telephone Answering Device (ATAD) and Weatheradio. Observations are updated hourly and include a series of coastal stations extending from the coast of Maine around the Maritimes and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as offshore buoys. Marine forecast bulletins are updated at regular intervals or whenever necessary and are available on Weatheradio and the Canadian Coast Guard's continuous marine broadcast.

Canadian Hurricane Centre

The Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) is co-located with the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre. It becomes operational when a storm system of tropical origin enters or threatens to enter the designated response zone within 48-72 hrs. The CHC may begin to issue associated bulletins if the storm is north of 36ºN and west of 41ºW. When operational, the Canadian Hurricane Centre issues bulletins every 6 hours which include information statements for Public and Media notification and Prognostic messages for use by MSC and Canadian Forces weather offices. Bulletins are issued at intervals of 3 hours when the storm threatens land.

Moored Buoys - Positions North-West Atlantic Ocean:
WMO#Name→ LAT (deg)→ LONG (deg)
44137 East Scotia Slope 42.234 N 62.018 W
44138 SW Grand Banks 44.251 N 53.633 W
44139 Banquereau 44.240 N 57.103 W
44140 Tail of the Grand Banks 42.868 N 51.467 W
44141 Laurentian Fan 42.993 N 57.958 W
44150 La Have Bank 42.505 N 64.018 W
44251 Nickerson Bank 46.444 N 53.392 W
44255 NE Burgeo Bank 47.267 N 57.336 W
44258 Halifax Harbour Approaches 44.502 N 63.403 W

Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio is a public service designed to make weather information available over VHF or FM radio continuously. Weatheradio is dedicated to transmitting up to the minute weather reports and forecasts directly to all users including the marine community.

There are 2 main stations in the Maritimes region:

StationsCALL SIGNRepeaters
Moncton XLM 466 8
Halifax XLK 473 14

Frequencies in use: 162.400 MHz, 162.475 MHz, 162.500 MHz and 162.550 MHz.

Broadcasts can be received over most coastal areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Broadcasts include marine weather and ice warnings, and marine forecasts including wave heights, and synopses. Hourly updated observations from coastal stations and offshore buoys are all incorporated in the broadcast.

MARINE FORECAST AREAS

Marine Forecast Areas Maritimes Waters

Maritime Waters:
201 Fundy 208 West Scotian Slope 215 Cabot Strait
202 Grand Manan 209 Eastern Shore 216 Northumberland Strait
203 Lurcher 210 Sable 217 Gulf – Magdalen
204 Browns Bank 211 East Scotian Slope 218 Chaleur – Miscou
205 Georges Bank 212 Laurentian Fan 219 Anticosti
206 Southwestern Shore 213 Banquereau 280 Bras d'Or Lakes
207 La Have Bank 214 Fourchu 281 Halifax Harbour and Approaches
Marine Weather Observations:
Cap d'Espoir Pointe-des-Monts St. Paul Island
Miscou Port aux Basques St. Pierre
Natashquan Port Menier Sept-Iles
Pointe Heath (Anticosti) Rivière-au-Renard  

Observations will be broadcast only when available.

Hourly updated observations from coastal stations and offshore buoys may also be available on Weatheradio.

QUÉBEC REGION

Marine Weather Forecast Program

The program provides weather information for the St. Lawrence waterway, the Saguenay River, James Bay and eastern Hudson Bay, as well as for other specific lakes or navigable waterways.

The regular program

Area of coverage includes the St. Lawrence waterway between Cornwall*, Ontario, and Anticosti Island (65oW), and the navigable waterway of the Saguenay River between Saguenay and Tadoussac (see map areas 301-309). The program provides a full 24 hours, 7 days a week weather watch, warning and amendment service. Regular forecasts are issued twice a day from the Québec Storm Prediction Centre in Montréal.

Time coverage: Year round *St. Lawrence Seaway portion (Cornwall to Montréal) in open season only.

Wave height forecasts are issued twice a day for marine areas 301, 302, 303 and 305.

The northern program

Area of coverage: James Bay and eastern Hudson Bay (See map areas 310-311-312). The northern program provides a full 24 hours, 7 days a week weather watch, warning and amendment service during the navigation season. Forecasts are issued twice a day. The northern program is active during the navigation season from July to November.

Wave height forecasts are also issued twice a day for marine areas 310, 311 and 312 (see Forecast Areas map below).

The recreational program

Area of coverage is for various inland lakes and navigable waterways (See map areas 380 to 386). The recreational program is active from May to October. Also provided is a full 24 hours, 7 days a week squall warning service during the summer months (refer to Table 2, page 5-2).

Table 10: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast nameIssue TimeTime ZoneMarine region
Technical marine synopsis 03:00, 15:00 EDT / EST St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers
  06:00, 18:00 EDT / EST Eastern Hudson Bay
Marine forecast. 03:00, 15:00 EDT / EST St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers
  06:00, 18:00 EDT / EST Eastern Hudson Bay
Marine weather statement As needed    
Wave height forecast 03:00, 15:00 EDT / EST St. Lawrence River
  06:00, 18:00 EDT / EST Eastern Hudson Bay
MAFOR 03:00, 15:00 EDT / EST St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers
Extended marine forecast 06:00, 18:00 EDT / EST St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers
  06:00, 18:00 EDT / EST Eastern Hudson Bay
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTSNameHeaderIssue Time
Rivière-au-Renard VCG NAVTEX/1 FQCN37 CWUL 03:00, 15:00 EDT / EST
  NAVTEX/2 FQCN37 CWHX 03:00, 05:00, 10:00, 15:30, 17:00, 20:00 ADT / AST
  NAVTEX/3 FQCN37 CYQX 03:00, 06:00, 10:00, 15:30, 18:00, 20:00 NDT / NST

Marine Weather Warnings (refer to Table 1, page 5-1).

Note the following regional particularities with respect to the regular programs:

 Warning TypesComments
1 Strong wind warning Issued between April and October only. Regular program only.

Marine Weather Observations and Forecast Bulletins

Environment Canada operates a network of coastal and insular weather observing stations as well as one weather buoy. Hourly weather reports from these stations are available continuously on Environment Canada's Weatheradio (see Weatheradio Canada below) and on request from the Canadian Coast Guard MCTS centres (refer to Marine Weather Observations). Marine forecasts are updated at regular intervals or whenever necessary and are available on Weatheradio and Canadian Coast Guard's continuous marine broadcast.

Buoy Position St. Lawrence River

In order to complement its network of coastal and insular weather observing stations, Environment Canada operates one weather buoy on the St. Lawrence River. Mariners are requested to use caution when approaching the buoy as mooring chains are normally not detectable from a ship and can be damaged or even severed if there is contact.

WMO#Name→ LAT (deg)→ LONG (deg)
45138 Mont Louis 49.543 N 65.760 W

Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio is a public service designed to make weather information available over VHF or FM radio continuously. Weatheradio is dedicated to transmitting up to the minute weather reports and forecasts directly to all users including the marine community. The table below lists all the Weatheradio stations under the responsibility of Environment Canada - Québec region broadcasting marine forecasts and weather reports, showing the stations and frequencies:

StationsFrequency (Mhz)StationsFrequency (Mhz)
Montréal 162.550 Prevert 162.475
Trois-Rivières 162.400 Rivière-au-Renard 162.475
Québec 162.550 Gaspe (Pudding Stone)* 162.550
Baie St-Paul 162.400 Carleton * 162.500
Grand-Fonds 162.475 Mingan * 162.400
Mont Valin 162.550 Kegaska * 162.475
Rimouski 162.550 Harrington Harbour * 162.550
St-Cléophas 162.400 Blanc-Sablon * 162.400
Sept-Iles (Pointe Noire) 162.550 Magdalen Islands * 162.550

* Also broadcast marine forecasts issued from Environment Canada – Atlantic region (refer to the Maritimes Region and the Newfoundland and Labrador Region).

MARINE FORECAST AREAS

Marine Forecast Areas | St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers

Québec waters
St Lawrence/SaguenayHudson Bay
301 Pointe-des-Monts to Anticosti - northern half 310 James Bay
302 Pointe-des-Monts to Anticosti - southern half 311 Belcher
303 Tadoussac to Pointe-des-Monts 312 Puvirnituq
304 Saguenay to Tadoussac    
305 Isle-aux-Coudres to Tadoussac Major inland waters
306 Donnacona to Isle-aux-Coudres
307 Trois-Rivières to Donnacona 384 Richelieu and Northern Lake Champlain
308 Montréal to Trois-Rivières 385 Lake Memphrémagog - northern half
309 Cornwall to Montréal 386 Lake Saint-Jean
Marine Weather Observations - St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers
Baie-Comeau Île Charron Pointe Claveau
Cap Rouge Île d'Orléans (St François) Pointe-des-Monts
Cap-chat Île Rouge Port Alfred
Dorval Airport Île St-Quentin Rivière-au-Renard
Île aux Grues Lauzon Sept-Îles
Île Bicquette Mont-Joli St.-Hubert Airport

Reports are broadcast only when available.

GREAT LAKES INCLUDING ST. LAWRENCE RIVER TO CORNWALL

Marine Weather Forecast Program

The program provides marine weather information for the navigable waterway between Cornwall and Thunder Bay, and for other specific lakes or navigable waterways. Note that the program is applicable only to waters that lie on the Canadian side of the Canada-U.S. border.

The regular program

In addition to the Great Lakes, the area of coverage includes the waterway between Cornwall and Thunder Bay and is in effect year round except for the St. Lawrence Seaway portion where the service is only offered during the navigation season. The marine areas include: Lake Superior, Whitefish Bay, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Note that the marine forecast applies to the entire lake or specific body of water (not only to the Canadian portion). The program provides a full 24 hours, 7 days a week weather watch, warning and amendment service. Synopses, regular marine and wave height forecasts are issued 3 times a day from the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre in Toronto.

The recreational program

Marine forecasts tailored to the needs of recreational boaters are issued during the recreational boating season 3 times a day for Lake Simcoe, Lake Nipissing, Lake of the Woods, the North Channel and Lake Nipigon. The season runs from May 15 to October 31, except for Lake Simcoe which runs from May 1 to October 31.

Table 11: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast nameIssue TimeTime ZoneMarine region
Technical marine synopsis 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST Great Lakes and the Ontario portion of the St. Lawrence River
Marine forecast 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST Great Lakes and the Ontario portion of the St Lawrence River
Recreational boating marine forecast 05:00, 11:30, 17:30 EDT / EST Lake of the Woods, Lake Nipigon, North Channel, Lake Nipissing, Lake Simcoe
Marine weather statement As needed    
Wave height forecast 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST Great Lakes and the Ontario portion of the St. Lawrence River
MAFOR 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST Great Lakes and the Ontario portion of the St. Lawrence river
Extended marine forecast 03:00, 18:30 EDT / EST Great Lakes and the Ontario portion of the St. Lawrence River
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTS CentresNameHeaderIssue Time
Prescott VBR NAVTEX FQCN38 CWTO 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST
Thunder Bay VBA NAVTEX FQCN39 CWTO 03:00, 10:30, 18:30 EDT / EST

Marine Weather Warnings

(refer to Table 1, page 5-1). Note the following regional particularities with respect to the regular program:

 Warning Types Comments
1 Strong wind warning Issued May-Oct. and applies to Canadian waters only

Buoys

In order to complement the observational network, Environment Canada operates a network of buoys around the Great Lakes. This data becomes part of the collection of weather reports used to improve marine forecasting. Mariners are requested to use caution when approaching buoys as mooring chains are normally not detectable from a ship and can be damaged or even severed if there is contact, which could result in the buoy becoming adrift and a costly recovery of the platform. Please keep the regional Port Meteorological Officers informed of any incidents involving buoys.

→ Canadian Buoy
WMO#NameLAT (deg)LONG (deg)
45132 Port Stanley 42.467 N 81.216 W
45135 Prince Edward Pt 43.791 N 76.874 W
45136 Slate Island 48.535 N 86.953 W
45137 North Georgian Bay 45.544 N 81.015 W
45139 West Ontario 43.264 N 79.541 W
45142 Port Colborne 42.737 N 79.290 W
45143 South Georgian Bay 44.945 N 80.627 W
45147 Lake St. Clair 42.430 N 82.683 W
45148 Lake of the Woods 49.660 N 94.519 W
45149 Southern Lake Huron (Bayfield) 43.542 N 82.075 W
45151 Lake Simcoe 44.500 N 79.368 W
45152 Lake Nipissing 46.233 N 79.716 W
45154 North Channel East 46.051 N 82.637 W
45159 NW Lake Ontario Ajax 43.767 N 78.984 W
→ US Buoys
WMO#NameLAT (deg)LONG (deg)
45001 Mid Superior 48.064 N 87.777 W
45002 Michigan N. 45.344 N 86.411 W
45003 N. Huron 45.351 N 82.840 W
45004 E. Superior 47.584 N 86.587 W
45005 W. Erie 41.677 N 82.398 W
45006 W. Superior 47.335 N 89.793 W
45007 S. Michigan 42.675 N 87.025 W
45008 S. Huron 44.283 N 82.416 W
45012 Lake Ontario 43.619 N 77.405 W

Weatheradio Canada

Weatheradio in this region comprises a very comprehensive network of stations covering the Great Lakes area. Frequencies in use are: 162.400 MHz, 162.475 MHz, and 162.550 MHz. Broadcasts include marine warnings and forecasts as well as inland warnings and forecasts. Hourly updated observations from coastal stations and buoys are also incorporated in the broadcast.

Note: Weatheradio Canada automatically alerts users to severe weather warnings. If receivers are equipped with suitable alert devices they will emit a loud continuous tone and/or flashing light when a warning is issued.

MARINE FORECAST AREAS

→ Marine Forecast Areas | Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River

Ontario waters
Commercial shipping watersMajor inland waters
401 Kingston to Cornwall 481 Lake Simcoe
402 Lake Ontario 482 Lake Nipissing
403 Lake Erie 483 Lake Nipigon
404 Lake St. Clair 484 Lake of the Woods
405 Lake Huron 485 North Channel
406 Georgian Bay    
407 Whitefish Bay    
408 Lake Superior    
Marine Weather Observations(1) - St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes
Barrie Montréal
Lake Simcoe ODAS buoy Reports from Kingston to Montréal
Lagoon City Reports from Long Point to Port Colborne
Kingston Reports from Port Weller to Kingston
Alexandria Bay Reports from Great Duck Island to Windsor
Massena Reports from Sarnia to Port Colborne
Superior Shoals Reports from Duluth (Lake Superior) to Detour Reef (Lake Huron)
Grenadier Islands Reports from Sault Ste Marie to Sarnia and Georgian Bay

(1) Reports are broadcast only when available. Reports from platforms such as buoys or ships, are also broadcast when available.

CANADIAN ICE SERVICE (CIS)

Ice Forecasts

Ice forecasts are produced once a day year round. The intent is to advise users of any ice warning conditions that are in effect or that could develop during the day, the evening and the following day, for the areas where a daily ice chart is produced. The forecasts also provide a point by point description of the ice edge.

The iceberg bulletin is produced once a day except in November and December when it is produced from Monday to Friday only. The purpose is to convey routine, general information on the iceberg distribution off the Canadian East Coast. The bulletin provides the estimated limit of all known icebergs and a general description of the number of icebergs for each marine area.

Table 12: Ice bulletins production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast nameIssue TimeTime ZoneMarine region
Iceberg bulletin 11:00 EDT/EST East Coast waters
Ice forecasts 10:00 EDT/EST Western and Central Arctic
  11:00 EDT/EST Hudson and Foxe
  11:00 EDT/EST Eastern and Northern Arctic
  10:00 EDT/EST Gulf of St. Lawrence
  10:00 EDT/EST East Newfoundland and Labrador waters
  12:00 EDT/EST Great Lakes
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTSNameHeaderIssue Time
St John's VON Ice NAVTEX FICN33 CWIS 17:50 (W), 21:50 (S) UTC
Sydney VCO Ice NAVTEX FICN34 CWIS 22:10 UTC
Labrador VOK Ice NAVTEX FICN35 CWIS 23:20 UTC
Prescott VBR Ice NAVTEX FICN38 CWIS 00:40, 12:40 UTC
Thunder Bay VBA Ice NAVTEX FICN39 CWIS 06:00, 18:00 UTC
Iqaluit VFF Ice NAVTEX N/A N/A

Ice Warning Criteria:

Warning nameWarning criteria
1. Ice Pressure warning Reported or forecast strong ice pressure.
2. Rapid Closing of Coastal Leads warning Rapid closing of coastal leads is expected to occur. Leads are corridors of mainly ice-free water surrounded by pack ice.
3. Special Ice warning

Issued when a shipping lane or port has been open for at least 2 weeks and is now expected to become blocked by first year or older ice, or ...

When one tenth or more of grey-white ice or older is expected to move into areas when that ice is not normally present, or ...

For any unusual or significant ice event that may present a hazard to navigation.

Ice Forecast Program

Time scales for ice forecasts are relatively long. Useful time scales for ice forecasts are daily, monthly and seasonal. At present, the program provides a 30 day text forecast mainly as a planning tool for operators.

Ice Reports or Ice Observations

Ice reports from ships or aircraft are normally relayed through MCTS centres for broadcast. These reports are all assimilated in the daily ice charts produced by CIS.

Ice Charts Available

Current ice conditions charts are produced on a daily basis. The area covered by the chart depends on the time of the season and these charts are normally broadcast at times specified in tables below.

Once a week, CIS produces Regional ice charts. These charts are intended to be used as a planning tool rather than a tactical support tool and are available on the CIS Website at http://www.ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/ and through commercial communication lines. They are not broadcast through MCTS centres.

Ice Beacons

In order to better track the ice drift or to verify ice models, CIS deploys between 4 to 8 ice beacons yearly. While most beacons are only reporting their positions, a few are equipped with barometric pressure sensor and longer lasting battery pack to provide surface pressure information in data sparse regions. These devices drift with the ice/iceberg and are relatively small, so they are very hard to detect from a ship especially if they have been covered with snow. Beacons are deployed primarily in the Central Arctic, Eastern Arctic and the Labrador Coast regions. Through partnership with the International Arctic Buoy Program, CIS will provide, when possible, beacon(s) to be deployed in the Beaufort Sea.

Weatheradio Canada

Detailed ice forecasts and ice warnings are not broadcast via Weatheradio, however, mariners planning operations in waters impacted by hazardous ice conditions may obtain details regarding ice conditions by consulting the CIS Website at http://www.ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/, or by contacting their regional MCTS centre. Detailed ice information may also be obtained through consultation with an Environment Canada meteorologist using the “Weather One-on-One" 1-900 service at 1-900-565-5555. For cell phone users and credit card billing call 1-888-292-2222. User fees apply.

Ice Information Areas Canada

→ Ice areas

Areas for which ice forecasts apply are identical to the marine forecasts areas. In addition to these, ice forecasts will cover Lake Michigan, and may cover 3 areas along the East Coast (501 to 503), and two more off the Greenland Coast (511-512).

501 Tail of the Grand Banks
502 Flemish
503 Southeast Labrador Sea
511 Greenland Central
512 Greenland North
541 Lake Michigan

Ice Information Areas | Eastern Canada Ice Information Areas | Northern Canada

Ice charts

The following list describes ice charts produced to support Canadian Coast Guard operations which are available for broadcast. All available charts can be transmitted or re-transmitted on request. MCTS broadcast times are found in Chapter 2.

Ice Chart (when available) Broadcast siteSeason
Iceberg limit
MCTS Sydney Year round
Gulf of St. Lawrence MCTS Sydney Winter
Northeast or Southeast Newfoundland Waters MCTS Sydney Winter
Labrador Coast MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Hudson Strait MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Northern Hudson Bay MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Southern Hudson Bay MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Foxe Basin MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Davis Strait MCTS Iqaluit Summer
Baffin Bay

MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute)

MCTS Iqaluit

Summer
Approaches to Resolute MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute) Summer
Resolute - Byam MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute) Summer
Eureka MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute) Summer
Parry Channel MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute) Summer
McClure Strait MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute)
MCTS Inuvik
Summer
Queen Maud MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute)
MCTS Inuvik
Summer
Amundsen Gulf MCTS Inuvik Summer
Alaskan Coast MCTS Inuvik Summer
Bering Strait MCTS Inuvik Summer

→ For correct reception of this broadcast on WMO standard facsimile recorders requiring 2300 Hz for White and 1500 Hz for Black, 1900 Hz centre frequency, radio receivers should be tuned in the UPPER SIDEBAND MODE or USB: add 1.9 to the indicated USB frequencies for FSK frequencies.

→ METOC Halifax (CFH): Broadcasts intended for North Atlantic waters North of 35N and West of 35W. Radiofacsimile transmission commences with a 30 second break followed by a 30 second signal.

→ 

NameCall SignModulationIndex of CooperationPowerFrequencies (kHz)Drum speed
MCTS Iqaluit VFF J3C (FM) 576 1 KW 3251.1, 7708.1 (USB) 120 RPM
MCTS Inuvik VFA J3C (FM) 576 1 KW 8456.0, 8454.1 (USB) 120 RPM
METOC Halifax CFH J3C (FM) 576 6 KW 4271, 6496.4, 10536, 13510 120 RPM
METOC Halifax CFH J3C (FM) 576 10 KW 122.5  
MCTS Sydney VCO J3C (FM) 576 5 KW 4416, 6915.1 120 RPM

Facsimile Broadcast

Upon authorized request from Canadian Coast Guard, C-GCFR can transmit observed conditions via satellite fax. Vessels must make a request through the Canadian Coast Guard to receive it.