Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Coast Guard | Pêches et Océans Canada, Garde Côtière Canadienne
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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 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.


* 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 coastline 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 Service, Part 5, page 5-21.

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 part. 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 valid 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 valid 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:;
  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 and 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 regional 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.

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


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
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
St-Lawrence - Québec Pacific Great Slave Lake / Lake Athabaska / Western Arctic

Erich Gola, PMO
Environnement 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

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


Ben Lemon, PMO
Environment Canada, MSC
M.J. Greenwood Centre
9345 - 49 Street
Edmonton, AB T6B 2L8
Telephone: 780-495-6442
Manitoba Lakes    
Barry Funk, PMO
Monitoring and Systems
Environment Canada, MSC
Suite 150
123 Main Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4W2
Telephone: 204-984-2018


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 ►
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 }

Wave height forecast  
Parameters ►

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

Height in meters ► 1-2.
End of waves and part one ► {.... Other marine areas}

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.

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}

Wave height forecast  
Parameters ►

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

1-2. 18/06Z 0-1.
End of waves and part two ►
{... other marine areas}

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 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    




Marine Weather Forecast Program

The Pacific Storm Prediction Centre (PSPC) located in Vancouver, BC issues a regular marine forecast and technical synopsis 4 times daily at the same time throughout the year. The forecasts are valid out to midnight of the following day. Additional products include a 3 to 5 day marine wind outlook and a wave height forecast issued twice daily.

Table 6: Production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast name Issue Time Time Zone Marine region
Technical marine synopsis 04:00, 10:30, 16:00, 21:30 PDT / PST Pacific waters
Marine forecast 04:00, 10:30, 16:00, 21:30 PDT / PST Pacific waters
Marine weather statement as needed   Pacific waters
Wave height forecast 04:00, 16:00 PDT / PST Pacific waters
Extended marine forecast 04:00, 16:00 PDT / PST Pacific waters
b) NAVTEX format (refer to Part 2 for the MCTS broadcast schedule):
MCTS Centres Name Header Issue Time
Tofino VAE Navtex FQCN33 CWVR 04:00, 10:30, 16:00, 21:30 PDT/PST
Prince Rupert VAJ Navtex FQCN35 CWVR 04:00, 10:30, 16:00, 21:30 PDT/PST

Marine Weather Warnings

(refer to Table 1, page 5-1):

Note the following regional particularities:

 Warning Types Comments
1 Strong wind warning

Issued only from Good Friday to Remembrance Day.

Applies to the inner waters only: Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait, Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Marine Weather Observations and Forecast Bulletins

Local weather observations are available for several stations including lighthouses, ocean buoys, automatic weather reporting stations and other stations of the regular weather network. The broadcast listing provides more information on available stations and broadcast times. 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.

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 four main stations serving Pacific region. These are:

Stations Call Sign Frequency (MHz) Note
Vancouver – Victoria XKK506 162.400 Continuous broadcast
Port Hardy (FM) CBPD-FM 103.700 Continuous broadcast
Ucluelet CIZ319 162.525 Continuous broadcast
Port Alberni VFM825 162.525 Continuous broadcast

Further information regarding EC's Weatheradio network can be obtained via the Internet at

→ Buoy Positions – Northeast Pacific
WMO# Name LAT (deg) LONG (deg)
46004 Middle Nomad 50.930 N 136.095 W
46036 South Nomad 48.355 N 133.938 W
46131 Sentry Shoal 49.906 N 124.985 W
46132 South Brooks 49.738 N 127.931 W
46145 Central Dixon Entrance 54.366 N 132.417 W
46146 Halibut Bank 49.340 N 123.727 W
46147 South Moresby 51.828 N 131.225 W
46181 Nanakwa Shoal 53.833 N 128.831 W
46183 North Hecate Strait 53.617 N 131.105 W
46184 North Nomad 53.915 N 138.851 W
46185 South Hecate Strait 52.425 N 129.792 W
46204 West Sea Otter 51.368 N 128.750 W
46205 West Dixon Entrance 54.165 N 134.283 W
46206 La Perouse Bank 48.835 N 125.998 W
46207 East Dellwood 50.874 N 129.916 W
46208 West Moresby 52.515 N 132.693 W

Marine Forecast Areas - Pacific Waters

Marine Forecast Areas - Pacific Waters

Marine Forecast Areas - Pacific Waters
Offshore North coast South coast
Area Area Name Area Area Name Area Area Name
001 Explorer 003 Dixon Entrance West 006 West Coast Vancouver Island North
002 Bowie 004 →West Coast Haida Gwaii 007 West Coast Vancouver Island South
    005 Queen Charlotte Sound 008 Juan de Fuca Strait
    014 Central Coast from McInnes Island to Pine Island 009 Haro Strait
    015 Hecate Strait 010 Howe Sound
    016 Dixon Entrance East 011 Strait of Georgia
    017 Douglas Channel 012 Johnstone Strait
        013 Queen Charlotte Strait
Marine Weather Observations
Lighthouse reports, (Type L), Automatic Reporting Stations (Type A), Ocean Buoys reports (Type B)
Addenbroke Island - L East Dellwood - B Langara Island - L Sandheads - A
Amphitrite Point - L EastPoint - A Lennard Island - L Sartine Island - A
Ballenas Island - A Egg Island - L Lucy Island - A Saturna Island - A
Bella Bella - A Entrance Island - A McInnes Island - L Scarlett Point - L
Boat Bluff - L Entrance Island - L Merry Island - L Sentry Shoal - B
Bonilla Island - A Esquimalt Harbour - A Middle Nomad - B Sheringham Point - A
Bonilla Island - L Estevan Point - A Nanakwa Shoal - B Sisters Island - A
Cape Beale - L Estevan Point - L Nootka - L Smith Island (USA)* - B
Cape Flattery (USA)* - B Fanny Island - A North Hecate Strait - B Solander Island - A
Cape Lazo - L Friday Harbour (USA)* - A North Nomad - B South Brooks - B
Cape Mudge - L Green Island - L Pachena Point - L South Hecate Strait - B
Cape Scott - L Grey Islet - A Pam Rocks - A South Moresby - B
Cape St James - A Grief Point - A Pine Island - L Tatoosh Island (USA)* - A
Carmanah Point - L Halibut Bank - B Point Atkinson - A Trial Island - L
Cathedral Point - A Herbert Island - A Point Wilson (USA)* - L Triple Island - L
Central Dixon Entrance - B Holland Rock - A Port Angeles (USA)* - L Tsawwassen - L
Chatham Point - L Ivory Island - L Prince Rupert - A Victoria Harbour - A
Chrome Island - L Kelp Reef - A Pulteney Point - L Victoria/Gonzales Pt - A
Cumshewa Island - A Kindakun Rocks - A Quatsino - L West Dixon Entrance - B
Discovery Island - A La Perouse - B Race Rocks - A West Moresby – B
Dryad Point - L Langara Island - A Rose Spit - A West Sea Otter – B

* Note that the following stations are located in Washington USA: Cape Flattery, Friday Harbour, Point Wilson, Port Angeles, Smith Island, Tatoosh Island.


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 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):

Note the following regional particularities:

 Warning Type 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 own 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 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 also 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. Pass observations to 1-800-66STORM (1-800-667-8676).

Buoys deployed during the open water season
WMO # Location / Information Lat
45140 Lake Winnipeg South Basin (moored buoy) 50º48' N 096º44' W
45141 Great Slave (moored buoy - 25 nm northeast of Hay River) 61º1' N 115º19' W
45144 Lake Winnipeg North Basin (moored buoy) 53º15' N 098º15' W
45145 Lake Winnipeg between North and South Basins 51º24' N 096º42' W
45150 Great Slave (moored buoy - immediately west of Inner Whaleback Rocks) 61º55' N 113º45' W
45158 Hudson Bay SW 59º00' N 094º00' 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


162.400 27 Arviat
Cape Dorset (Kingait)


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


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 Telephone: (45) 39 15 7500
Number Area Name Period Number Area Name Period
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:
Great Slave Lake Buoy 45141 Lake Winnipeg Buoy 45140 (South Basin)
Great Slave Lake Buoy 45150 Lake Winnipeg Buoy 45144 (North Basin)

→ Marine Forecast Expansion to sections 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:
Number Area Name Number Area 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:
Number Area Name Number Area 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:
Number Area 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


Or by consulting the Joint Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) web site at or by consulting the Canadian Coast Guard notices to mariners (NOTMAR) web site at

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.



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 8: Ice bulletins production schedule
a) Text format:
Forecast name Issue Time Time Zone Marine 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):
MCTS Centre Name Header Issue Time
St John's VON Ice NAVTEX FICN33 CWIS 17:50 (W), 21:50 (S) 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 name Warning 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 year 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 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 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 Areas

Areas for which ice forecasts apply are identical to the marine forecasts area. 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 Part 2.

Ice Chart (when available) Broadcast site Season
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
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
Queen Maud MCTS Iqaluit (Resolute)
MCTS Inuvik
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.

Name Call Sign Modulation Index of Cooperation Power Frequencies (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.