Originally Posted by hellosailor
John, I think you'll find many sailors and others in the "Greater NY metropolitan area" refer to the NOAA weather service
as the "know-a-nothing man" because the forecasts are so often simply WRONG.
They tend to be overconservative, which might be a good thing for safety
but if you called off a sail every time they called for small craft warnings, you'd probably find you'd lost
half a season over nothing more than light overcasts...
, a Small Craft Warning describes: Sustained wind
speeds in the range of 20 to 33 knots inclusive, as defined by Atmospheric Environment
Service, Environment Canada
Meteorological Service of Canada defines these weather forecast
a) light winds : wind
speeds less than 15 knots
b) moderate winds: wind speeds between 15 and 19 knots
c) strong winds/small craft warning: sustained wind speeds between 20 and 33 knots
d) gale warning: sustained winds speeds between 34 and 47 knots
e) storm warning: sustained wind speeds between 48 and 63 knots
In the USA, a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY describes: An advisory issued by coastal and Great Lakes
Offices (WFO) for areas included in the Coastal Waters Forecast or Nearshore Marine
Forecast (NSH) products. Thresholds governing the issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas. A Small Craft Advisory may also be issued when sea or lake ice exists that could be hazardous to small boats. There is no precise definition of a small craft. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. Other considerations include the experience of the vessel operator, and the type, overall size, and sea worthiness of the vessel. There is no legal
definition of "small craft". The Small Craft Advisory is an advisory in Coastal Waters and Nearshore forecasts for sustained winds, frequent gusts, or sea/wave conditions, exceeding defined thresholds specific to geographic areas. A Small Craft Advisory may also be issued when sea or lake ice exists that could be hazardous to small boats.
Eastern (ME..SC, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts ranging between 25 and 33 knots (except 20 to 25 knots, lower threshold area dependent, to 33 knots for harbors, bays, etc.) and/or seas or waves 5 to 7 feet and greater, area dependent.
Central (MN..OH) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet.
Southern (GA..TX and Caribbean) - Sustained winds of 20 to 33 knots, and/or forecast seas 7 feet or greater that are expected for more than 2 hours.
Western (WA..CA) - Sustained winds of 21 to 33 knots, potentially in combination with wave heights exceeding 10 feet (or wave steepness values exceeding local thresholds).
(AK) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 23 to 33 knots. A small craft advisory for rough seas may be issued for sea/wave conditions deemed locally significant, based on user needs, and should be no lower than 8 feet.
- Sustained winds 25 knots or greater and seas 10 feet or greater.
and the Northern Mariana Islands - Sustained winds 22 to 33 knots and/or combined seas of 10 feet or more.
“Frequent gusts”are typically long duration conditions (greater than 2 hours).