Most commercial radio and television stations give marine weather broadcasts during the boating season, with updates several times a day. Other sources of weather information include NOAA, the National Weather Service, and other government agencies.
- Make a habit of listening to your local broadcast beginning the night before you plan to go boating.
- Get the most current forecast just before you set out.
- You may want to purchase a small, inexpensive battery-operated weather radio, available at many retail electronics outlets.
Underway... Scan the airwaves and the horizon
On the water, the best way to receive timely weather information is by radio. NOAA Weather Radio provides continuous weather programming for most boating areas on your VHF radio. For other weather broadcasts and their frequencies, see the chart below.
Although sportsmen may have better luck on cloudy or windy days, being out in a boat in bad weather can be very risky. High winds, rough water and thunderstorms can suddenly turn a pleasant outing into a frightening experience.
When you go out on your boat, you should know the current forecast, and have a way to receive warnings and weather advisories while underway. Making boating safety your first priority is the best way to ensure you will be back again next sporting season.
Even with today's high-tech weather forecasts and radios, there's no substitute for the time-honored practice of scanning the horizon for changes in the wind, waves, water, and sky that signal developing weather patterns.