Weather – DS & YM


There is no pre-reading before this section of the course.

Why is this important?

Before you go to sea you don’t just need to know what the weather is like now but what it is going to be like for the time you are at sea. You need to plan for what the weather is likely to throw at you and be prepared not to go if conditions are beyond your’s, your boat’s or your crew’s capabilities.

Weather forecasts

The primary weather forecasts for UK waters are issued by the Met Office and are divided into the:
– Inshore Water Forecast (up to 12 miles offshore)
– Shipping Forecast (Eastern Atlantic from Portigal to Iceland)

If you here the Shipping Forecast on the radio you can use this form to copy down the information.
Met Maps

It should be noted that these forecasts are all general forecasts that often cover a large area. Particularly in the case of the Inshore Water Forecast the local weather can be radically changed by local conditions.

A frontal systems

During you course you will require a understanding of the construction of the “standard” weather system and the effect it will have on weather as it passes over you. in reality no two weather systems are the same but they they all include key feather in common.

Video: Skill


Weather Quick Quiz
The slides are a quick test or revision of weather.


Met Office – Weather TermsVisit the Met Office website for a definitive list of definitions of words used in forecasts.

Met Office – Beaufort Scale
Visit the Met Office website to help revise the Beaufort Wind Speed Scale.

RYA – Measuring the Wind
The RYA guide to measuring the wind.

Beaufort Scale: A closer look
A look at the history and background to the Beaufort Scale.

Schedule of MCGA weather broadcastsFind out how and when to get weather information at sea.

Sea Breeze
The Yachts & Yachting guide to a sea breeze.


Now you know the basics of weather, use this knowledge to keep you safe and inform your decisions when going to sea. Weather is particularly important when Passage Planning.


The content of these pages is put together in good faith and is constantly evolving. It is possible that errors exist within this content. If you spot an error or would like to add anything to these pages please contact use via email.

Reading the content of these pages is not a substitute for completing a RYA Shorebased course or similar.