About this page
Using the Internet to get texts of weather forecasts that have been broadcast on the Global Maritime Distresss and Safety System (GMDSS) via VHF, NAVTEX and INMARSAT. Access can be by Wi-Fi, Internet café, cell or satellite phones. Viewing can be via a web browser or email. See the page on linking your cell phone to a computer.
These pages give (mainly) fast, direct downloads of GMDSS text forecasts for most of the world -
- INMARSAT forecasts Worldwide
- Texts of NW European forecasts
- Texts of SW European forecasts
- METAREA III - Mediterranean and Black Sea
- METAREA IV - XVI - outside Europe
- Winlink list
These next pages may be of use to the cruising sailor -
On this page read about -
The prudent sailor will have all necessary equipment to receive weather and other MSI broadcasts provided under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. That means having Marine VHF and NAVTEX and, for those going beyond 200 miles or so out, a SSB radio and/or an INMARSAT receiver. Nowadays, the sailor is likely to have cell or satellite telephones as well.
The GMDSS providesw Maritime Safety Information. The satellite based system covering the oceans between about 65° N and S is via the INMARSAT-C SafetyNETTM service; elsewhere, the terrestrial system is the NAVTEX service on 518 kHz. There are also VHF Radio, MF and HF Radio as well as RadioFax and Radio Teleprinter services.
Access to the Internet at sea using cell phone, satellite phone or HF radio can be slow or costly or both - see my pages on weather communications. Internet links from this site can be kept as favourites for speed of use via a browser, or by email using the MailASail Automatic Weather Text Responder or the similar Sailodocs service. Such links will also be useful when on the boat and when reception of GMDSS systems is difficult. In addition to text forecasts on the Internet, there are links to charts are available in a concise form on my Chart Page and with much explanation on the Essential Sites page.
The latest forecast and any warnings in force can be seen at the WMO/IMO/JCOMM Home page. If that page is not available or you want the URL for an email reuest, you will find copies at my INMARSAT Texts page which also has links to the chart areas used. The INMARSAT METAREAS chart shows the countries responsible for co-ordinating forecasts in each area..
In addition to the WMO/IMO site, many or all of these INMARSAT texts are available via other routes. Most are given on my text pages for Europe and for the rest of the world, together with other links to (mainly) GMDSS text forecasts that sailors will find useful. As always take care that the forecast that appears on screen is current and not from your own cache. If in doubt use the Refresh or Reload button.
The page of Texts of European Forecasts covers UK waters, Atlantic coasts of Europe, the Baltic, the Norwegian Sea and Iceland. Forecasts for the Mediterranean are on another page and include the Black Sea.
Links change from time to time. I will try to keep this page up to date but it may not be possible while I am away. A resource greatly used by Radio amateur sailors is the Winlink Catalog I have produced an edited version of items from the Winlink Catalog as it was some years ago.
MailASail is a service ideally suited for those with bandwidth problems. Forecasts from a selected list can be chosen and an email request sent. Response is virtually instantaneous. See the MailASail pages on this site.
Forecasts for the Rest of the World have been compiled separately and, by and large are less detailed. I will add links here if provided by those with experience in the areas.
- WMO obal Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Services
- The NOAA Guide to world-wide radio-fax broadcasts
- Quickborn/Pinneberg(DWD) radio-fax broadcast
- Quickborn/Pinneberg(DWD) radio-telex Met broadcast (Program 1) and
- Quickborn/Pinneberg(DWD) radio-telex Met broadcast (Program 2
- Northwood radio-fax broadcast - schedule
Many other links , compiled by Martin Stubbs and myself, enable access to marine forecasts provided by National Weather Services to meet the requirements of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). I wish to acknowledge the help given by Allan Riches, Brunei Bay Radio, for links around his part of the globe. I am also indebted to Winlink2000 for access to their very extensive Catalog.