Mediterranean Marine Weather Services

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Getting weather information in the Mediterranean; largely based on personal experience. The page will be updated from time to time on the basis of my experience and information from others.

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One of the challenges when cruising is being able to get, understand and use weather forecasts in other languages than English. This page is based on personal experience supplemented by my erstwhile professional knowledge, talking to sailors, reference to the various National Met Service websites, the Livre de Bord and le Guide Marine de Météo France. There are a surprisingly large number of sources of Mediterranean broadcasts in English. Others are in easy to understand French and Spanish.

This page is neither exhaustive nor definitive and I would be pleased to hear of other sources of useful weather information.

Texts of GMDSS weather forecasts can be received in various, different ways and it is prudent to be conversant with all;

  • by VHF and NAVTEX, which all yachts should carry;
  • by HF/SSB and INMARSAT-C, which relatively few will carry;
  • by the Internet, which is being used increasingly by most sailors;
  • on marina notice boards.

In accordance with IMO recommendations, most Mediterranean countries usa a common set of METAREA III sea areas. Regrettably, just to be different, there is a separate set of IItaly-Weather-Forecast-Sea-Areas.? Conformity is not part of the Italian psyche.

Marine Radio Services

Texts of many of these broadcasts are on my Mediterranean Texts page.


Schedules of VHF transmission are on the AEMet (Spanish Met service). site. The first table there shows details of broadcasts usually in English and Spanish. The second table shows broadcasts in Spanish only.

Another page has details of NAVTEX and MF broadcasts.

NOTE. Spanish schedules seem to change frequently. Always check these pages at the start of the season.

 AEMet issues gale warnings up to about three days ahead and may indicate the likely duration. 

From the north, the Spanish mainland coastal waters are (as far as I can determine) Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, Castellón, Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Almería, Málaga. Forecasts from Málaga include areas around Melilla on the North African coast and Isla Alborán.

Near the Strait of Gibraltar there are various forecasts on Radio Gibraltar, BFBS and Central FM but, mostly, these cover only a very limited area.

Areas used in the Baléares are :- Dragonera to Formentor, Formentor to Capdepera, Capdepera to Salinas, Coasts of Cabrera, Salinas to Dragonera, North of Menorca, South of Menorca, East of Pitiusas, West of Pitiusas, Menorca Channel, Mallorca Channel. Note that las Pitiusas is the collective name for Ibiza, Espalmador and Formentera.


Coastal waters forecasts are broadcast, in French (only), from CROSS (French Coastguard) stations. The delivery speed is usually slow enough to be understood with a little practice. Morning forecasts cover today/tonight and tomorrow in reasonable detail. This is followed by "phenomenon important" normally for a further two days, sometimes longer. The evening forecast gives tonight, tomorrow and the following day again followed by "phenomenon important". Schedules are as shown below.

Monaco Radio has continuous broadcasts in French and English. Some may find that the French is easier to understand than the English.

Coastal Forecasts


Channel (after a call on Ch 16)

Times - LT

Coastal Areas



Every 15 minutes

Languedoc-Roussillon (Spanish border to Port-Camargue)



0715 - 1315 - 1915



0733 - 1303 - 1933

Provence (Port-Camargue to St Raphaël)


07456- 1316 - 1946

Mt-Coudon/Toulon –


Every 15 minutes

Monaco Radio (Nava)


Continuous. Updated twice dailyGrench & English

Pic de l'Ours/ Cannes


Every 15 minutes

Cote d'Azur. (St Raphaël to Menton)

Monaco Radio (Nava)


Continuous. Updated twice daily French & English

Ersa (Cap Corse)


0733 - 1233 - 1933

Coasts of Corsica

Serra di Pigno (Bastia)

0745, 1345, 1945

Conca (Porto Vecchio)

0803 - 1333 - 2003

Serragia (Bonifacio)

0815 - 1315 - 2015

Punta (Cargèse)

<0833 - 1333 - 2033

Piana (Porto)

0845 - 1345 – 2045

Monaco Radio (Nava)


Continuous. Updated twice daily French & English

Other Météo-France forecasts broadcast by radio are listed in the next table.

Offshore/Sea area forecasts


Channel or Frequency

Times LT

Sea Areas

CROSS la Garde

1696 and 2677 kHz USB

1000, 1600, 2200

Lion, Provence, Ligure, Elbe, Maddalena, Corse, Sardaigne, Minorque, Baléares, Est Cabrera

1696 kHz USB


3-day forecast Baléares, Minorque, Lion, Provence, Ligure, Corse, Maddalena, Elbe

Monaco Radio

20 (After a call on Ch 16)

0930, 1403, 1930

Lion, Provence, Ligure, Maddalena, Elbe, Corse, Sardaigne in French and English

4363, 8728, 13146 and 17,260 kHz USB

0930, 1403, 1930

All Mediterranean se areas in French and English

In these Monaco broadcasts, the French is often slow enough, sometimes with repetitions, to be easily understood.

I have compiled a list of French weather terminology. For day-to-day sailing, these are probably the best and most useful forecast services in the Western Med. It is just a pity that Météo-France seems to be strike prone!


We found the Italian marine forecasts (produced by their air force) to be the worst service of any in the Med.

  • Forecasts seemed to have little human input.
  • There was inconsistencies between warnings and forecasts.
  • We heard forecasts on VHF issued at 0600 then, later, received a forecast on NAVTEX but issued earlier

Hopefully it has improved.

There is a continuous VHF broadcast (Ch 68) with a good computer generated voice covering all Italian sea areas. This is in English and Italian. It pays to pick up enough Italian to save having to wait a long time to get to your area.

Parts of this are broadcast from coastal stations. Ch. 01, 02, 04, 05, 07, 19-22, 25-28, 61-65, 79, 81-86 at 0135, 0735, 1335, 1935 UTC. These are from MRCCs at Genoa, Rome, Cagliari after a call on Ch 16. Forecasts are for 12 hours with a 12 hour outlook followed by a brief 2 day outlook.

It is much easier to use the texts online.

Whenever possible we preferred to us e the French NAVTEX supplemented by GRIB forecasts.

The Adriatic

Croatian forecasts from the Marine Meteorological Centre Split are given first in English then in Croatian. Notices to Mariners follow in both languages Texts are virtually the same as on NAVTEX which is a very convenient and, we found, reliable way of getting the forecasts.

These Croatian forecasts only cover 24 hour periods with no outlook beyond that. This limits their value to daily decisions rather than any forward planning. But, they are particularly useful for short term warnings of the Bora. Longer range warnings of Boras are available using GRIB files. Alternatively, use synoptic forecast charts eg from The UK Met Office. These shows when there are strong NE winds expected. If they indicate NE winds > 25 knots or so, then, in my brief experience, a Bora is likely.

Another good service is from the DWD RTTY broadcast which gives 5 day forecasts.

In the following table of VHF broadcasts, Bar is in Montenegro, the rest in Croatia. Slovenia does not have any Marine Radio weather broadcasts. Radio Slovenia broadcasts forecasts in Slovenian and English at 0635 and 0955 LT on medium wave, 928 kHz, and FM


Times (UTC)



0530, 1230, 1930, 0030

04, 20, 24, 81


0545, 1245, 1945. 0045

07, 21, 23, 28, 81


0620, 1320, 2020, 0120

04, 07, 28, 85


1050, 1620, 2250 LT

20, 24 and 1,720.4 kHz


The Greek Met service produces one marine forecast. Apart from NAVTEX, each source will give forecasts for all the sea areas listed below in the order shown. Subsets of this are broadcast on NAVTEX 518 kHz. Forecasts are for 24 hours with a 12 hour outlook. Perhaps wisely, given the complex topography, there is no attempt at inshore waters forecasts. The sailor has to make his own judgements regarding local effects. For VHF and NAVTEX, forecasts are issued at 0200, 0800, 1400 and 2000 UTC.

The entire text of the 0200 and 1400 issues, broadcast by INMARSAT-C. are available as very quick downloads on the Internet. VHF broadcasts are at 0600, 1000, 1600 and 2200 UTC.

An easy to use forecast, especially if you can read Greek is at Simply click on locations on the map. Other forecasts can be found on my GMDSS.

Eastern Mediterranean Sea Areas are North Adriatic, Central Adriatic, South Adriatic, Boot, Melita, Gabes, Sidra, North Ionio, South Ionio, Patraikos, Korinthiakos, Kithira Sea, Southwest Kritiko, Southeast Kritiko Ierapetra, Taurus, Delta, Crusade, Kastellorizo Sea, Rodos Sea, Karpathio, West Kritiko, East Kritiko, Southwest Aegean, Southeast Aegean Ikario, Samos Sea, Saronikos, South Evvoikos, Kafireas Strait, Central Aegean, Northwest Aegean, Northeast Aegean, Thrakiko, Thermaikos, Marmara, West Black Sea, East Black Sea.


Theoretically the Turkish coastguard will give a forecast (in English) on request, but those trying this say that they have only had success at offices on land. The Turkish coastguard also broadcast (in English) announcements on Ch 16 of forecasts on Ch 67, but this seems to be irregular and not 100% coverage. Forecast texts are at my GMDSS page.


We found NAVTEX t be a good, generally reliable service throughout the Mediterranean. The format does vary somewhat between the various countries. Details are at my NAVTEX pages

For those with INMARSAT-C, there are broadcasts covering Western Mediterranean, produced by Météo France and the Eastern Mediterranean, produced by the Greek Met service Texts of GMDSS broadcasts on NAVTEX and INMARSAT-C can be found from the GMDSS page. see also the WMO/IMO GMDSS texts link.

Texts of the French INMARSAT forecast for the Western Med and texts of the Greek INMARSAT texts for the Eastern Med are broadcast by [[[[#monaco | Monaco ]]

Radio Fax and RTTY

Offenbach and Northwood are the only two fax broadcasts that I have been able to receive. Synoptic charts may not be very useful for yachtsmen in the Summer since Mediterranean weather can be very localised and pressure patterns not well defined.

Full Schedules are available on the Internet, see my GMDSS page for details.

A useful forecast service comes from the Offenbach Radioteletyoe which broadcasts 5 day forecasts (wind and sea state at 12 hour intervals). These are from the German numerical weather prediction model and provide a genuinely second opinion to the US GDS GRIB files.

The Offenbach Programme 1 is mainly in English) is on 4583, 7646 (both at 1 kW power) and 10100.8 kHz (10 kW power). Programme 2 is mainly in Germans on 11039 and 14467.3 kHz (both at 1 kW power).

The 2 and 5 day (Western) Mediterranean forecasts are for points named as Golfe du Lion, Balearic Islands, Ligurian Sea, W of Corse/Sard and Tyrrhenian Sea. (The names in the German language version are a little different.) Examples of the information available are at for the Western Med and for the Eastern Med.

Software packages that will decode these transmissions include SEATTY and MScan. Search Google for these and others.


Many products are now available on the Internet. These include charts from the UK Met Office and other centres, some of the RTTY products of Offenbach, many GMDSS forecasts, texts of coastal waters forecasts etc.

One word of caution that I keep repeating is to be careful with using totally automated services, For the next 24 to 48 hours it is always wise to know what the GMDSS forecasts are saying. These are essential warning services.

Forecasts by email

When Internet access is limited, increasingly rare, email attachments provide a convenient way of getting texts of forecasts. Many GMDSS texts can be received that way. Also it is possible to receive GRIB files and even charts? as small downloads.

Marina Offices

Many marinas and harbour offices display forecasts from varying sources. These may be the National Met Service, private Met firms, the Internet etc. The quality may, therefore be somewhat uneven and forecasts from the different sources may not tally. Where available, copies of GMDSS texts should be used alone or in conjunction with other information.

WARNING - a general warning for all forecasts, but particularly those posted in marinas and elsewhere, is to check the date and time of issue. I have often seen out of date forecasts being studied carefully by yachtsmen. Marina staff sometimes show a touching but unjustified faith in five day forecasts and seem unaware that a forecast issued three days ago for today will be less reliable than one issued today.