National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Wind-Wave Correlations for Wave Forecasting

WFO Baltimore-Washington forecasts significant wave heights in the local Coastal Waters Forecast (CWF) product. Significant wave heights are the average heights (trough to crest) of the one-third highest waves. For simplicity, significant wave heights are termed waves in the WFO Baltimore-Washington CWF.

For wave forecast guidance over the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac River, WFO Baltimore-Washington uses the wind-wave correlations outlined below. Generally, for wind speeds of 5 kt, waves will read "less than 1 ft." For other wind speeds, the correlations below are utilized for each marine zone. Remember that forecasts of wave heights do not include effects of wind direction relative to tidal currents. Expect higher waves when winds are blowing against tidal flow.

 

Click for the latest Coastal Waters Forecast (CWF)

 


 

POTOMAC RIVER - KEY BRIDGE TO INDIAN HEAD


[Key Bridge to Indian Head]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1
15 KT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
20 KT 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1
25 KT 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
30 KT 2 2 3 2 2 2 3 2
35 KT 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 3
40 KT 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 3
45 KT 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4
50 KT 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4


 

POTOMAC RIVER - INDIAN HEAD TO COBB ISLAND


[Indian Head to Cobb Island]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT <1 1 <1 <1 <1 1 <1 <1
15 KT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
20 KT 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
25 KT 2 3 2 2 2 3 2 2
30 KT 2 3 2 2 2 3 2 2
35 KT 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
40 KT 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 3
45 KT 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4
50 KT 4 5 4 4 4 5 4 4


 

POTOMAC RIVER - COBB ISLAND TO SMITH POINT


[Indian Head to Cobb Island]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1 < 1 < 1 1 1 < 1 < 1
15 KT 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1
20 KT 2 3 2 1 2 3 2 1
25 KT 3 4 2 2 3 4 2 3
30 KT 3 5 3 2 3 5 3 2
35 KT 4 5 3 3 4 5 3 3
40 KT 4 6 4 3 4 6 4 3
45 KT 5 6 4 4 5 6 4 4
50 KT 5 6 4 4 5 6 4 4


 

CHESAPEAKE BAY - NORTH OF POOLES ISLAND


[Chesapeake Bay N of Pooles Island]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15 KT 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2
20 KT 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
25 KT 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
30 KT 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 4
35 KT 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 4
40 KT 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 5
45 KT 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 5
50 KT 5 5 5 6 5 5 5 6


 

CHESAPEAKE BAY - POOLES ISLAND TO SANDY POINT


[Chesapeake Bay - Pooles Island to Sandy Point]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15 KT 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 2
20 KT 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 3
25 KT 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 3
30 KT 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4
35 KT 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4
40 KT 4 5 6 5 4 5 6 5
45 KT 4 5 6 5 4 5 6 5
50 KT 5 6 7 6 5 6 7 8


 

CHESAPEAKE BAY - SANDY POINT TO NORTH BEACH


[Chesapeake Bay - Sandy Point to North Beach]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15 KT 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1
20 KT 2 2 3 2 2 2 3 2
25 KT 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 3
30 KT 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4
35 KT 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4
40 KT 4 5 6 5 4 5 6 5
45 KT 4 5 6 5 4 5 6 5
50 KT 5 6 7 6 5 6 7 6


 

CHESAPEAKE BAY - NORTH BEACH TO DRUM POINT


[Chesapeake Bay - North Beach to Drum Point]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1 1-2 1-2 1 1 1-2 1-2
15 KT 2 2 3 3 2 2 3 3
20 KT 2 2 4 3 2 2 4 3
25 KT 2 3 5 4 2 3 5 4
30 KT 3 4 6 5 3 4 6 5
35 KT 3 4 6 5 3 4 6 5
40 KT 4 5 7 6 4 5 7 6
45 KT 4 5 7 6 4 5 7 6
50 KT 5 6 7 6 5 6 7 6


 

CHESAPEAKE BAY - DRUM POINT TO SMITH POINT


[Chesapeake Bay - Drum Point to Smith Point]
 
  W NW N NE E SE S SW
10 KT 1 1-2 2 1-2 1 1-2 2 1-2
15 KT 2 2 3 2 2 2 3 2
20 KT 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 3
25 KT 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 4
30 KT 4 4 6 5 4 5 6 5
35 KT 5 5 7 6 5 6 7 6
40 KT 5 5 7 6 5 6 7 6
45 KT 6 6 8 7 6 7 8 7
50 KT 6 6 8 7 6 7 8 7