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Commercial Maritime Coast Stations and Weather Nets

National Weather Service Products via Commercial Maritime Coast Stations and Weather Nets

Commercial maritime coast stations,  which provide communications services,  broadcast weather information to ships at sea as a public service, or make forecast information available on demand, either free or for a nominal fee. These transmissions are most commonly performed using HF SITOR and Pactor/E-Mail, however, several of these stations also offer service via Inmarsat satellite and other means. Within North America these include Globe Wireless, KKL Radio and SailMail.

There also exist a number of maritime weather "NETS" operating on commercial marine VHF, MF and HF frequencies, where weather information is exchanged. These nets are extremely popular in areas of the world which have a large yachting population and where weather is dynamic, such as in the Caribbean and typically incorporate volunteers ashore. Similar nets are conducted using Ham Radio.

Marine Weather Center SSB Net Schedule

Maritime Radio Historical Society (nearly all activity on Saturdays)

Note to Net Operators - It would be helpful for nets to each establish a webpage so that we might be able to inform mariners of your activities.

Operation of a shipboard radio installation requires a license and is regulated by the FCC. The exception to this is the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which permits recreational boaters to have and use a VHF marine radio. For further information, see the FCC's Wireless Telecommunication Bureau's Maritime Mobile Service Webpage. Licensing is not normally required when receiving only. For further information on this topic, visit the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Telecommunications Information webpage.

Schedules and information on commercial maritime coast stations worldwide may be found in publications including NGA Publication 117 and the British Admiralty List of Radio Signals.

All NWS marine forecasts rely heavily on the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program for obtaining meteorological observations.

Note:  Any reference to a commercial product or service does not imply any endorsement by the National Weather Service as to function or suitability for your purpose or environment.

Commercial Services Providing Marine Forecasts via Satellite

Commercial Services Providing Marine Forecasts Via Satellite

Efforts are underway within private industry to make available National Weather Service marine forecasts via satellite broadcasts using low cost terminals requiring a small antenna. A modest subscription fee will be required. Further details will be provided as information becomes available. The following companies have announced that they now provide such an operational service.

Note:  Any reference to a commercial product or service does not imply any  endorsement by the National Weather Service as to function or suitability for your purpose or environment. 

Mass Media

National Weather Service Marine Produts via Mass Media

National Weather Service marine forecast and warning products are available though a number of different mass media outlets including TV, social media, smart devices and radio. Many TV, radio and satellite stations receive and disseminate severe weather warning information when the NWS activates the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Many mobile carriers send NWS alerts of severe weather through Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages.

NWS uses social media tools to educate the public and share critical weather information.

In the state of Alaska, the National Weather Service partners with Alaska Public Media, KUAC-TV, 360 North and the Alaska Public Broadcasting’s Alaska Rural Communications Service (ARCS) to produce the state-wide public television show "Alaska Weather," and an associated radio broadcast. Click HERE for information on the shows as well as images of weather maps produced for the TV show.

Mass media outlets most often obtain up-to-the-minute NWS forecasts using the NOAA Weather Wire Service (NWWS).

Private Weather Services Providers

Private weather services providers offer an array of value-added and unique weather products such as routing services, which are beyond the scope of the mission of the National Weather Service. A listing of private weather services providers which includes Internet links may by found on the National Weather Service's Industrial Meteorology Webpage.