New Solent forecasts

MCA and MET Office launch detailed trial service

Friday June 17th 2005, Author: Myrrh Walker, Location: United Kingdom
The MCA, in collaboration with the MET Office will be providing a series of trial weather forecasts that will directly benefit boaters in the Solent area.

Sailors competing in the Round the Island Race and Cowes Week, as well as boaters planning to attend the Trafalgar 200 Fleet Review, will be able to use these new comprehensive forecasts to better predict their day out on the water.

These forecasts will cover the Solent and around the Isle of Wight, with this area divided into four. Each forecast will be six to eight minutes long and will be jam-packed with useful information such as the risk of squalls, average wind strength and visibility for each area.

With forecasts being issued every hour, on the hour and updated every six hours, boaters will to able to plan an enjoyable day’s passage with a good idea of what weather conditions to expect. Sailors competing in any racing event could have an edge over their competitors (who aren't listening in on Channel 23, or using Navtex or the Web...! Ed.) and may be able to make properly informed decisions about where to go on the race course and what sails to use.

The forecasts, broadcast by HM Coastguard at Solent on VHF Channel 23, on the Boniface aerial only, will be more specific in time and area than the current Inshore Waters Forecast. The forecasts will also be available on 490kHz National Navtex Service broadcast from Niton and on the Met Office website and via a link on the MCA site.

Most importantly, this exciting new service is not permanent. If you find these forecasts useful you must report back to the MCA. If the MCA receive enough positive feedback they may continue to provide this valuable information on a more permanent basis. Your feedback is essential! The RYA will be providing the MCA with feedback and encourage you to do the same. So get out there and listen in, then report back to the MCA.

Events scheduled to be covered by the new forecasts include:

Round the Island Race – 17-18 June 2005. Forecasts will commence at 1800 on the 17 June, with the last forecast being issued at 1800 on the 19 June.

Trafalgar Fleet Review – 28 June 2005 Forecasts will commence at 0001 on the 28 June, with the last forecast being issued at 0001 on the 29 June.

Cowes Week Period – 29 July-8 August Forecasts will commence at 600 on 29 July, with the last forecast being issued at 1800 on 8 August.

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