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Canadian Marine Warning Program

Wind Warnings

Wind warnings are typically issued for more than one marine forecast area at a time. Marine wind warnings are included in the Recreational Boating Forecast, where available, and the Regular Forecast bulletins, and are conveyed using the keywords “in effect”.

There are four categories of wind warnings that are recognized by Environment Canada (Strong Wind, Gale, Storm, and Hurricane Force Wind). Wind warnings are issued with as much advance notice to mariners as possible, in an effort to provide them with the opportunity to make timely decisions about their safety and security.

Strong Wind Warnings

Strong Wind Warnings are issued when wind speeds of 20 to 33 knots, excluding gusts, are occurring or are expected to occur. These warnings are primarily issued during the recreational or summer boating season and are intended for coastal or inland waters only. Note that Strong Wind Warnings are not issued for marine areas where strong winds occur frequently (i.e. offshore marine areas, and most marine areas adjacent to Newfoundland and Labrador).

Environment Canada's Strong Wind Warning program activity

Regions, time frames and areas that are included in
Environment Canada's Strong Wind Warning Program
RegionStart Date *End Date *Areas Covered
Pacific CoastMarch 20November 11
  • Juan de Fuca Strait
  • Haro Strait
  • Howe Sound
  • Strait of Georgia
  • Johnstone Strait
  • Queen Charlotte Strait
Hudson, Mackenzie and Arctic WatersSpringFall
  • Mackenzie River
  • Great Slave Lake
  • Lake Athabasca
Manitoba LakesMay 1November 15
  • Lake Manitoba
  • Lake Winnipegosis
  • Lake Winnipeg
Great LakesMay 1October 31
  • Great Lakes (from Superior to Cornwall)
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Lake Nipigon
  • Lake Nipissing
  • Lake Simcoe
  • North Channel
St. LawrenceMay 1October 15
  • St. Lawrence River (Cornwall to Anticosti Island)
Atlantic Coast-MaritimesApril 15November 15
  • Fundy
  • Grand Mahan
  • Lurcher
  • Southwestern Shore
  • Fourchu
  • Cabot Strait
  • Northumberland Strait
  • Gult - Magdalen
  • Chaleur - Miscou
  • Anticosti
  • Bras d'Or Lakes
  • Halifax Harbour and
  • Approaches
Atlantic Coast - Newfoundland and LabradorN/AN/ANo Strong Wind Warning program due to prevailing wind conditions

Note: *Strong Wind Warning program start and end dates may vary and are dependent upon prevailing wind conditions

Gale Warnings

Gale Warnings are issued when wind speeds of 34 to 47 knots, excluding gusts, are occurring or are forecast to occur. These warnings are relevant to all marine interests and can be issued for all marine areas (coastal, inland and offshore) that have a regular or recreational marine forecast.

Storm Warnings

Storm Warnings are issued when wind speeds of 48 to 63 knots, excluding gusts, are occurring or are forecast to occur. These warnings are relevant to all marine interests and can be issued for all marine areas (coastal, inland and offshore) that have a regular or recreational marine forecast.

Hurricane Force Wind Warnings

Hurricane Force Wind Warnings are issued when winds of 64 knots or greater, excluding gusts, are occurring or are forecast to occur. These warnings are relevant to all marine interests and can be issued for all marine areas (coastal, inland and offshore) that have a regular or recreational marine forecast. Note that a Hurricane Force Wind Warning does not suggest that a hurricane is expected, only that the expected wind speeds will be comparable.

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