Coast Guard Resurrecting Coast Warning Display Program on Great Lakes

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The U.S. Coast Guard is resurrecting a Coastal Warning Display program at selected Coast Guard small boat stations throughout the country to warn the public of approaching storm conditions. Station Sturgeon Bay and Sector Field Office Grand Haven of Sector Lake Michigan are active participants in this program.

Coast Guard stations participated in the National Weather Service’s official Coastal Warning Display program for more than 100 years. The resurrection of this program reinforces the Coast Guard’s role as lifesavers and visually communicates that citizens should take personal responsibility for individual safety in the face of an approaching storm.

Station Sturgeon Bay and Sector Field Office Grand Haven will hoist display flags to warn of small craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings, and hurricane warnings. Residents of coastal communities are urged to tune to the National Weather Service radio broadcasts for the latest information when they observe a flag hoisted as part of this program.

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY: The small craft advisory is to alert mariners about sustained (more than two hours) weather or sea conditions, either present or forecast, that might be hazardous to small boats. The threshold conditions for the small craft advisory are usually 18 knots of wind (less than 18 knots in some dangerous waters) or hazardous wave conditions.

GALE WARNING: To indicate winds within the range 34 to 47 knots are forecast for the area.

STORM WARNING: To indicate winds 48 knots and above, no matter how high the speed, are forecast for the area. However, if the winds are associated with a tropical cyclone (hurricane), the STORM WARNING indicates that winds within the range 48-63 knots are forecast.

HURRICANE WARNING: Issued only in connection with a tropical cyclone (hurricane) to indicate that winds 64 knots and above are forecast for the area.

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