Fed Proposal Would Change Small Craft “Advisory” to “Warning”

The National Weather Service (NWS) is asking for boaters’ feedback on a proposal to rename “Small Craft Advisory” to “Small Craft Warning”, in the hopes that the change will make the designation less confusing to mariners.

The change would not alter the term’s definition or meaning. A “Small Craft Advisory” is issued when sustained wind speeds or frequent gusts have reached 20 to 33 knots and/or seas have reached 4 feet and greater and/or waves or seas are potentially hazardous. The requirements vary slightly by region, and local conditions may also dictate issuing a Small Craft Advisory.

The NWS survey, which closes on May 24, can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VZGX6BF.

“Every day they go boating, boat owners check the weather and then make the decision to either head out or not,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “We think the name change will help clarify what this means, leading to a better understanding of the severity of a marine weather forecast, and help give recreational boaters the information they need to make smart choices about boating safely.”