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Chapter 3: Launching and Operation

Monitoring Changing Conditions

All of these warnings are most useful when coupled with a watchful eye on the changing conditions of the weather.

In addition to frequently checking in on the NOAA Weather Radio Broadcast, practice the following while boating. All of these tips are especially applicable if boating on unfamiliar waters.

Frequently check the sky. Fog, dark clouds, and lightning are all signs of an impending storm or hazardous conditions. 

Check barometric readings. A falling barometer is also warning flag and may indicate that foul weather is approaching.

Pay attention to any shifts in wind direction or temperature; these are both signs of changing weather. While foul weather usually comes from the West, Eastern storms are powerful when they do occur. Be mindful of both directions when boating.

Keep an eye on what fellow boaters are doing. If many boats are heading back to shore, it may be time to check for updates on the forecast.