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National Weather Service Marine Forecasts
RADIOFAX

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Beware of hypothermia during these cooler months. Did you know your body can cool 25 times faster in water than in air? That water does not need to be very cold to endanger you?

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Did you know that the height of some individual waves may be twice the height of the forecast seas? And may present an even greater danger near shore?



NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE PRODUCTS VIA RADIOFAX

NWS Marine Radiofax Products and Detailed Schedules
Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules (PDF)

USCG to continue HF weather broadcasts via radiofax, voice, and SITOR

Effective Apr 03, 2012 at 1800 UTC the order of charts transmitted via radiofax from New Orleans will be modified to better align workflow with the suite of enhanced text products which are to be implemented at that time. The new broadcast schedule can be found HERE and will be broadcast on-air beginning on or about Mar 28, 2012.

Reports from mariners of both poor AND good radio reception would be greatly appreciated. Please be specific as possible noting your location, equipment/software used, date(s), time(s), signal strength, etc. Send your comments to marine.weather@noaa.gov.

Radiofax, also known as HF FAX, radiofacsimile or weatherfax, is a means of broadcasting graphic weather maps and other graphic images via HF radio. HF radiofax is also known as WEFAX, although this term is generally used to refer to the reception of weather charts and imagery via satellite. Maps are received using a dedicated radiofax receiver or a single sideband (SSB) shortwave receiver connected to an external facsimile recorder or PC equipped with a radiofax interface and application software.

Note:  Any reference to a commercial product or service does not imply any  endorsement by the National Weather Service as to function or suitability for your purpose or environment. 

Dedicated radiofax hardware is available from Alden, Furuno, Japan Marina Co. Ltd, JRC, STN ATLAS Marine (SAM) Electronics, and Universal Radio. --> Available radiofax software programs include (in alphabetical order) ACfax(LINUX), Board Terminal, Code300-32, cocoaModem 2.0 (MAC OS X), Easyfax110(DOS), GetFax, HamComm 3.1(DOS), HamFax(LINUX), HF Weather FAX (iPhone/iPad/Android), JVCOMM32, JWX, Meteofax32, MixW, MFJ-1214PC, MSCAN, MultiFax, Multimode (MAC), MultiPSK, PC HF Facsimile 8.0 For Windows , PC GOES/WEFAX, PC Radiofax for Windows, ProMeteo, RadioCom, SeaTTY, SkySweeper, WeatherFax, Weather Fax 2000, WeFax for Windows , WiNRADiO Digital Suite, WinSkan, WxImageApplications, and WXSat. Also see the Worldwide Radiofacsimile Webpage for listings of available equipment and software as well as information on radiofax services available worldwide.

Many radiofax software programs are also capable of copying National Weather Service marine text forecasts broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard using HF SITOR/NDBP. CLICK HERE for details.

For Historic Weather and Satellite Data Contact:

National Climatic Data Center 
151 Patton Avenue, room 120 
Asheville, NC 28801-5001 
828-271-4800
828-271-4876 (FAX)
weborder@ncdc.noaa.gov 
http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html

Marine Radiofacsimile is more than 85 years old! - The earliest broadcasts of weather maps via radiofacsimile appear to have been made in 1926 by American inventor Charles Francis Jenkins in a demonstration to the NAVY. Jenkins is often credited with the invention of the motion picture and later established the first U.S. TV station, W3XK in Wash D.C. and later, Wheaton, MD. RCA and the U.S. Weather Bureau conducted further tests and began cooperative efforts in 1930. While radiofacsimile has been used for everything from transmitting newspapers to wanted posters in the past, the broadcasting of marine weather charts is today the primary application.

The Feb 10, 2012 version of our Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules (PDF) is now available.

Refer to NGA Publication 117, which is updated through the Notice to Mariners, for the latest official listing of U.S. Coast Guard broadcast schedules. The British Admiralty List of Radio Signals , is an excellent reference source for weather broadcast information.

The NWS Ocean Prediction Center makes available a Radiofacsimile Charts User's Guide online. To learn about using 500 MB charts, click HERE for a recent authoritative article published in the Mariner's Weather Log.

Click here to listen to what a typical radiofax signal sounds like on the air.

The National Weather Service radiofax program prepares high seas weather maps for broadcast via four U.S. Coast Guard (Boston, New Orleans, Pt. Reyes, and Kodiak) and one DOD transmitter site (Honolulu). These broadcasts are prepared by the Ocean Prediction Center , National Hurricane Center, Honolulu Forecast Office. and Anchorage Forecast Office. Limited satellite imagery, sea surface temperature maps and text forecasts are also available. These offices provide links to their products as well as other supplementary information.

All NWS marine forecasts rely heavily on the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program for obtaining meteorological observations.

The International Ice Patrol also broadcasts radiofax charts from Boston sharing the same transmitters. Visit the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Telecommunications Information webpage for more information on U.S. Coast Guard telecommunications.

NWS radiofax products are available via the Internet (HTTP, FTP or E-mail). Although available, Internet access is not presently technically feasible for most vessels and broadcast of graphic marine forecasts via HF radiofax remains among the most valued of NWS marine services.

All radiofax broadcasts of National Weather Service products employ a radiofax signal of 120 lines-per-minute (LPM) and an Index-of Cooperation (IOC) of 576. These values must be entered into the users equipment or software program in order for the radiofax image to be displayed properly.

See tables below for abbreviated versions of  radiofax broadcast schedules. Assigned frequencies shown, for carrier frequency subtract 1.9 kHz. Typically dedicated radiofax receivers use assigned frequencies, while receivers or transceivers, connected to external recorders or PC's, are operated in the upper sideband (USB) mode using carrier frequencies.
 
 
Boston (NMF) 4235(0230-1039z),   6340.5,   9110,   12750(1400-2239z)   kHz  

Radiofax Broadcast

Start Broadcast 0230Z 0745Z 1400Z 1720Z 1900Z
Broadcast Schedule 0243Z 1405Z
International Ice Patrol (Seasonal, ~Feb- Sep)
Call Letters NIK
0438Z 1039Z 1600Z 2239Z
 
New Orleans (NMG) 4317.9,   8503.9,   12789.9,   17146.4(1200-2045z) kHz 

Radiofax Broadcast

Start Broadcast 0000Z 0600Z 1200Z 1800Z
Broadcast Schedule 2025Z
 
Kodiak(NOJ) 2054,   4298,   8459,   12412.5 kHz   

Radiofax Broadcast

Start Broadcast 0340Z 0950Z 1540Z 2150Z
Broadcast Schedule 1727Z
 
Pt.Reyes(NMC) 4346(0140-1608z),   8682,   12786,   17151.2,   22527(1840-2356z) kHz  

Radiofax Broadcast

Start Broadcast 0140Z 0655Z 1120Z 1400Z 1840Z 2320Z
Broadcast Schedule 1124Z 2324Z
 
Honolulu (KVM70) 9982.5(0519-1556z),   11090,   16135(1719-0356z) kHz  

Radiofax Broadcast

Start Broadcast 0519Z 1719Z
Broadcast Schedule 1300Z 0100Z
(Note: DOD station, not USCG)



National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Weather, and Water Services
Marine and Coastal Weather Services Branch (W/OS21)
Last modified: Oct 18, 2013
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