The Shipping Forecast - Current Audio Version
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Southampton is in Sea Area "WIGHT"
It is read out on Radio 4 at 0048, 0520, 1201 and 1754 (local time).
All broadcasts are on LW on 1515m (198 kHz) and some transmissions are on VHF.
It gives a summary of gale warnings, a general synopsis and forecasts for specified areas around the UK.
The radio bulletin also includes the coastal weather reports. (0048 and 0536 only).
The forecast is in four parts. The first is any "Gale Warnings".
Next comes the "General Synopsis".
This tells us where the weather systems are and where they are likely to be going.
Next are the "Sea Area Forecasts" for the next 24 hours.
You have probably heard the radio rambling through "Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties Cromarty" etc before you got sick of it and changed channels?
Those were the area forecasts. Most people do turn it off, but the seaman’s ear is glued to the radio at that time.
The information is crucial for his safety. For each area or group of areas, we hear the wind direction and strength and any changes.
Next are the "Coastal Station Reports" These are now only broadcast at 0048 and 0535.
They tell us exactly what weather is happening at various points around the British Isles.
We hear first the wind direction and strength, precipitation, visibility, pressure, then pressure change.
With experience, this allows us to decide where fronts have passed by or are just about to occur.