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Weather forecast glossary

Gale Warnings

GALE: Winds of at least force 8 (34-40 knots) or gusts reaching 43-51 knots
SEVERE GALE: Winds of force 9 (41-47 knots) or gusts reaching 52-60 knots
STORM: Winds of force 10 (48-55 knots) or gusts reaching 61-68 knots
VIOLENT STORM: Winds of force 11 (56-63 knots) or gusts of 69 knots or more
HURRICANE FORCE: Winds of force 12 (64 knots or more).
Note the term is Hurricane Force: the term hurricane on its own is only used to imply a true tropical cyclone.

IMMINENT: Expected within 6 hours of time of issue.
SOON: Expected within 6 to 12 hours of time of issue.
LATER: Expected more than 12 hours from time of issue.


FOG:Visibility less than 1000m
POOR: Visibility between 1000m. and 2 n.miles
MODERATE: Visibility between 2 and 5 n.miles
GOOD: Visibility more than 5 n.miles.

Movement of Pressure Systems

SLOWLY: Moving at less than 15 knots.
STEADILY: Moving at 15 to 25 knots
RATHER QUICKLY: Moving at 25 to 35 knots
RAPIDLY: Moving at 35 to 45 knots
VERY RAPIDLY: Moving at more than 45 knots

Pressure tendency in station reports

STEADY:Change less than 0.1hPa in the preceding 3 hours
RISING (OR FALLING) SLOWLY: Pressure change of 0.1 to 1.5 hPa in the preceding 3 hours.
RISING (OR FALLING) SLOWLY: Pressure change of 1.6 to 3.5 hPa in the preceding 3 hours. RISING (OR FALLING) QUICKLY: Pressure change of 3.6 to 6.0 hPa in the preceding 3 hours. RISING (OR FALLING) VERY RAPIDLY: Pressure change of more than 6.0 hPa in the preceding 3 hours.
NOW RISING (OR FALLING): Pressure has been falling (rising) or steady in the preceding 3 hours, but at the time of observation was definitely rising (or falling)
(1hPa = 1mb)


WIND DIRECTION: Indicates the direction from which the wind is blowing.
WIND BECOMING CYCLONIC: Indicates that there will be considerable change in wind direction across the path of a depression within the forecast area.
VEERING: The changing of the wind in the direction of motion of the hands of a clock, e.g. SW to W.
BACKING: The opposite direction to veering, e.g. SE to NE.


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ScillyOnLine is created by Susie Taylor.
All content © Susie Taylor 2012 (including all images, unless stated otherwise). Last updated 17-May-2012