what is small craft advisory in weather


What are the criteria needed to be met for a weather event to be considered a small craft advisory?

What is Small Craft Advisory in Weather?

Small Craft AdvisorySmall Craft Advisory is a term commonly used in weather forecasting which indicates that weather conditions are potentially hazardous for small boats and other watercrafts. It is a warning advised by the National Weather Service (NWS) to alert mariners of the possible danger posed by the weather.

How is Small Craft Advisory Determined?

Small Craft Advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when winds are expected to exceed 25-33 knots (about 29-38 mph). For fresh water bodies such as the Great Lakes, it is issued when winds are expected to exceed 22 knots. The advisory may also be issued when there are other severe weather conditions such as high waves and heavy rainfall.

What are the Implications of a Small Craft Advisory?

A Small Craft Advisory warning should never be taken lightly by mariners as it indicates the potential for rough and dangerous weather conditions. Small boats and watercrafts can be easily overturned or capsized in these conditions, exposing the occupants to serious harm. The advisory is meant as a precautionary warning to mariners to take the necessary precautions and make informed decisions prior to setting out on the water.

It is advisable for mariners to check the weather forecast prior to embarking on a journey, paying attention to any Small Craft Advisory warnings issued. Mariners should also ensure they have the appropriate safety equipment on board such as life jackets, communication devices, and other essential gear in case of any emergency situation.


Small Craft Advisory is a critical warning issued by the National Weather Service to alert mariners of the potential danger posed by rough weather conditions. Mariners must take heed of the warning and make informed decisions before setting out to sea to avoid any catastrophic situation. So, always keep an eye on the weather forecast and advisories before venturing out into the water.

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