Port Warning & Signals

Introduction

In accordance with international procedure, ports are warned and advised to hoist "Signals" whenever adverse weather is expected over the ports for the oceanic areas, in which it is located due to the tropical cyclone. However, regional difference exists. The warning messages normally contain information on the location, intensity, direction and speed of movement of the tropical cyclone and the expected weather over the port.

The India Meteorological Department (through the area cyclone warning centres (ACWCs)/ cyclone warning centres (CWCs) maintains a port warning service by which the port officers are warned by high priority telegrams about disturbed weather likely to affect their ports. On receipt of the warning telegrams from the ACWC/CWC, the port officers hoist appropriate visual signals prominently on signal masts so that they are visible from a distance. Mariners and other sea-faring people, including fishermen who may not be literate, are generally aware of the meaning of these signals and the port authorities are always ready to explain them whenever necessary. At some ports, the meanings of the signals are displayed in English as well as in the local languages prominently on a notice board. While the India Meteorological Department is responsible for issuing the warnings, the port authorities arrange the display of signals. In addition to hoisting the signals, the port officers have, in most cases, make arrangements for disseminating the warnings received by them, to country craft and sailing vessels in the harbours.

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