Whether you’re out on the water or on land near water, it’s important to have the tools necessary to ensure that you won’t be caught off guard by an approaching storm. From storm warning flags to nautical and marine flags, there are many uses for flags on the water. Let’s take a deeper look at storm warning flags for hurricanes, small crafts and gale winds.
Storm Warning Flags
Hurricane flags and Gale storm warning flags are a must have for ships, beach patrols, coast guard units and civilians. Both pennant shaped and square shaped flags are used as weather indicators, and can provide wind strength information to those at sea.
A red square shaped flag with a black square on the inside is used to warn of hurricanes. If one flag is used, it indicates a storm warning, while two flags indicate a hurricane warning.
A hurricane warning is an announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area. Hurricane preparedness activities are difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, so a hurricane warning is issued approximately 36 hours in advance of the projected beginning of tropical-storm-force winds.
Small Craft Advisory & Gale Storm Warning Flags
A red pennant shaped flag is used for small craft advisory and for gale storm warning flags. A small craft advisory requires one pennant and a gale warning requires two pennants.
The issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas, and they are most often used in the Great Lakes areas to warn of forecasts for sustained winds, frequent gusts, or sea/wave conditions, exceeding defined thresholds specific to geographic areas. They are also issued ice is present on a sea or lake that could be dangerous to small boats.
When you see two red pennant flags, you are being provided a Gale storm warning. This warning indicates winds within the range 34 to 47 knots are forecast for the area.
Stay safe on the water with a set of Storm Warning Flags!