General Weather Conditions:

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Weather Warnings:
Grey Bruce region
Barrie/Orillia/Midland region
Parry Sound/Muskoka region
Manitoulan/North Shore/Killarney region


Marine Conditions:
South Georgian Bay
North Channel
Cedar Point Web Cam


Weather Underground
A great general weather forecasting tool set to Midland


Passage Weather
7-day Wind, Wave and Weather Forecasts - PassageWeather


NOAA's National Weather Service
Wind & Water Temperature Lake Huron/Georgian Bay


National Data Buoy Centre
Georgian Bay Weather Buoys


BEAUFORT WIND SCALE

Force

Wind Speed

Description

Effects on Land and at Sea

mph km/hr knots
0 <1 <1 <1 Calm Still, calm air, smoke will rise vertically. Water is mirror-like.
1 1-3
mph
1-5
kph
1-3
knots
Light Air Rising smoke drifts, wind vane is inactive. Small ripples appear on water surface.
2 4-7
mph
6-11
kph
4-6
knots
Light Breeze Leaves rustle, can feel wind on your face, wind vanes begin to move. Small wavelets develop, crests are glassy.
3 8-12
mph
12-19
kph
7-10
knots
Gentle Breeze Leaves and small twigs move, light weight flags extend. Large wavelets, crests start to break, some whitecaps.
4 13-18
mph
20-28
kph
11-16
knots
Moderate
Breeze
Small branches move, raises dust, leaves and paper. Small waves develop, becoming longer, whitecaps.
5 19-24
mph
29-38
kph
17-21
knots
Fresh Breeze Small trees sway. White crested wavelets (whitecaps) form, some spray.
6 25-31
mph
39-49
kph
22-27
knots
Strong Breeze Large tree branches move,  telephone wires begin to "whistle", umbrellas are difficult to keep under control. Larger waves form, whitecaps prevalent, spray.
7 32-38
mph
50-61
kph
28-33
knots
Moderate or Near Gale Large trees sway, becoming difficult to walk. Larger waves develop, white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown.
8 39-46
mph
62-74
kph
34-40
knots
Gale or Fresh Gale Twigs and small branches are broken from trees, walking is difficult. Moderately large waves with blown foam.
9 47-54
mph
75-88
kph
41-47
knots
Strong Gale Slight damage occurs to buildings, shingles are blown off of roofs. High waves (6 metres), rolling seas, dense foam, Blowing spray reduces visibility.
10 55-63
mph
89-102
kph
48-55
knots
Whole Gale or Storm Trees are broken or uprooted, building damage is considerable. Large waves (6-9 metres), overhanging crests, sea becomes white with foam, heavy rolling, reduced visibility.
11 64-72
mph
103-117
kph
56-63
knots
Violent Storm Extensive widespread damage. Large waves (9-14 metres), white foam, visibility further reduced.
12 73+
mph
118+
kph
64+
knots
Hurricane Extreme destruction, devastation. Large waves over 14 metres, air filled with foam, sea white with foam and driving spray, little visibility.

Mafor Codes
Group 1 Always "1" Group 2 Period of forecast Group 3 Wind direction
   0-conditions at beginning of forecast.
 1-valid for 3 hours
 2-valid for 6 hours
 3-valid for 9 hours
 4-valid for 12 hours
 5-valid for 18 hours
 6-valid for 24 hours
 7-valid for 48 hours
 8-valid for 72 hours  9-occasionally
 0-calm
 1-northeast
 2-east
 3-southeast
 4-south
 5-southwest
 6-west
 7-northwest
 8-north
 9-variable
Group 4 Wind force (knots) Group 5 Weather forecast  
 0-0-10
 1-11-16
 2-17-21
 3-22-27
 4-28-33
 5-34-40
 6-41-47
 7-48-55
 8-56-63
 9-64 and above
 0-good to moderate visibility
 1-risk of ice: 23 to 32F
 2-strong risk of ice: below 23F
 3-mist
 4-fog
 5-drizzle
 6-rain
 7-snow or rain & snow
 8-squalls with or with out rain
 9-thunderstorm
 

Monitoring Georgian Bay Weather Is Paramount
If we can emphasis one thing very strongly it is this - Georgian Bay is one of the top cruising destinations in the world BUT severe weather, wind and waves can develop very quickly and the Georgian Bay's hundreds of shipwrecks from the 1800's right up until present day are testament to the danger severe weather brings to unsuspecting boaters. Our advise ... don't get caught out in a storm. This means planning ahead and checking all the forecasts and trends and not just the VHF weather forecast or the Environment Canada radio forecast you get from local radio stations.

If you follow multiple weather sources closely you will find large discrepancies in weather forecasts. It is not a perfect science so let caution prevail. We especially notice frequent differences between the Environment Canada forecasts and the US based NOAA National Weather Service for Lake Huron & Georgian Bay marine forecasts. When a front or the jet stream dividing line is close to the Georgian Bay region this is especially true. One very useful tool is the NOAA wind direction and wind speed maps of the Bay. You can look at existing conditions (Nowcast) and see all the little wind pockets as well as look ahead Forecast of the same. You can also view the marine radar & satellite imagery from the same page (scroll to the bottom). The NOAA forecasts seem to be consistently accurate but we have several sources of weather information on our Boating Georgian Bay™ Weather page so we recommend that you review several sources of Georgian Bay weather information on this site and you will have a thorough picture to predict what you might expect for the area you are travelling in .... and it is often very different than the radio broadcast. If the forecasts all line up then it is probably a safe bet in terms of what to expect - but when you see large discrepancies, it bears further investigation.

Once you get in the habit of checking this page as part of your cruise planning you will get very good at interpreting and forming your own opinion on what can be coming your way weather wise. It was interesting when the tornado came through Midland June 2010 around dinner hour that the weather channels were only tracking the original storm cell after it hit Midland and it was moving east towards Orillia but paid little attention to a much bigger cell that crossed Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and eventually Georgian Bay during the middle of the night. This cell was tracking east at 50 kmh but had a vertical north/south pattern and an intense center that was twice the size of what came through Midland. Watching the Weather Network this cell was never mentioned ... but if you were out in the middle of Georgian Bay you would sure want to know about it. Luckily this cell passed away from all major population centers.