The Weather

Merchant Navy practice

In both the Royal and Merchant Navies, the weather is logged at the end of each watch. In order to prevent ambiguity, a set of standard abbreviations was devised by Admiral Beaufort of the RN for cloud cover, precipitation (rain etc!), wind force, and general weather. These records were used in olden days to help forecast the coming weather, and also as proof in claims of cargo damage. Nowadays, forecasting is a much better science and little is actually done aboard, relying mainly on forecasts from shore establishments.

Our holiday

When the Collins Family is on holiday, it has become a custom for us to record the weather - if only so that we can look back on how good/poor it was during the period. No forecasting is done and we don't get cargo damage!

The Codes

The codes used in this journal are, with only a couple of differences, those used in the Merchant Navy. No thermometer is available so I have devised my own code. No wind direction is available. "Heavy" should be 'capitalised' and "slight" should be a subscript, rather than the '+' and '-' used here. The codes and their order are as follows.

Cloud Temperature Wind Force Weather
b blue sky 0-1 8th b baltic a airy F 1 d drizzle
bc partly cl. 2-5 8th d cold b breezy F 2-3 r rain
c mostly cl. 6-7 8th c cool w windy F 4-6 h hail
o overcast 8 8th w warm g gales F 7-8 s snow
u ugly or threatening h hot s stormy F 9+
      t tropical       z haze
                m mist
                f fog
                e dew
                w wet air
Weather qualifiers
  ..... + heavy .....           l lightning
  ..... - slight .....           t thunder
  i ..... intermittent .....           q squalls
  double letter continuous           x ice / frost

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