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New Jersey Scuba Diving


New Jersey Scuba Diving


Weather.com - Belmar Weather Forecast, NJ

Weather Forecast

Marine Forecasts

[ Forecasts issued at 9:30AM, 3:30PM, 9:30PM, 3:30AM local time. See Notes below ]

Real-Time Sea Conditions - Buoys

As noted elsewhere, long period waves can travel enormous distances at significant speeds. Swells generated in large storms offshore or in the Caribbean can reach our area in less than a day. Therefore, at times you may want to check more distant conditions as well:

NE Bahamas | Cape Canaveral | W Bermuda | S Hatteras | E Hatteras

Tides & Temperatures

High Tides and Tidal Differences from Sandy Hook, NJ :

Always arrive early, just in case. The ocean doesn't really care what we humans predict, and tides can run early or late, especially inland, depending on the wind, weather, and other factors. Tide and current calculations are highly complex, and approximate at best.

Rutgers LEO-15


National Weather ServiceMarine forecasts especially should be taken with a grain of salt - they usually try to err on the safe side, and predict worse conditions than actually happen, but not always. At any rate, they seldom forecast more than three days in advance, usually just two.

Long term forecasting ( say, for making reservations for next week ) is pretty much impossible, except late in the season, when you can watch the hurricanes come and go. I put a lot more stock in the real-time reports from the buoys and beach sites. It is difficult to plan anything based on this information, however. My recommendation concerning the weather and diving: make your plans anyway and hope for the best.

Marine forecasts issued at 9:30AM, 3:30PM, 9:30PM, 3:30AM local time. I have no way of knowing, but I assume the weather service works round-the-clock in three 8-hour shifts, or something like that. Assuming this, the team that prepares the afternoon ( 3:30PM ) forecast is extremely pessimistic. The afternoon forecast is almost always worse than the one that preceded it, and the one to follow. Generally, when all is said and done, the afternoon forecast proves to be much less accurate than the rest, and I have learned to simply ignore it, and wait for the evening version. You can also make your own forecast by looking at the wind and wave time-trends on the weather buoys, something that the weather service sometimes seems to have not thought of !

Too bad the old adage about weather forecast is still true:

Wrong too often to believe,
right too often to ignore.

Beginning divers should check out the page on Local Diving Conditions.

National Weather Service Terms

The weather service issues marine weather warnings of the following form,
based on observed or forecast winds:



18 - 34
... and/or seas greater than 7 feet.

Small Craft Advisories may also be issued for hazardous sea conditions or lower wind speeds that may affect small craft operations. Advisories are issued up to 12 hours in advance; Warnings are issued 24 hours in advance.

Note: there is no legal definition of the term "small craft"

34 - 47 Associated with a non-tropical storm.
Issued up to 24 hours ahead of conditions.
48+ Associated with a non-tropical storm.
Issued up to 24 hours ahead of conditions.
34 - 63 Associated with a tropical storm.
Issued up to 24 hours ahead of conditions.
Hurricane Warning

64+ Associated with a hurricane or tropical storm.
Issued up to 24 hours ahead of conditions.
34+ Associated with a squall or thunderstorm
and expected to last for 2 hours or less.
Issued up to 24 hours ahead of conditions.

Storm Warning Flags

These flags are flown at inlets, marinas, Coast Guard Stations, and other port locations to indicate hazardous weather conditions. The meaning depends on whether the flags are flown singly or in pairs.

Gale Flag

Small Craft Warning

Gale Flag

Gale Flag

Gale Warning
Hurricane Flag

Storm Warning

Hurricane Flag

Hurricane Flag

Hurricane Warning

Unfortunately, there is no standardization in beach warning flags. Different colors indicate safe or hazardous surf, no swimming, no surfing, undertows, jellyfish, and other conditions, but the pattern varies from place to place.

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I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted



since 2016-09-11