It's never fun to be out on a boat when thunderstorms approach. What is dangerous on land can be much more dangerous when you are surrounded by water. This is why the National Weather Service issues Special Marine Warnings and also why we now display them on RadarScope.
This is the official reason for issuing a Special Marine Warning:
"A Special Marine Warning (SAME Code: SMW) is a warning product issued by the U.S. National Weather Service for potentially hazardous marine weather conditions usually of short duration (up to 2 hours) producing sustained marine thunderstorm winds or associated gusts of 34 knots or greater; or hail 3/4 inch or more in diameter; or waterspouts affecting areas included in a Coastal Waters Forecast, a Nearshore Marine Forecast, or a Great Lakes Open Lakes Forecast that is not adequately covered by existing marine warnings. It is also used for short duration mesoscale events such as a strong cold front, gravity wave, squall line, etc., lasting less than 2 hours and producing winds or gusts of 34 knots or greater."
As seen below, this warning has now been added to RadarScope. It will appear as an orange box over a body of water. Touching it will show the type of warning and time left before it expires. Clicking on the information circle shows the full warning text.
Download the latest version of RadarScope (3.5) to see this new feature. If you don't have our radar app yet, you are missing out. Download it today!