Tides & Weather
Invaluable tide and weather information that will help plan safe passage around the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
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The Channel Island area weather forecast is transmitted by Jersey Coastguard on VHF channel 82 and 1659 kHz at the following times. An announcement is made initially on channel 16 then the forecast / warning is transmitted on channel 82.
0645 local time
0745 local time
0845 local time
Gale warnings (on receipt and at these times)
Jersey Met Office:
Weather to go, telephone +44(0)1534492256 (credit card) weather information direct from the forecaster
Channel Islands Shipping Forecast:
Telephone 0900 6690022 (recorded message) Updates 0000 0600 1200 1800 local time
B.B.C. Radio 4:
Shipping Forecast broadcast at 0048 0520 1201 1754 (local time) 198 kHz LW / 92 - 95 MHz FM
B.B.C. Radio Guernsey:
0630 (weekdays only) 0730 & 0830 (local time) 1116 kHz MW / 93.2 MHz FM
2,3,4 & 5 day forecast charts telephone 0336 400471
C.I. Shipping forecast telephone 0336 400466
Local weather forecast, telephone 12080
CI shipping forecast, telephone 0900 669 0022
General weather enquiries, telephone 0906 713 0111
Weather Time Period:
From time of issue of warning
Imminent within 6 hours
Soon within 6 - 12 hours
Later after 12 hours
St Peter Port Tide Tables
St Peter Port Tidal Curve
Reproduced courtesy of John Frankland.
- Obtain the time and height of both HW and LW for the day from the tide tables.
- Draw a line connecting the HW height (upper left scale) to LW height (lower left scale)
- Mark the time of HW in the position under the curve.
- Mark in hours to the left of HW (subtract) and hours to the right of HW (add)
By comparing the range (HW minus LW) with box showing the mean neap & spring ranges, it can be established whether it is a neap/spring tide or in between.
To find the height of tide at any particular time
- Enter the curve at the appropriate time before or after HW
- Travel vertically upwards to meet the curve
- Travel horizontally to the left to meet the previously drawn HW / LW line
- Travel vertically upwards and read off the height at the time.
To find the time for any particular height: Enter at the appropriate height (upper left scale) and reverse the above directions to emerge at the time for that height.
General Tidal Flow in the Bay of St. Malo
Consider firstly the general flow of the early flood tide into the English Channel, and in particular the increasing pressure of water as it is built up in the confines of the Bay of St Malo, commencing just after local Low Water at each place along the north Brittany Coast in the form of a broad band, whilst further to the north the main flow proceeds at a more leisurely pace up the English Channel.
At progressively later Low Water times, the tide turns eastwards along the north Brittany Coast until the west-facing Normandy coast is reached, building up into the south-east corner of the Bay of St. Malo, until local HW. Meanwhile, east of Les Roches Douvres this easterly set is divided by the island of Jersey, part of which flows NE up the Déroute towards Cap de la Hague, accelerating as it is squeezed through the Race and Swinge of Alderney, slackening and turning here at four and a half hours after HW St Peter Port, then turns first southerly then south-westerly when influenced by the main Channel ebb.
Thus a circulatory anti-clockwise flow is set up in the general area surrounding the Bailiwick of Guernsey, approximately contained within imaginary lines drawn between Les Roches Douvres, Jersey, Casquets, a point 10 miles NW of Les Hanois and return to Les Roches Douvres.
It will therefore be seen that except for certain inshore areas, there is no definitive slack water in the Bailiwick of Guernsey area, but rather as the flood and then the ebb evolves, the direction of the current alters anti-clockwise in the general area surrounding Guernsey at a rate of approximately 30 degrees per hour (in general terms), during the tidal cycle. Along the north Brittany Coast, the tide flows and ebbs in an east-west direction at local LW and HW respectively; similarly the current flows north-south along the Normandy Coast.
The easterly flow rate is increasing rapidly in the latitude of Guernsey at half-flood along the south and north coasts, whilst in the Little and Big Russels, slack water is experienced due to the Island mass blocking the flow.
As the flow direction alters anti-clockwise towards the north-east, the current commences to flow up the Little and Big Russels after half-flood, and at HW the tendency is to turn towards the north. Thus the flow is split at St Martin's Point, but whilst the main stream of flood tide continues to run northerly through the Big and Little Russels at 2.5 to 3.0 knots during springs, the early ebb drift is commencing to go west close inshore along the south coast of Guernsey at 1 knot.
After high-water, the configuration of the East Coast of Guernsey continues to force the main flow NEly past the Platte Fougère Lighthouse and Amfrocque, but tends to turn more northerly a few miles north of this area. At this time close inshore south of St Peter Port a southerly drift is produced, which joins the first ebb along the south coast; and close inshore the eddy is felt along the NW coast from the Platte Fougère Lighthouse, and the first westerly ebb is commencing.
At half-ebb the general flow has turned westerly, and slack water is again experienced in the Little and Big Russels, but is soon forced to turn SW'ly in this area, first by the configuration of the land and then by the influence of the main ebb gaining momentum.
At low water, the tendency is for the flow to turn more southerly, causing slack water in the eddy of the south coast of Guernsey, and a strong SE'ly flow to commence in the area of the Platte Boue and Amfrocque towards the Big Russel, caused by the influential southerly stream in this Channel.
After low water the first flood tide is commencing towards the east at Pleinmont Point and along the inshore north-west coast, the former event being induced to join the main flow down the Little and Big Russels at St Martin's Point, but inevitably this easterly flow is gradually increased until half-flood, and overwhelming the southerly Russels' current, thus re-commencing the cycle once more.
The greatest volume of tidal flow will be felt in the narrows off Roustel (rate 4.5 knots) during Spring tides at high and low water, in the Big Russel and along the south and north coasts of Guernsey, also in the area of the Platte Boue between LW and Half-flood.
The tidal rate in the near approach to St Peter Port is generally weak at 1 knot maximum, but candidates should be aware of a fairly strong circulatory flow into the Harbours of St Peter Port and St Sampson's, especially during the two hours either side of half-flood at Spring tides.