When you get to the water, make sure that the conditions you see match those predicted in weather forecasts for that day. Continue to keep an eye on the weather while you are underway, so you can take action and seek shelter before a storm arrives.
Summer thunderstorms and lightning can strike quickly and unexpectedly. Head for shore if the sky starts to look dark and cloudy, especially if conditions are changing rapidly (check your charts in advance to know where to seek shelter).
Other good indications of approaching bad weather are:
- A falling barometer reading;
- Increasing wind and wind direction change;
- Rapid build-up of high wave conditions;Bad weather tends to approach from the west (however, storms from the east tend to be more powerful); and
- Watching the movement of other boaters and monitoring radio and weather channels frequently.