Hurricane Season Port Condition Definitions
Along with Watch and Warning designations, these alphabetical listings, W, X, Y and Z, i.e. Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee and Zulu, are used to indicate the anticipated severity of an approaching storm. And while the port restrictions are directed primarily at commercial traffic, the same port conditions allow recreational boaters to gauge the level of risk from the storm. Obviously, the further along the alphabet, the more severe the forecast for a given port or coastline. This year, port conditions have been issued several times for entire coasts in the Gulf and on the East coast. The official hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.
HURRICANE SEASON PORT CONDITIONS AND CATEGORIES
Port Conditions are set by the Captain of the Port and are used to alert the maritime community to changes in port operations needed to prepare for the storm’s arrival.
PORT CONDITION WHISKEY: Gale force winds (34 knots or 39 mph) are predicted to arrive within 72 hours. Port Status: Open to all commercial and recreational traffic.
PORT CONDITION X-RAY: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 48 hours. Port Status: Open to all commercial and recreational traffic.
PORT CONDITION YANKEE: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 24 hours. Port status: Closed to inbound traffic and vessel traffic control measures in effect on vessel movements within the port.
PORT CONDITION ZULU: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 12 hours. Port Status: Closed to all inbound and outbound traffic.
PORT CONDITION RECOVERY: The storm is no longer a threat to the area, however, some damage may have occurred and response and recovery operations are in progress. Port status: Reopened to outbound traffic at the completion of the port survey. Vessel traffic control measures remain in effect on vessel movements within the port.