Hurricane Season commences June 1st and continues through November 30th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this six-month period accounts for 97% of all Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes. NOAA's 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook can be found here.
Vessels and port facilities are strongly encouraged to review their severe weather plan or develop a plan if needed.
The Captain of the Port (COTP) will set Port Conditions in advance of an arriving hurricane, tropical storm, or severe weather events and are based on when sustained gale force winds (34kts/39mph) are predicted to arrive at the Virginia Capes. Port Conditions are set in accordance with the Port of Virginia's Maritime Severe Weather Contingency Plan. This document can be found here.
Preparation check lists for vessels and facilities can be found in the annexes at the end of that plan.
The severe weather thresholds for changes in port condition are as follows:
Port Condition Whiskey (arrival of sustained gale force winds predicted within 72 hours)
Port Condition X-Ray (arrival of sustained gale force winds predicted within 48 hours)
Port Condition Yankee (arrival of sustained gale force winds predicted within 24 hours)
Port Condition Zulu (arrival of sustained gale force winds predicted within 12 hours)
As soon as practicable following the passage of the storm, the COTP will assess status of the waterways and port infrastructure and prioritize maritime transportation system recovery effort. Based on this assessment, the port status will change to closed, open, or open with restrictions.
For further information, contact [email protected].
Marine Safety Information Bulletin