The MAFOR code was created to transmit weather forecasts in a simply form that is easy to hear and transcribe from a radio broadcast. The code begins with a date/time group, followed by the name of the area the forecast applies to, and one or more five-digit groups beginning with "1" for weather forecast, which may be followed by an optional group beginning with "2" for visiblity and wave height. Each MAFOR broadcast is followed by a brief description of centers of high and low pressure areas, and their forecast location, direction and speed.

Date Group: DDHHMM/

DD is the day of the month
HHMM is the time of the beginning of the forecast period in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
"/" The last digit of this group is not used.

Weather Group: 1HDVW

1 - weather group identifier

H - period of time covered by the forecast

D - wind direction

V - wind velocity

W - forecast weather

Optional Group: 2VS

2 - supplementary group identifier, same period as preceding group.

V - visibility

S - sea state (wave height in meters)

Example: MAFOR 0403/ Ontario 12548 14755 245H 12720

0403 Marine forecast valid starting on the fourth day of this month at 03 UTC.

Ontario Lake Ontario
2 First 6 hours
5 Southwest wind
4 at 28 - 33 knots
8 Squally weather with or without showers.

4 Next 12 hours of forecast period
7 Northwest wind
5 at 34 - 40 knots
5 with drizzle.

2 (for same period)
4 visibility 1/2 - 1 nautical mile
5 with rough seas, wave heights of 2.5 - 4 metres.

2 Final 6 hours of the forecast period
7 Northwest wind
2 at 17 - 21 knots
0 visibility greater than 3 nautical miles.

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