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Weather Routing Software and Websites

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Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729


6/9/2015
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729
Here is the webinar I referred to earlier. The recording will be available after the live event.

Last chance to register for WXR200: Intro to the Marine Weather Curriculum with Lee Chesneau.

With experience in the Navy, NOAA and the private sector in marine weather forecasting and routing, Lee Chesneau provides regular 5-day courses to professional mariners. Lee has adapted his course for the cruiser and for the webinar format and brings the complete curriculum for the first time to Seven Seas U.

Want to cruise safer, faster with more comfort? Knowing more about marine weather is the answer! Lee will discuss why marine weather is an essential skill that all small boat captains must have for the comfort and safety of their crews.

Lee’s approach is to provide you with the sound foundation in marine weather basics and move on to advanced topics so that you can take the inputs from multiple sources and combine them to make well informed decisions. With presentations and hands-on exercises you will learn to decide when is the right time to leave the dock or anchorage and the best route to take for the speed and comfort level that matches the experience and capabilities of your crew.

This introduction is a fast paced introduction to the topics that will be covered over the next several weeks.

When: Tuesday 9 June 2015, 08:00 PM - 09:30 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada) (Please note that Daylight Saving Time (+01:00 hr) is in effect during this time)
To register now, please visit the following link:
https://sevenseasu.adobeconnect.com/e7owaiw6yf9/event/registration.html
To know more about the event, please visit our website:
https://sevenseasu.adobeconnect.com/e7owaiw6yf9/event/event_info.html

Thank you,
Mark Brownhill
Administrator
SevenSeasU@ssca.org

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Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729


5/30/2015
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729
Here 's another. Chris Tibbs does weather routing for the ARC. This is a good article about choosing the route across the Atlantic.

http://www.yachtingworld.com/features/the-best-route-for-an-atlantic-crossing-it-depends-when-you-go-64859

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Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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Dick
Posts: 285


5/30/2015
Dick
Posts: 285
Hey all,
Please use a weather guru, but beware: the danger in any guru is that your transfer your well being to the guru. It is important to be able to forecast for yourself: to have the necessary knowledge to do so and to have the equipment (and experience using it) to collect data to use in forecasting while offshore bouncing around.
One winter project could be to pick a spot where there is real time weather data available and then forecast for that spot. Do the forecast for each day a few days out. After your forecast, get a professional forecast. Then compare your forecast with actual weather and you will get an idea of the accuracy of your forecast, how long it is accurate, and how well the pro 's do. Write everything down and keep records. A few sailors doing this together could make it more fun and you could learn from each other.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729


5/25/2015
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729
David -

Chris Parker does a weather course for SSCA via SSU webinar which is available as a recording and can be listened to at any time. https://events-na5.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/933853578/en/events/catalog.html?folder-id=1513649398

Lee Chesnau does excellent weather courses in Annapolis and West Coast US mostly. http://www.chesneaumarineweather.com/ He used to do webinars for the SSCA but I don 't think he does those any more.

My favourite book is Michael William Carr 's Weather Prediction Simplified. He used to do a great course at boat shows which I took. I have not heard about him in some time though. I would highly recommend his course if he does it again.

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Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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Simon Currin
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Posts: 771


5/25/2015
Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 771
Hi Frances
Greetings from Helsinki.
Could you put this on Facebook as an advice to Atlantic passage makers that Chris Parker will be doing forecasts for the N Atlantic at 2200 UTC on 8137 and 12350 USB with my recommendation that Chris is an excellent forecaster.

Copied to Simon also for the Forum
Thanks
John

Sent from my iPad
John Franklin
+44 1442 891392
Cell +44 77 6666 3394

Begin forwarded message:

From: Chris Parker <chris@mwxc.com>
Date: 24 May 2015 21:11:19 EEST
To: john@alshaheen.co.uk
Subject: Wx Update, General Info, //WL2K R/ Sun24, 2p
Reply-To: Chris Parker <chris@mwxc.com>

Wx Update, General Info, //WL2K R/ Sun24, 2p

?Three important items:
1. I am asking for your help. I will hire 2 permanent weather forecasters this summer, and I appreciate anyone you can recommend/refer
2. Evening SSB Voice Weather Net
3. Thank you

More details:
1. As you may know, I continue to invest heavily in Marine Weather Center, in order to provide high-value-added weather forecasts and routing advice - most recently new antennas, tower, radios and assorted gear and a building to house them.
As business grows (not without growing pains which include less-than-timely delivery of Regional Daily Email forecasts), the next planned growth phase is to hire 2 permanent part-time weather forecasters.
I will train and oversee these forecasters so you receive the same quality forecasts you expect from Marine Weather Center, but on a more-timely basis. This will include forecasts 7 days/week.
I am willing to train the right candidates. More details and Job Description: http://mwxc.com/news/?p=193

If you know someone who might be qualified and interested, please either send me their contact details, or ask them to review the Job Description, and contact me.

*.*

2. This week I tested an evening SSB radio Weather Net, at 2200 utc (6p AST/EDT) on: 8.137 USB and 12.350 USB, Daily except Sundays.
Antennas aimed ENE from Florida, placing most offshore waters (from N of E Caribbean to almost US E Coast) in my Beam, with center of Beam directed at Bermuda-Azores-Europe. I also worked vessels in Caribbean, Bahamas and US Coast on the evening Net - aiming Beam at them after initial contact.
Benefits of evening Net include: Radio Propagation is generally better than mornings. And 2x/daily Nets proved handy with vessels transiting nasty weather between Bermuda and NewEngland last week.
Any Subscribing Vessels may check-in on any Net. But the main goal of this evening Net is to work offshore Subscribing Vessels. This should free-up our morning Nets for Subscribers in the Islands and along US Coast, and help me stick close to the designated times for each Net.
I am not sure for how long I 'll do the evening Net. Certainly thru the end of June, to handle the bulk of offshore traffic. But I may take a break from the evening Net in July-August.

SSB Net Schedule, by area of focus:
E Caribbean, and Atlantic waters S of 32N: 6a AST / 1000 utc on 4.045 USB & 8.137 USB
E Caribbean, and Atlantic waters S of 32N: 8:30a AST / 1230 utc on 8.137 USB & 12.350 USB
Bahamas: 6:30a EDT / 1030 utc on 4.045 USB & 8.137 USB

GOMEX: may be best 6:30a EDT / 1030 utc on 4.045 USB & 8.137 USB

US E Coast-Canadian Maritimes, and NW Atlantic waters N of 32N: 8a EDT / 1200 utc on 8.137 USB & 12.350 USB

W Caribbean and E Pacific: 9a AST/EDT / 1300 utc on 8.137 USB and 12.350 USB

Offshore Atlantic (including vessels transiting to/from Bermuda, Azores, approaches to/from Europe): 2200 utc (6p AST/EDT) on 8.137 USB & 12.350 USB

*.*

3. Finally, a little background. Three years ago I realized working 60+ hour weeks (100+ hours this time of year and in Fall), with no breaks, is not sustainable. The business needed to shrink - or grow so I could hire employees. But without a financial cushion, the only way I could grow the business was to try to juggle everything myself until I could afford to hire employees. And before that I needed to invest heavily in radios, etc.

I decided to grow the business to sustain 3 employees (me full-time and 2 part-time forecasters). This will enable Marine Weather Center to provide the high-value-added weather forecasts and routing advice you expect, 7 days/week, on a reliable schedule. During busy times or when one of us is taking a break, the other forecasters will work full-time.

I know this growth has not been without problems, including timing of Regional Daily Email forecasts, failure to respond to Support Requests / emails, adjusting SSB Net schedules to handle increasing traffic, and many more.

THANK YOU for continuing to support my work. Without your help and support, I could not have grown Marine Weather Center to provide more value-added forecasts and routing advice for more clients - (and in the near future) in a more-timely fashion, and with the hope of some work/life balance.

I 'm sure there will be more bumps-in-the-road. When bumps occur, I ask you to give me your constructive feedback so we can address any problems or concerns.

Thank you again...Chris Parker.

--
Simon Currin
S/V Shimshal simon@medex.org.uk
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DCDeVore
Posts: 4


5/25/2015
DCDeVore
Posts: 4
Can anyone recommend any type of course or seminar or publications that are offered for marine weather routing as it pertains to long distance voyaging?
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John Franklin
Posts: 132


1/3/2015
John Franklin
Posts: 132
We all rue the loss of Herb; what a great man and what a great service.

I am a great fan of Chris Parker. His speciality area is the Caribbean, Bahamas and SE USA but I have used him very successfully for an Atlantic crossing with custom forecasts by email/Sailmail. Chris is the best hurricane forecaster there is - he regularly outperforms NOAA.

I tried Jenifer Clark 's Gulf Stream forecasting on an Atlantic crossing but I found it expensive and of doubtful value. The associated weather forecasting by her husband was very poor.

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John Franklin
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dcaukill
Posts: 48


1/3/2015
dcaukill
Posts: 48
Most automated, Internet based forecasts are simple representations the same GFS model output data. So for example WindGuru and Windfinder should produce the same forecasts. Wave data also comes from a single source. GFS has global coverage. You can get access to other model outputs: these are sometimes more accurate but cover more restricted areas. I use a single source for all model output data, currently Xygrib, over a satellite connection. It generates small (50kb?) files and is intuitive and easy to use. I have hadgood experiences of Saildocs and of Mailasails weather services which are also available by HFRadio.

When it matters, eg around approaching systems, there is value in someone, like Herb, being able to overlay actual conditions over the forecast - and identify local anomalies which are lost in the 1 or 0.5 degree resolution of the GRIB forecast. They use practical experience to refine the forecast and in particular to express in words the potential alternative outcomes rather than in numerical probabilities.

I rue the loss of Herb for that reason - he was a great resource and worked for nothing. There are others just as capable, but less altruistic. I used Bob McDavitt in the west Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. He provides email based forecasts tailored to your situation. Only asked for detailed weather forecasts if weather systems/fronts were in the offing. He was responsive and relatively inexpensive. I have also used Chris Tibbs approaching the Arghulas Current.
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Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729


3/24/2012
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729
I first tried Predict Wind in 2008 as a beta test and found that it was not intuitive to use. Also the graphics were difficult to interpret. I did give them my comments and I hear they 've made significant changes.

I just downloaded the app for android which I am testing. The app seems to work great. The basic app is free but you get only limited (one day) forecasts. To get a 5-day forecast you have to subscribe to the service. If I could figure out how to post a photo, I 'd show a screen grab of the app. It 's pretty slick. As it 's $19 for a 12-month 5-day forecast upgrade, I may splurge. Not sure yet how that relates to Routing, Tracking, and Trip Planner functions. Does anyone else have experience with this app?

--
Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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John Franklin
Posts: 132


3/19/2012
John Franklin
Posts: 132
Daria. I had a look at the Predict Wind webiste after seeing it advertised on Matt Rutherford 's website. I am interested to know what were the problems or limitations with it?

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John Franklin
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Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729


3/18/2012
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 729
We use Herb Hilgenberg as well. Great experience with him.

We have also used Commander 's Weather for coastal passages and a trial of Predict Wind with mixed results.

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Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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jennyjen
Posts: 26


3/18/2012
jennyjen
Posts: 26
Apologies - only half a job done here!!

http://weather.mailasail.com/Franks-Weather/Home
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RobbieW
Posts: 24


3/18/2012
RobbieW
Posts: 24
Jenny - not sure if I 'm missing something but your post implies I should find a document hidden around it somewhere. If so its too well hidden for me :)
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Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 771


3/13/2012
Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 771
We just loved Herb who we used a lot for the AZAB. It 's the way he gently chides you if you ignore his advice and end up in 'hilly seas ' with a strong blow. Fantastic for entertainment and the weather.

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Simon Currin
S/V Shimshal simon@medex.org.uk
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jennyjen
Posts: 26


3/13/2012
jennyjen
Posts: 26
This is a very comprehensive document from Frank Singleton, giving scads of excellent information.

What do you use for weather routing?

Who 's your guru? I know in the Caribbean we swore by Chris Parker, and crossing the Atlantic we used Herb Hilgenberg extensively: who do you use?
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