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Old 14 November 2013, 03:59   #1
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Weather forecast sites ?

What do you guys use to check out the forecast ? Ive done a search on here for "weather forecast" but get overwhelmed by the results as we all talk about the weather.

I just need a web site like the Met office for boating, looking at the south / Poole / Solent.

Thanks
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Old 14 November 2013, 04:34   #2
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Originally Posted by Trimix View Post
What do you guys use to check out the forecast ? Ive done a search on here for "weather forecast" but get overwhelmed by the results as we all talk about the weather.

I just need a web site like the Met office for boating, looking at the south / Poole / Solent.

Thanks
Hi Trimix, The unfortunate aspect of weather sites is that the only ones that are any good require you to have a certain knowledge. If you understand grib files these types of sites are the best. Basically these are computer predictions using information of pressure readings from a variety of sources (including live time ships readings). This information has become very accurate in recent years and certainly looking 2/3 days ahead they are very accurate. The most obvious free one to use is Windguru which is essentially a windsurfers site - they give pretty accurate wind / wave conditions worldwide. The ones for Weymouth Poole Lymington and Cowes are pretty good and you can compare the information to the live weather at Hurst Calshot and Chichester. The information they use in all predictors comes from standard sites such a ECMWF and what they call the European Model. There are others but these are recognised as the best. If you have an iPad/ iPhone I also recommend Pocket Grib and Meteo Pro. There are small charges for these. I will make a list of the best UK sites I use and will post these on a second.
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Old 14 November 2013, 04:39   #3
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I generally find yr.no (the Norwegian weather office) to be pretty reliable. It covers the Channel, at least.
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Old 14 November 2013, 04:44   #4
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Hi Again

Here are some weather sites I use regularly - do not be put off by any technical aspects. They all have lost of good simple detail. The last one Bramblemet will give you some very recent / live info. I think the best forecast is a comparison between several sites. If they all agree in wind speed and direction you have good info. Feel free to post me if you need any explanations.

WindGURU: United States - Maui (north shore)
BBC Weather - Coast and Sea
Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
ECMWF CEPMMT EZMW
sailing great britain wind (gfs) + 0 utc
Surf Reports, Surf Forecasts and Surfing Photos - Magicseaweed.com
BRAMBLEMET - Weather Reports from Bramble Bank
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Old 14 November 2013, 04:51   #5
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PS on Windguru it takes you to the main USA site. Click on the SPOT MENU on the tabs and you can input an area in most places in the world.
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Old 14 November 2013, 05:00   #6
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One further simple aspect. Here is an example of a grib file. The little arrows on the chart indicate wind strength and direction. So imagine the icon is an arrow - the "feathers" are therefore at the back of the arrow which is pointing in the way the wind is going. The feathers have two strength readings - half a feather is 5 kts and a full feather is 10 kts. So in wind strength the half a feather is 5 kts, one feather 10 kts, One and a half feathers 15 kts and so on.

Remember this is a prediction only and the further forward you look the info is less reliable. Also the wind strengths are an average only. The wind could fluctuate over and under by 10 kts. You will see windguru has a gust predition as well.
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Old 14 November 2013, 05:05   #7
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Ah, brilliant. Thanks for that - very helpfull. I shall start looking and get a feel for it.

Of course, the other issue is whats acceptable weather to go Ribbing ? That will be subjective and somewhat dependent on my clothing

*googles dry suits and thermal underwear*
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Old 14 November 2013, 05:59   #8
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I have windfinder on my phone which gives wind reports on locations you specify, in conjunction with a forecast i find it useful for "on the day" passage planing.

Though with your beast it would be quite extreme conditions before it becomes a worry
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Old 14 November 2013, 06:31   #9
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Old 14 November 2013, 06:34   #10
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xcweather.co.uk
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Old 14 November 2013, 06:57   #11
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Starovich, its more my wifes interpretation of the weather that matters, not mine or the boats

She was born in the sunny Med, so any wave she sees means we are about to sink !

I am expecting that once she gets behind the throttles she will feel differently about it though.
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Old 14 November 2013, 07:09   #12
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Hi, I think that often looking at the weather gets far more complex than it needs to be. I tend to follow a process like:

Boating locally in Poole (your example)

BBC Weather - Poole

If I am staying local, the forecast is good and nothing nasty is on the horizon I will leave it at that

If there is any chance that the weather may change, higher winds are around or I am on a boat that is a bit more weather affected then I look at

XCWeather - Forecast for Poole

WindGURU: United Kingdom - Poole Harbour

and possibly if still needing more information/comfort

Met Office: Marine weather - for the inshore and shipping forecasts

If going on a passage

All of the above, particularly Met Office: Marine weather plus also viewing the synoptics and other data from

Marine

Charts

This site is pretty geeky but does a great job of aggregating weather from lots of sources

Regards, Paul
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Old 14 November 2013, 07:20   #13
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I use Xc Weather - download onto your computer or smartphone. I do a lot of offshore sailing on the Scottish west coast were the weather is very changeable and fid this site is the most
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Old 14 November 2013, 07:28   #14
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I generally use WeatherPro on my phone, plus Met Office and XC Weather if I want a second or third opinion.

Generally speaking none of them are a lot of use more than a couple of days ahead anyway.
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Old 14 November 2013, 07:36   #15
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Sorry this thread became disjointed. Xc Weather I have found to be the most reliable and accurate by far. Most of our fishing boats here in Scotland make use of it as the Met Office based forecasts have become more and more unreliable, often grossly over estimating wind strengths and are no longer referred to.

Xc Weather is based upon actual real time weather reports all over the UK . I actually live directly on the NE coast of Scotland, the sea is at the end of my garden and my nearest reporting station on Xc Weather is 12 miles away at Lossiemouth. I can assure you that their information from Lossiemouth in real time tallies almost exactly with what I can observe from my living room window time and time again. Forecasting is far more accurate as the site is compiling and refining information from so many sites where the ACTUAL weather is being experienced.

Try it and see and let me know how you get on

Phil
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Old 14 November 2013, 08:03   #16
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forecasts

http://www.swellmap.com/boating/uk/

this must be the only one missing from the lists ,I always use it and gives very detailed info and is always pretty much accurate for a few days in advance
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Old 14 November 2013, 08:16   #17
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Oooh, its all good. I like your thought process Paul.

Weather looks good, I have the option of staying in Poole harbour, or venturing further if we feel its good on the day.

Cant wait now
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