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Old 23-04-2017, 17:43   #1
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pirate Website for winds

What is the best website for information on winds for cruisers?
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Old 24-04-2017, 02:57   #2
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Re: Website for winds

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Originally Posted by jholder51 View Post
What is the best website for information on winds for cruisers?
There isn't

Most of them use data from the same 1 or 2 models anyway so it's often more a preference of how it looks than content.

Frank Singleton's Weather and Sailing Pages - Franks-Weather - The Weather Window
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Old 24-04-2017, 05:09   #3
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Re: Website for winds

A lot of cruisers using WindyTV

www.windytv.com
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Old 24-04-2017, 06:05   #4
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Re: Website for winds

Predict Wind is what I use - and I find it very good.

www.predictwind.com
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Old 24-04-2017, 15:17   #5
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Re: Website for winds

Are you talking about short term forecasting or longer term planning.

If the former, then as Conachair says, they all use the same models - so use whichever one you prefer visually.

If the latter, then there are two sources:

1. The traditional pilot charts based on historical records from ships collected over many years and available as downloadable PDFs here: Atlas of Pilot Charts - Covering the Major Oceans of the World

2. COGOW charts at Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW which are composites of much more recent satellite observations of wind speeds/directions (10 years 1999-2009).
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Old 24-04-2017, 15:24   #6
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Re: Website for winds

Most of the cruisers that I know in the Caribbean use www.WindGuru.cz for forecasts - including myself. It gives excellent short-term wind and waves and that is sufficient for all Caribbean passages. I use a number of sites including NOAA for "real" weather when I want something more in-depth.
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Old 24-04-2017, 15:58   #7
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Re: Website for winds

Passageweather.com. 7 day forcast of wind, waves and pressure that are easy to interpret and accurate.
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Old 24-04-2017, 18:20   #8
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Re: Website for winds

Not popular with most cruisers but I like ExpertCharts because of the options and details you can access.

http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-bin/expertcharts
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Old 25-04-2017, 06:33   #9
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Re: Website for winds

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Are you talking about short term forecasting or longer term planning.

If the former, then as Conachair says, they all use the same models - so use whichever one you prefer visually.

If the latter, then there are two sources:

1. The traditional pilot charts based on historical records from ships collected over many years and available as downloadable PDFs here: Atlas of Pilot Charts - Covering the Major Oceans of the World

2. COGOW charts at Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW which are composites of much more recent satellite observations of wind speeds/directions (10 years 1999-2009).
As Stu points out, what is "best" (one of my least favorite words) all depends on intended use. Do you want a spot forecast (specific location), wide area, short term, longer term historic trends...

My 2c and preferences:

Spot forecast

WindGuru. I really like their graphic display. It packs a lot of info into one chart (average wind speed/direction, gusts, cloud cover, pressure, rain...all in one graphic).

Wide Area

Multiple tools. Like many, I download GRIBs. I also use NOAA RadioFax charts a lot. Be aware of the limitations of GRIBs (raw model output with no pro human review/revision, do not show fronts and other significant features, ...). Many mistakenly use them almost exclusively and do not compensate for their short comings.

Historic Trends

Pilot Charts. I still use Pilot Charts, but as Stu posted there are more up to date tools/data becoming available.

And a step beyond your question:

Weather Routing. I do my own weather routing and also weather route for friends when Im ashore. I use all the above tools plus SailGRIB WR (which uses GRIB data for both winds and currents). Just finished routing for friends on a non-stop run from Florida to Guatemala.

Their trip makes for a great example of a short coming of GRIBs. They downloaded GRIBs, looked at wide area systemic winds of about 15 knots and were all ready to go for it...what the basic GRIB view did not show them was large powerful cold front crossing the Gulf of Mexico that would have crossed their route in a few days. The surrounding systemic winds were not forecast to be much more that 20 knots, but....the conditions on the frontal boundary were forecast to be VERY unstable (CAPE index near 4,000 in some areas!). Such highly unstable air can result in extremely bad localized weather (which most forecast options won't show). I convinced them to delay their departure...the frontal crossing brought some really ugly weather over their location...they left on the front's trailing edge and made the entire run from FL to Guatemala in easy favorable conditions...sure beats the butt kicking they would have gotten on their original GRIB only based plans.
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Old 25-04-2017, 15:19   #10
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Re: Website for winds

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
A lot of cruisers using WindyTV

www.windytv.com
Agreed -- I use this. May not be perfect, but it's close. As a bonus, it's really pretty.
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Old 25-04-2017, 15:53   #11
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Re: Website for winds

Nothing is 'best'.

I like windguru, windfinder, etc. etc.

They all seem to show mostly the same results however some are known to be more often right in specific areas.

So probably make a list of 10 sites that offer the service for your chosen spot, then watch their adequacy daily for a year and then simply check the one that was right most times!

A funny fact: yr.no gives most accurate forecasts for Canary Islands.

b.
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