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Old 18-05-2017, 13:02   #1
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Question Personal weather service?

Hello,

Is there a weather service for the Pacific Northwest which can provide personal service? By that I mean someone to follow along with a passage that can provide real time course information.

Sure we could attempt to download data ourselves and make predictions of weather and course, but its likely we will not have the internet bandwidth to do so, nor are we necessarily that familiar with weather patterns in that area.
Whereas, a one line text sentence providing a target course, would be easy with most blue water internet devices.
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Old 18-05-2017, 13:57   #2
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Re: Personal weather service?

Sorry, that should be Pacific Northeast.
Its a passage from Hawaii to Oregon
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Old 18-05-2017, 14:10   #3
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Re: Personal weather service?

Google "weather routing". You should be able to contract a service I would think.
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Old 18-05-2017, 16:12   #4
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Re: Personal weather service?

I do weather routing but not for your region.

You can PM me if you have any general questions.

You want someone who understands your region well. If the person is a sailor this is a plus.

Grab a list of your area ocean racing clubs, call up the office or email them. Many race(r)s use onboard or land based wx routers.

Good luck & have a safe passage,

Cheers,
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Old 18-05-2017, 17:47   #5
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Re: Personal weather service?

I think Commanders Weather is familiar with that route.
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Old 18-05-2017, 19:27   #6
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Re: Personal weather service?

StarPath/David Burch are Seattle based. I dont think they offer weather routing, but likely can recommend someone who does.
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Old 18-05-2017, 20:19   #7
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Re: Personal weather service?

Anyone tried Garmin inReach coupled with FastSeas up that way? I love the inReach weather forecasts, but have not had a chance to use it with FastSeas.
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Old 18-05-2017, 20:37   #8
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Re: Personal weather service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Anyone tried Garmin inReach coupled with FastSeas up that way? I love the inReach weather forecasts, but have not had a chance to use it with FastSeas.
Fastseas will give you a routing based on the GFS model. I really like Fastseas for pre-planning. Don't see it as much advantage once you've left. A GRIB download suffices aft that.
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Old 19-05-2017, 05:09   #9
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Re: Personal weather service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Fastseas will give you a routing based on the GFS model. I really like Fastseas for pre-planning. Don't see it as much advantage once you've left. A GRIB download suffices aft that.
Paul

They have a new service that integrates to inReach. So 200 miles from nowhere you send a message and get a routing update.
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Old 19-05-2017, 18:21   #10
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Re: Personal weather service?

Limpet,
1) The short answer is, yes...

2) The medium-length answer is, yes....depending on the time of year, the "weather routing" for this passage is not too difficult....assuming you're sailing (not motoring), generally you will head northerly (with the easterly or NE'rly Winds), until you get to westerly winds (usually close to 40* N), and then head east'erly / NE'erly to your destination...(so, you'll probably sail 200 - 400 miles farther than the 2250nm great circle distance...)

3) The long answer is:
Yes....depending on the time of year, the "weather routing" for this passage is not too difficult....assuming you're sailing (not motoring), you will head northerly (with the easterly or NE'rly Winds), until you get to westerly winds (usually close to 40* N), and then head east'erly / NE'erly to your destination...
Plus (as long as you have a radio, a barometer, and your eyes, you are the best "weather router", cuz all the info you need is right there for you, for free...):
a) Look at the pilot charts for the particular month that you're planning on this passage...
https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.po...ubConstant=APC

b) You have free, updated 4 times per day, large area weather info/forecasts broadcast to you from multiple locations.....in both "voice" and "text"...(SSB Voice and SITOR SafetyNET)
USCG HF Voice
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels

As an example, here are today's Hi-Seas forecasts, as transmitted by Voice and by Text....for free, via HF radio...(note that more detailed "offshore forecasts" are available for areas within 250 miles of Hawaii and within 250 miles of the US coast)
Quote:
FZPN40 PHFO 191528 HSFNP HIGH SEAS FORECAST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI 1700 UTC FRI MAY 19 2017 SUPERSEDED BY NEXT ISSUANCE IN 6 HOURS SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT. THIS HIGH SEAS FORECAST USES 1-MINUTE AVERAGE WINDS WHICH MAY BE HIGHER THAN 10-MINUTE AVERAGE WINDS. SECURITE NORTH PACIFIC EQUATOR TO 30N BETWEEN 140W AND 160E SYNOPSIS VALID 1200 UTC MAY 19 2017. 24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1200 UTC MAY 20 2017. 48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1200 UTC MAY 21 2017. .WARNINGS. .NONE. .SYNOPSIS AND FORECAST. .WEAKENING STATIONARY FRONT 30N160W TO 27N164W TO A LOW AT 25N170W 1015 MB CONTINUING TO 22N172W TO 21N180W. .24 HOUR FORECAST LOW DISSIPATED. FRONT WEAKENED TO A TROUGH 30N161W TO 24N170W MOVING E SLOWLY. .48 HOUR FORECAST TROUGH ABSORBED BY FRONT DESCRIBED NEXT. .COLD FRONT APPROACHING FORECAST AREA FROM N. .12 HOUR FORECAST FRONT ALONG 30N BETWEEN 179W AND 160E. .24 HOUR FORECAST FRONT 30N170W TO 28N179W TO 30N169E. .48 HOUR FORECAST FRONT MERGED WITH TROUGH DESCRIBED ABOVE. FRONT 30N155W TO 25N165W TO 24N180W. .36 HOUR FORECAST NEW FRONT NEAR 30N160E MOVING NNE 15 KT. WINDS S 20 TO 25 KT N OF 26N W OF 164E. .48 HOUR FORECAST FRONT AT 30N160E. WINDS S 20 TO 25 KT N OF 28N W OF 167E. .HIGH 26N170E 1018 MB NEARLY STATIONARY...DISSIPATING. RIDGE 27N172W TO HIGH TO 26N160E. .24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH AND RIDGE DISSIPATED. .RIDGE 30N150W TO 26N160W TO 25N165W NEARLY STATIONARY... DISSIPATING. .WINDS E TO NE 20 TO 25 KT SEAS 8 TO 9 FT BETWEEN 04N AND 12N W OF 170W...AND BETWEEN 07N AND 13N FROM 148W TO 163W. .24 HOUR FORECAST WINDS DIMINISHED TO 20 KT OR LESS...SEAS LOWERED TO 8 FT OR LESS. .WINDS 20 KT OR LESS REMAINDER FORECAST AREA. .SEAS ELSEWHERE 8 FT OR LESS. .24 HOUR FORECAST SEAS ELSEWHERE 8 TO 9 FT N OF 29N BETWEEN 165W AND 175W. FT OR LESS. .48 HOUR FORECAST SEAS 8 TO 10 FT N OF A LINE...30N155W TO 26N168W TO 30N173W. .OTHERWISE SEAS 8 FT OR LESS. .ITCZ 05N140W TO 06N153W TO 03N172E TO 02N160E. SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG TSTMS WITHIN 300 NM N OF ITCZ W OF 170E. ISOLATED TSTMS WITHIN 200 NM ELSEWHERE OF ITCZ. $$ .FORECASTER LAU. HONOLULU HI. FZPN01 KWBC 192137 HSFEP1 HIGH SEAS FORECAST NWS OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER WASHINGTON DC 2230 UTC FRI MAY 19 2017 SUPERSEDED BY NEXT ISSUANCE IN 6 HOURS SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT. SECURITE PACIFIC N OF 30N AND S OF 67N E OF A LINE FROM BERING STRAIT TO 50N 160E SYNOPSIS VALID 1800 UTC MAY 19. 24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC MAY 20. 48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC MAY 21. .WARNINGS. ...GALE WARNING... .LOW 45N170W 981 MB MOVING E 15 KT. OVER FORECAST WATERS WITHIN 600 NM E AND W...540 NM N...AND 840 NM SW AND S QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 10 TO 20 FT. ELSEWHERE FROM 30N TO 52N BETWEEN 155W AND 166E WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 13 FT. .24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 45N160W 988 MB. WITHIN 480 NM SE...540 NM NE...660 NM NW...AND 900 NM SW QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 8 TO 16 FT. ELSEWHERE FROM 30N TO 53N BETWEEN 153W AND 177E WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 13 FT. .48 HOUR FORECAST COMPLEX LOW WITH MAIN CENTER 46N154W 1002 MB. WITHIN 420 NM NW AND 720 NM SW QUADRANTS WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 14 FT. ELSEWHERE FROM 30N TO 51N BETWEEN 149W AND 175W WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 13 FT. ...GALE WARNING... .LOW 43N155W 1007 MB MOVING NE 30 KT. OVER FORECAST WATERS WITHIN 300 NM SE AND E OF A FRONT FROM 46N146W TO LOW CENTER TO 30N160W WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 9 FT. .06 HOUR FORECAST LOW 46N149W 1006 MB. WITHIN 300 NM S QUADRANT WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS TO 11 FT. .24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 54N143W 1000 MB. WITHIN 300 NM N QUADRANT AND WITHIN 540 NM SE AND E OF A LINE FROM 56N141W TO 30N164W WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 8 TO 14 FT. .48 HOUR FORECAST LOW 57N145W 999 MB. WITHIN 360 NM E OF A LINE FROM 60N148W TO 55N140W TO 30N152W WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 13 FT. ...GALE WARNING... .12 HOUR FORECAST OVER FORECAST WATERS NW AND W OF A LINE FROM 56N173E TO 46N168E TO 42N160E WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS TO 12 FT. .24 HOUR FORECAST NW AND W OF A LINE FROM 59N180W TO 46N176E TO 40N161E WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 8 TO 17 FT. .48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 45N TO 63N W OF 166W WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 9 TO 19 FT. .SYNOPSIS AND FORECAST. .BOGOSLOF VOLCANO AT 54N168W IS IN A STATE OF UNREST. MARINERS TRAVELING IN THE VICINITY OF BOGOSLOF VOLCANO ARE URGED TO EXERCISE CAUTION. IF MARINERS ENCOUNTER ANY VOLCANIC ASH...REPORT THE OBSERVATION TO THE OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER BY CALLING 301-683-1520. .OVER FORECAST WATERS FROM 30N TO 43N BETWEEN 133W AND 123W WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT. .24 HOUR FORECAST FROM 32N TO 43N BETWEEN 123W AND 133W WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 11 FT. .48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 35N TO 46N BETWEEN 123W AND 129W WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 9 FT. .LOW 55N153W 1005 MB MOVING NE 10 KT. OVER FORECAST WATERS WITHIN 300 NM E SEMICIRCLE WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 9 FT. .24 HOUR FORECAST LOW DISSIPATED AND CONDITIONS DIMINISHED. .24 HOUR FORECAST FROM 30N TO 37N W OF 164E WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT. .48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 30N TO 40N W OF 167E WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT. .DENSE FOG. VSBY OCCASIONALLY LESS THAN 1 NM FROM 39N TO 51N BETWEEN 129W AND 142W...WITHIN 240 NM NW OF A LINE FROM 45N143W TO 35N152W...AND FROM 41N TO 48N BETWEEN 159W AND 172W. .24 HOUR FORECAST DENSE FOG WITHIN AN AREA BOUNDED BY THE LINE 35N152W TO 44N131W TO 54N138W TO 48N150W TO 51N157W TO 47N163W TO 35N152W...WITHIN 60 NM OF 43N163E...AND WITHIN 60 NM OF 56N174E. .48 HOUR FORECAST DENSE FOG FROM 41N TO 54N BETWEEN 130W AND 146W...FROM 32N TO 37N BETWEEN 160E AND 168E...AND FROM 40N TO 44N BETWEEN 160E AND 166E. .HIGH 38N138W 1029 MB MOVING NE 15 KT. .24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 42N133W 1028 MB. .48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 47N131W 1027 MB. .HIGH 52N133W 1022 MB MOVING NE 10 KT. .24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH INLAND. .HIGH 57N177E 1012 MB MOVING N 10 KT. .24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH DISSIPATED. .24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 38N174E 1025 MB. .48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 38N179W 1029 MB. .48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 45N172E 1022 MB. .FORECASTER SOMMERVILLE. OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL E PACIFIC FROM THE EQUATOR TO 30N E OF 140W AND 03.4S TO THE EQUATOR E OF 120W SYNOPSIS VALID 1800 UTC FRI MAY 19. 24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC SAT MAY 20. 48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC SUN MAY 21. .WARNINGS. .NONE. .SYNOPSIS AND FORECAST. .S OF 00S E OF 101W WINDS 20 KT OR LESS. SEAS 8 TO 9 FT IN SW SWELL. .24 HOUR FORECAST S OF LINE FROM 06N79W TO 06N85W TO 03.4S101W WINDS 20 KT OR LESS. SEAS 8 TO 9 FT IN SW SWELL. .48 HOUR FORECAST WINDS 20 KT OR LESS. SEAS LESS THAN 8 FT. .REMAINDER OF AREA WINDS 20 KT OR LESS. SEAS LESS THAN 8 FT. CONVECTION VALID AT 2100 UTC FRI MAY 19... .INTERTROPICAL CONVERGENCE ZONE/MONSOON TROUGH... MONSOON TROUGH FROM 10N85W TO 10N106W TO 07N120W. ITCZ FROM 07N120W TO 05N140W. SCATTERED MODERATE ISOLATED STRONG FROM 06N TO 10N BETWEEN 87W AND 110W. $$ .FORECASTER MUNDELL. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER.
EDIT: Sorry for the run-on pasting above....the real text (and voice) is separated into sentences!! It just didn't paste-up that way here...sorry!
USCG HF SITOR


c) You have free, updated 4 times per day, detailed weather info/forecasts broadcast to you from multiple locations, in "graphical" / "image"....(WeFax) Surface and upper-air charts and forecasts; Wind/Wave charts and forecasts; (current analysis, and 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 hour forecasts)
All drawn by a real human, a real experienced maritime meteorologist, who sign their name to each forecast...)
NWS Radiofax

Pt Reyes Radiofax Schedule with Links
Honolulu Radiofax Schedule with Links

Here are just a couple of this afternoon's examples ((updated 4 times a day, by a real experienced maritime meteorologist, from the US NWS/NOAA...with the forecaster's name, even!)






4) So, back to the short answer...
Yes, you are the best weather router for your passage....all the weather info and forecasts you could ever need is right there for the taking (both on-line and transmitted by radio) for free, and all historic info is also plentiful, for free...
In general, you should leave on a good forecast, look to see what the weather will be along your route, and sail with the winds/seas that you have out there....no "weather router" can control the weather, and nobody can master your vessel except yourself....so, you sail with the weather that you have...
What you're trying to accomplish is to, sail the boat in favorable winds/seas, looking at where the winds/seas will be more favorable along your route, and head in that direction (assuming other issues are not in the way)....
And, that's really it...
So, you are your own weather router....


5) BTW, while most offshore sailors, making ocean passages, will probably have a full-fledged MF/HF-DSC-SSB-Radiotelephone ("Marine SSB") installed, be aware that it is not needed to receive all the above weather info/forecasts....a simple ~ $100 receiver will get you the Voice broadcasts and connecting a laptop or tablet (and some free software) will get you the text and image (WeFax charts)...

If you want to see some of this in action (primarily the WeFax charts)....have a look here...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


And, have a listen here, from about 8m 15 secs to 10m 20secs, to see what the Voice weather broadcasts sound like....





6) Here are some answers to your specific questions...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpet View Post
Is there a weather service for the Pacific Northwest which can provide personal service? By that I mean someone to follow along with a passage that can provide real time course information.
"Real time"? How fast do you sail??
On an ocean passage, updating weather info and course twice a day (every 50 to 100 miles) is usually sufficient for most cruisers....(racers will tend to want to do this ever 3 hours, but most ocean cruisers will do it every 12 to 24 hours, unless conditions warrant updating more often)


Sure we could attempt to download data ourselves and make predictions of weather and course, but its likely we will not have the internet bandwidth to do so,
I don't know anyone sailing small cruising boats that has any internet access at sea, at all!! (you'd need a sitcom terminal for that!....think 1000's of $$$$)
But, the good news is that you do not need any internet at all!!
And, there is no "downloading" of anything needed! No special modems, no expensive software, no fees, no subscriptions, etc...


nor are we necessarily that familiar with weather patterns in that area.
The monthly weather patterns are shown on the pilot charts....have a look...
https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.po...ubConstant=APC

Depending on the time of year, the "weather routing" for this passage is not too difficult....assuming you're sailing (not motoring), generally you will head northerly (with the easterly or NE'rly Winds), until you get to westerly winds (usually close to 40* N), and then head east'erly to your destination...


Whereas, a one line text sentence providing a target course, would be easy with most blue water internet devices.
I think you are confusing what services you get when more than 10 miles offshore....unless you have a sitcom terminal (the least expensive of which are $4000 to $5000, Iridium Pilot or INMARSAT FleetBroadband), you will not have any "internet access"!!
Yes, you can sit in the cockpit and use a handheld satellite unit (Iridium sat phone, InReach, IridiumGO, etc.) and get satellite-delivered SMS (texts) or make a sat-phone call....but, you will not get "internet" from them!!

For about $100 to $150 of equipment, and a few minutes practice, you can get all the above referenced info/forecasts....no downloading, no internet....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpet View Post
Sorry, that should be Pacific Northeast.
Its a passage from Hawaii to Oregon

I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 20-05-2017, 04:15   #11
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Re: Personal weather service?

Try the weatherguy.com He is Hawaii (Oahu)based so you could meet with him Hawaii before departing if you desire.
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Old 22-05-2017, 09:51   #12
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Re: Personal weather service?

I do like the idea of using inreach along with a weather routing program like Fastseas.
Family ashore can also watch my progress and spend a whole lot of time looking at weather with the benefit of high speed internet.... and then simply send me a small text message with routing info or important info.

Here is the inreach track of a guy who left from Hawaii at the begging of February and did not arrive San Francisco until April. That seems like a bad time window for that route.
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Old 27-05-2017, 12:50   #13
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Re: Personal weather service?

ka4wja,

I'm probably getting my wires crossed, but I a bit confused on the weather fax. The one that you describe uses HF band and is transmitted from ground transmitters? Then there are NOAA satellite broadcasts in the 137-138MHZ band which has weather images. Is one a subset of the other?

Neither my HF of VHF radio will tune to the 137MHZ band. Yet my VHF has many WX stations, which appear to be voice only broadcasts.

Then there is also XM satelite weather, which appears to be voice only

Ideally, I'm looking for a weather information solution (not voice) with global reach.
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Old 27-05-2017, 17:46   #14
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Re: Personal weather service?

Globally, you have at least the following choices:

Wxfax: over HF, email robot, or web.


Grib: over email or web.
Grib to Sat: over InReach or Go (wx App).
Voice: over HF.
Dedicated/weathermen: over HF, sat, sat txt, email, sat phone.
(... a longer list ...)

I have spotted there is a new much updated service from SkyMate now too. Well worth attention. Code word Mazu.

So, basically you can reach or have delivered whatever you want, wherever you want. The rest is simple hardware choices and your preferences.

Mind all the above is useless wx some form of wx skills onboard. Not only that you make all the ultimate choices but also because any technology can fail at any time.

I know people who have everything onboard and their own respectable wx skills and yet they will co-op with a land based human wxman/router.

So it is all choices choices.

My 2c of wx advice: get solutions that do not call for being up at specific hours. This virtually precludes HF fax over PC.

The more wx skills you have, the less important wx support becomes. Up to the point where you can sail like that moron Columbus. No wx fax, no gribbed data and yet he sailed to America and back (4 times?).

Cheers,
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Old 27-05-2017, 17:48   #15
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Re: Personal weather service?

Limpet,
1) WeFax is an acronym for the generic term Weather Facsimile, which is the transmission of synoptic weather charts drawn by experienced meteorologists...
Current conditions and 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hour forecasts of:
--- surface and upper-air charts
--- sea state
--- wind and wave charts, etc..
As well as weather images (visible light and IR satellite images)...
And since telephone-line transmission of these has long since disappeared, we are speaking of radio transmission of these....
Almost exclusively by HF radio, worldwide...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpet View Post
Ideally, I'm looking for a weather information solution (not voice) with global reach.
I understand completely....and that is why I recommend WeFax, worldwide, weather info/forecasts from humans...real, seasoned maritime meteorologists...not raw computer data, that you'd get from GRIB charts!

Please go to the referenced linked pages for lots of details!!
(and watch the videos, too)
Yes, these are transmitted multiple times each day, for free, by "ground transmitters" (usually referred to as "coast stations" or simply HF transmitters)




2) The 137mhz APT (Automatic Picture Transmission) from the polar-orbiting NOAA satellites do NOT have any WeFax images (no charts, no forecasts, etc.), just live, real-time satellite image of your vicinity (within 300 - 400 miles of you)....
And, that's it...
These are good for current images of your local vicinity, but that's it...
And, while these can be of help for those in polar areas and sailing high-latitudes, since they usually need up-to-date info and many do their own weather interpreting and short-term forecasting...
But, for most sailors these systems are not necessary....(unless something happens to their HF radio receiving...

(BTW, yes there are some GOES satellite distribution of WeFax charts along with their satellite images, these 1691mhz GOES satellite transmissions are NOT receivable on-board small boats, as it requires gyro-stabilized dishes, and dedicated receivers, designed just for this...think 1000's of $$$$!!)


3) XM satellite weather??
We've discussed this many times in the past....and I will dig out some references for you, if you like....But...
But, suffice to say this is not really a viable option for anyone sailing offshore...



I do hope this helps clarify things...

Fair winds...

John
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