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Old 19-06-2018, 21:48   #1
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Predictwind alternative?

I'm looking for a alternative source for ECMWF GRIB data. I'm willing to pay for this as long as the cost is similar to Predictwind.

At the moment I'm unhappy with Predictwind and am reluctant to give them any money. After 3 emails to them I'm less happy than when I started. I'm giving them a chance to satisfy my complaints before I go public. In the meantime I'm looking elsewhere for ECMWR GRIBs.
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Old 20-06-2018, 04:14   #2
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Try Windy. An animation not a grib
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Old 20-06-2018, 04:51   #3
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W5PAD View Post
I'm looking for a alternative source for ECMWF GRIB data. I'm willing to pay for this as long as the cost is similar to Predictwind.

At the moment I'm unhappy with Predictwind and am reluctant to give them any money. After 3 emails to them I'm less happy than when I started. I'm giving them a chance to satisfy my complaints before I go public. In the meantime I'm looking elsewhere for ECMWR GRIBs.
Are you unsatisfied with the app the company or both? By going public you mean you'll let us know the reason?
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Old 20-06-2018, 05:54   #4
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Squid offer a bunch of models - including EWCMF. I suspect that they might be a bit pricier then PredictWind as they have various other models in that bundle.



https://www.squid-sailing.com/en/#
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:03   #5
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

I'm a fan of Windy. The animation of the "flags", coupled with the color coding and gradient and the information available in a slew of other layers that you can turn on and off, encourages your brain to very quickly build a mental model of larger drivers of the weather that you're looking at. It's brilliant. And it's free...for the time being.

Predictwind may have some maps/info that Windy does not, along with some human interpretation, but Windy is so easy to access and use that it makes up for that. Open it up, tick layers on and off, zoom, pan out, scroll. Easy peasy.
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:19   #6
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

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Originally Posted by W5PAD View Post
.... I'm looking elsewhere for ECMWR GRIBs.
I've hunted high and low on the web but yet to find a source of ECMWF grib files. Did predictwind even do them or just their own graphics?
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:43   #7
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

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I've hunted high and low on the web but yet to find a source of ECMWF grib files. Did predictwind even do them or just their own graphics?

PredictWind do make it available in their premium package - so do Squid. Predict wind also use it as a seed for one of their in house forecasts. However the data isn't free so you won't find any EWCMF available for free as a GRIB. Windy et al. use a different license to show the EWCMF data, rather then download.
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:50   #8
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

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Originally Posted by N1774 View Post
PredictWind do make it available in their premium package - so do Squid. Predict wind also use it as a seed for one of their in house forecasts. However the data isn't free so you won't find any EWCMF available for free as a GRIB. Windy et al. use a different license to show the EWCMF data, rather then download.
Just had a look at their site - US$249 / 3 Months!! I'd want to be able to prebook the wind for that

GFS is plenty adequate for us IMHO.
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Old 20-06-2018, 14:36   #9
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I'm a fan of Windy. The animation of the "flags", coupled with the color coding and gradient and the information available in a slew of other layers that you can turn on and off, encourages your brain to very quickly build a mental model of larger drivers of the weather that you're looking at. It's brilliant. And it's free...for the time being.

Predictwind may have some maps/info that Windy does not, along with some human interpretation, but Windy is so easy to access and use that it makes up for that. Open it up, tick layers on and off, zoom, pan out, scroll. Easy peasy.
I agree Windy.com has been pretty accurate
for my friends crossing from Panama to Tahiti.
Problem is they have no way of accessing it
while at sea. GO just not fast enough
Solution: Myself a trusted friend. I have been
accessing Windy, interpreting the data
and relaying it to them via Email to their GO
Been doing this everyday but all my emails
go out two days, just in case i get tied up
and miss a day. I verify data by using two
different models available by just a click.
That said, for the inland lake in western NJ
where I sail quit a bit.
Nothing is accurate
Cheers
Neil
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Old 20-06-2018, 16:35   #10
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

You might consider Ventusky. It allows you to pick any one of seven different models. It costs $3.00/yr. I think it is one if the best out there. Unfortunately, ECMWF, is not offered.
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Old 20-06-2018, 17:06   #11
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'll see if I can consolidate a concise reply to all.


Windy: NOT A VIABLE SOLUTION. I'm looking for GRIB data that can be obtained while underway using a low bandwidth connection. Although I look at windy when I have internet, I still have multiple problems with their presentation and numerous bugs. For example, am I the only one that has noticed the GFS 500 hpa geopotential height isolines are completely wrong? And yes, I've sent a bug report, for all the good it does. Accuracy of Windy is not better or worse than anything else, period. They use the exact same data as everyone else, GFS & ECMWF. The only thing windy does is make it look pretty and give you some fancy GUI, period. I also don't like the inability to customize things. For example, I want isobars every 4 mbar instead of what they deem. I don't find windy adequate for a serious understanding of weather for my weather window and route planning. I do find it adequate for a quick, big picture view of the weather.

Predictwind issue: I'm unhappy with the data in their GRIB files. Am I the only one that has noticed they strip out the initialization data, i.e. T=0? On the good side, I have been in contact with the owner regarding this issue and he has been very responsive by replying to my emails within hours. His position is T=0 is useless. My position is it's not.

Squid: Last night I found Squid and downloaded the free version to evaluate. I was confused by their subscription plan description and emailed for clarification. The response was, as of this month they no longer provide global ECMWF GRIB data, only for the North Atlantic. Therefore, as of this month, Squid is a solution only for those in the North Atlantic.

Predictwind ECMWF: Yes, you can receive ECMWF GRIB data from PW. This can be done for free via the internet using their app. You must have a paid subscription to receive them via email (satphone, GO!, or SSB) while offshore. The GRIB files can be view in any GRIB viewer, or at least the ones I have - OpenCPN, Airmail, & Expedition, as well as PW's app. The cost is $99/3 mos. & $249/12 mos. for the standard package. The professional package is $249/3 mos. & $499/12 mos.

Ventusky: Not interested if it doesn't have ECMWF.


At the moment, I think I'll sign up for PW's 3 month plan since it doesn't look like there are any alternatives. I'm sailing from New Zealand to Vanuatu in a couple days and would like to evaluate ECMWF and GFS side by side in real world conditions. The word on the street (internet) is ECMWF is better than GFS. I've been using GFS for years and have been satisfied with the results. But if there truly is something better I would like to use it, if it has real value. In other words, is the improvements from ECMWF worth $249/yr compared to GFS at $0/yr.
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Old 21-06-2018, 05:13   #12
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

Here's to an easy passage!

FWIW, in the US, NOAA adds 10% to the wind velocity predicted by the Euro model when using its data.
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Old 13-08-2018, 08:04   #13
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Re: Predictwind alternative?

It doesn't use the European model, but PassageWeather is by far the best weather website for sailors.

https://www.passageweather.com/
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