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Old 15-04-2011, 12:03   #1
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Where to Get the Best Weather Forecast for Crossing The Gulf Stream from SE Florida

Where could I find the best weather forecast before crossing the GS between Miami and Bimini?
Which is the best for that precise part of the region?

Weather Underground, or Noaa, are not giving much info (waves height, current force, etc.. are missing). Or perhaps I'm looking at it as I should?

Thank you.
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Old 15-04-2011, 12:38   #2
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

If you have a SSB receiver, you can listen in to Chris Parker's daily forecasts.

On the Web, passageweather.com displays animated weather forecasts based on global model output. The models and NWS forecasts can tend to under-estimate wind and waves in the Gulf Stream under certain conditions (e.g. when strong fronts move through), so be conservative when interpreting them.
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Old 15-04-2011, 13:38   #3
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Thanks Hud3, but SSB is on next year budget... Thank you for the website indication and the recommendation.
I'll go and check it.
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Old 15-04-2011, 13:40   #4
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Here's my favorite:

NWS Marine Offshore Marine Forecasts by Zone
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Old 15-04-2011, 13:44   #5
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Passageweather.com: this is good. Easy to read and well detailed. Tks.
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Old 15-04-2011, 14:53   #6
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

I second Passageweather.com.

Be careful of analysis/paralysis. For that short a run Weatherunderground or Weather. com should be more than good enough.

Fair winds.
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Old 15-04-2011, 18:20   #7
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
Thanks Hud3, but SSB is on next year budget... Thank you for the website indication and the recommendation.
I'll go and check it.
A SSB receiver (portable radio type) is ~$100
I use noaa marine forecasts, they have wave heights, I use windfinder.com as well.
Tom
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Old 15-04-2011, 18:51   #8
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Miami to Bimini? It's only 10 hours in a slow boat. Listen to the marine weather channel on your VHF. Not always spot on but gives a reasonable idea of current conditions and very good warning of anything nasty that may be coming.

Maybe look at the weather channel or the weather on the evening news to see the weather map to get a visual idea of fronts coming in from the north. This time of year too early for tropical lows. No fronts coming, local winds reasonable? Take off. 10 hours isn't a big window.

If you get to the end of the channel and it's rougher than you like turn around and wait another day.

It can pick up a little in middle of the stream but have not seen it go from calm to scary unless there was a front passing or a summer thunderstorm.
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Old 15-04-2011, 19:10   #9
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

You really need more than a 10 hour weather window. Once you have crossed over you need to get across the banks and that is another place you don't want to be in bad weather. Our friend Bruce Van Sant always told us we should wait for a window where the weather forecast for today, tonight and tomorrow is reasonable and the same forecast. Some good info can be found at the NOAA sites as well as weatherfax for wind/wave reports at Radiofax Charts - New Orleans . Some others are,

Caribbean Sea Offshore Waters Forecast
Wind Map - South East United States Observations
CoastWatch CRN Satellite Data
NCOM for Gulf of Mexico
PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers

And some good info on weather in general
JetStream - An Online School for Weather

Good luck and stay safe. Chuck
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Old 15-04-2011, 21:08   #10
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
You really need more than a 10 hour weather window. Once you have crossed over you need to get across the banks and that is another place you don't want to be in bad weather.
Well of course, if you plan to continue on across the banks, but the original question specifically referenced crossing from Miami to Bimini. Once you get across the stream if the wind picks up there are plenty of places around Bimini to wait out the weather for the next leg.

If you wait for a weather window long enough to get all the way to the Berry's, Nassau or somewhere further on you might miss a number of opportunities to cross the stream.
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Old 17-04-2011, 09:20   #11
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

There are continual, upadated reports on the VHF weather channels. There's no reason to make it more complex than that if you don't want to.
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Old 17-04-2011, 09:32   #12
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Buoy Weather gives free 2 day forecasts based on a LatLon you pick. Try this one:

Florida Marine Weather Forecast for latitude 25.75 longitude -79.75 | BUOYWEATHER.COM

looks like you may have just missed a good window if you're still here.
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Old 17-04-2011, 10:33   #13
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

I have a HARD time understanding the voice on the marine forecast via VHF. I like the look, and see method of the web. I use Passage, and also USGRIB.COM. I have downloaded USGRIB for the week several times, and found it to remain completely accurate.........i2f
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Old 17-04-2011, 12:00   #14
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

The VHF broadcasts will only give you forecasts for near shore waters and won't help much once more than 20 mile out. Add to that the fact that most of the time their forecasts are not accurate. You are much better off collecting as much information as you can and making your decision based on your own comfort levels. We have had the VHF forecast change 5 times within a 24 hour period. Chuck
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Old 17-04-2011, 12:39   #15
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Re: Where To Get the Best Weather Forecast For Crossing The GS From SE Florida

Unless they have changed in the last couple of years the NWS reports on VHF channels in S Florida include "out 50 miles" or "Out to the Bahama Banks".

Sure the forecasts aren't exact but I have never heard one so far off that it would put you in serious danger. Might forecast 2-3' and you might see 3-5' or report winds out of the NE and they were out of the E.

Weather isn't that exact. Listen and if current conditions are reasonable and nothing nasty on the horizon then go. Major fronts, hurricanes and such that can bring dangerous weather always come with plenty of warning.
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