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Old 31-07-2016, 03:32   #61
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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How many of you actually put much faith in weather forecasting? I've read many posts over the past years on this forum stating themes such as "I never go out if the forecast is for winds above 15 knots," "only fools get caught out in bad weather with forecasting as good as today's," etc. etc.]
El Ping, Sulaire, boatman, Hoppy and others,

It looks like we can all agree that relying on grib forecasts, especially here in the Med can at times be a crap shoot. Now switching the subject just a little, what you you guys and gals think of my opening paragraph on my initial post?

Do you think those people who seem to have (in my opinion) way too much faith in forecasts, should spend some valuable time practicing foul weather tactics to prepare for the weatherman's boo boos, or continue with their blind faith and always assume each day when fair weather is predicted will be just another "day at the circus?"

Your thoughts?

Personally, I think it's a good idea to head out on days when the weather will test the crew and ability of those onboard to handle less than ideal conditions. Maybe then, the Coast Guard won't need to rescue as many people off perfectly intact and able boats.
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Old 31-07-2016, 03:52   #62
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

I think nothing is written in stone, you do what you feel comfortable with, alot can depend on wether you "have to get somewhere", when someone starts a sentence with " i have to be in so and so by such and such a date" you know they will most probably take more risks with the forecasts, than those like me who have learnt the hard way to listen to old greek sailors, and just wait and have another raki! Basically, never agree to be anywhere at any specific time.
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Old 31-07-2016, 03:56   #63
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

I subscribe to the be prepared to deal with the worst... In fact anyone who wants to sail in the Aegean has to, otherwise you won't see much.
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Old 31-07-2016, 08:57   #64
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

When on land in San Diego, Ca. , I observe the weather gals on TV and their forecasts. They are off just as often as everyone else, but enjoy it anyway Now if I can get them to sail with me, I would not care what they forecast
A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste!
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Old 31-07-2016, 12:12   #65
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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When on land in San Diego, Ca. , I observe the weather gals on TV and their forecasts. They are off just as often as everyone else, but enjoy it anyway Now if I can get them to sail with me, I would not care what they forecast
A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste!
Oh my goodness, this thread degenerated fast.
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Old 31-07-2016, 12:42   #66
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

Kenomac, I have never notices a problem with NOAA forecasts which is the service for New England. Agree that foreign language can be a problem but the N Med has a general forecast from Hamboug though with poor detail for coastal. Not sailed much in the med but places like Italy have such local variation you best bet is probably to ask a fisherman. One of the issues with forecasting is resolution. Quite often it is on a scale of hundreds of miles, i.e. 'Biscay' so the fact that there are 50kn gust down one valley on the Spanish coast won't even show on the forecast but can sure mess up your day. Doesn't mean the forecast was wrong it means it didn't give the info you wanted. You would not buy an Atlantic chart and complain it did not have sounding for the local river nor would it mean the chart was wrong!
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Old 31-07-2016, 12:58   #67
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

Roland,

I'm not really complaining at all, the difference between the forecast and reality is what it is, and I accept that. I began this thread to demostrate to others how the "circus day," " everything will be nice today type forecasts can't be counted on, and why it's always better to be prepared for the unexpected.

Last season I posted a video of us sailing through a gale, and got quite a few comments regarding setting out in unfavorable conditions. If we always waited for the perfect day, we'd never get anywhere was my answer to that sort of comment. But here on this thread, my example was a larger spread between prediction and reality 2.2 knots vs 24-36 knots. On my storm video thread, the difference was for winds up to 38 knots predicted and we received 40-49 knots.

Thank you for your thoughtful contribution.

Ken
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Old 31-07-2016, 12:59   #68
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

More than 2 days out then the reliability of most weather forecasts deteriorates rapidly. If you are near land then most forecasts may not be much use at all. Land effects are typically excluded from weather models.

Remember weather forecasts are simulations built from models and sensor data, satellite based measurements, rules of thumb and fudge factors. 'All models are wrong but some are useful' is something to remember. (Empirical engineering law)

Weather data is an aid to navigation with no guarantees or warranties.. They will always be accompanied by a probability which is statistically valid.

Long range forecasts for climate are quite good. But climate and weather have little to no correlation.

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Old 31-07-2016, 13:05   #69
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

This "have to be in there on Monday" thing rings a bell.

You may have noticed people who are always in the hurry are the same who are usually late.

"Have to be there on Monday" is a very, very poor advice for a sailor.

I think to have the boat and the skills to manage the worst possible weather has a merit BUT ... I never head out when the forecast is bad. I just sit it out and try to sail in optimum weather. When torn between two bad options, I go when it is too light. It is OK in our boat as she sails very well in light winds and there is also a small aux.

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Old 31-07-2016, 13:05   #70
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
More than 2 days out then the reliability of most weather forecasts deteriorates rapidly. If you are near land then most forecasts may not be much use at all.

Remember weather forecasts are simulations built from models and sensor data, satellite based measurements, rules of thumb and fudge factors. 'All models are wrong but some are useful' is something to remember. (Empirical engineering law)

Weather data is an aid to navigation with no guarantees or warranties.. They will always be accompanied by a probability which is statistically valid.

Long range forecasts for climate are quite good. But climate and weather have little to no correlation.
We've allready established the fact that the forecasts cannot be counted on 100% or maybe even less than 50%.

I see that you live in Northern California. How would you advise a sailor who only heads out when the weathernman predicts perfect sailing weather 10-15 knots? No foul weather experience, a lightly built boat and with no knowledge on how to reef or use safety gear?
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Old 31-07-2016, 13:07   #71
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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How many of you actually put much faith in weather forecasting?
I went yesterday when the forecast an hour prior was 5-10 knots of wind. Within 20 minutes if leaving I had a reef in as the wind was over 20.

I consider forecasts as a guess if they say wind with be light. But if they say the wind/waves will be high I find that they are normally right. So if light forecast you just deal with it, but if bad forecast you should stay put.
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Old 31-07-2016, 13:11   #72
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
This "have to be in there on Monday" thing rings a bell.

You may have noticed people who are always in the hurry are the same who are usually late.

"Have to be there on Monday" is a very, very poor advice for a sailor.

I think to have the boat and the skills to manage the worst possible weather has a merit BUT ... I never head out when the forecast is bad. I just sit it out and try to sail in optimum weather. When torn between two bad options, I go when it is too light. It is OK in our boat as she sails very well in light winds and there is also a small aux.

b.
Please define: "I never head out when the forecast is bad." If that is the case, how is one to ever gain experience sailing in winds above say 30 knots+ ?
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Old 31-07-2016, 13:15   #73
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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(...)

Long range forecasts for climate are quite good. But climate and weather have little to no correlation.

(...)
Well. Possibly some of them are quite good, while others are not good.

I can remember the UK met office publishing two most alarming hurricane season forecasts twice in a row and missing by a most hilarious margin each time. No comment.

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Old 31-07-2016, 13:20   #74
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I went yesterday when the forecast an hour prior was 5-10 knots of wind. Within 20 minutes if leaving I had a reef in as the wind was over 20.

I consider forecasts as a guess if they say wind with be light. But if they say the wind/waves will be high I find that they are normally right. So if light forecast you just deal with it, but if bad forecast you should stay put.
How would you handle a "small craft warning" or a forecast calling for 20 knots gusting to 30? Is it a day to learn and have some fun, or a day to tuck your tail and not go?
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Old 31-07-2016, 13:37   #75
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Re: Faith in Weather Forecast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
El Ping, Sulaire, boatman, Hoppy and others,

It looks like we can all agree that relying on grib forecasts, especially here in the Med can at times be a crap shoot. Now switching the subject just a little, what you you guys and gals think of my opening paragraph on my initial post?

Do you think those people who seem to have (in my opinion) way too much faith in forecasts, should spend some valuable time practicing foul weather tactics to prepare for the weatherman's boo boos, or continue with their blind faith and always assume each day when fair weather is predicted will be just another "day at the circus?"

Your thoughts?

Personally, I think it's a good idea to head out on days when the weather will test the crew and ability of those onboard to handle less than ideal conditions. Maybe then, the Coast Guard won't need to rescue as many people off perfectly intact and able boats.
I agree with your point of view. The last 4 times we have gone out (5-10 days), we have gotten 5-6 ft. swells with 24-40 knot winds at one time or another (San Felipe south to Bahia de Los Angeles). We had been under these conditions and worse before, so we knew the boat could take it. We have also read up on handling these conditions. My 9 and 12 year old grand-daughters were scared the first time, so we hid in El Refugio for 3 days. This last time we got caught on our way back to San Felipe with nowhere to hide. After a couple of hours of this, they were jumping and making cart wheels on the front trampoline. This does not mean I was not concerned, but one does get a little more confident and learn to stay with it. Do not panic and head for the beach. The boat can handle a lot out in the open. Like some other cruiser said some time back. "The shore is where the rocks are".
Some time back I had invited some people to sail with me that said they had a lot of experience sailing. We hit this kind of conditions. He demanded I put him and his wife on the beach. I kept telling him I could not do it. The conditions would not allow it. 24 hours later we were in San Felipe, waited until noon. The winds died down and I was able to get the boat into the marina.
This is why your point should be taken seriously. I do not mean go out and look for a hurricane. But do not expect to be out there 200-300 miles and expect not to get conditions like this. Have a nice day.
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