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Old 24-12-2015, 07:48   #31
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

I'll also recommend modern marine weather as mentioned above. A very thorough book that is comparatively easy to understand with a lot of information on all things weather. I've probably read 50% of it, maybe skipped through 90% and understood 10%, which are pretty good statistics for me/weather books. I tend to either fall asleep after a few pages, or realise after a few pages I have no idea what the last few pages were about. But if I ever have a question like, what does that cloud formation mean, which way is that squall going, what is the wind around it doing etc, the answer is always in modern marine weather.
Also I agree with keeping a log of conditions to keep an eye on changes, especially helpful across watches and a good way to monitor subtle changes in wind strength, direction, pressure and clouds etc. here's a snip of ours
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Also I'd highly recommend an electronic barometer/barograph such as this for keeping an eye on the pressure gradient. This one includes an alarm that goes off when there's a rapid increase or decrease or other conditions that might preclude severe weather. Ours is set to 48hr (you can see the odd but consistent pressure wiggles particular to the Caribbean )
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Old 24-12-2015, 10:56   #32
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

One Wx forecasting product that I rarely see mentioned is the Forecast Discussion. [The US and Canada Wx agencies produce this at least daily. I don't know which other Wx agencies have a similar product..]

For those who may not [yet] be familiar with this document; it is the brain dump of the on-duty forecaster(s) describing how they arrived at the current forecast, how much confidence they have in it, and other possible scenarios they haven't mentioned in the main forecast that may come into play.

I always read the Forecast Discussion before I read the forecasts, Wxfax charts, etc. as they provide depth to help me better understand everything I'm reading and evaluating. [You also get to know how the various forecasters think over time- their names are at the bottom of each report...]

And often I find it helpful to consult the US National Wx Service [NWS] Glossary of Abbreviations...

As an example, here is the link to the Forecast Discussion for our current cruising area. [Sometimes you have to dig deep to find this document, or ask... I will also attach a copy of today's document to future-proof this post in case the above link changes in the future...]

I sometimes see the Forecast Discussion called by other names like the Scientific Forecaster Discussion, etc.

In case this is useful to anyone.

Cheers!

Bill
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File Type: pdf NOAA Forecast Discussion Sample.pdf (111.5 KB, 18 views)
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Old 24-12-2015, 11:19   #33
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

Monte,

I agree; a recording barometer is very nice to have. On boats past I had one of the vertical paper drum and ink models like you see in museums... It finally died, and solid state like you have is likely a much better approach...

Right now I'm experimenting with my iPhone 6 in that capacity. The phone's built-in pressure sensor seems to be very accurate and reliable.

I may need to build an app to accommodate all the features I would prefer from a mariner's perspective.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 24-12-2015, 12:33   #34
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

The company Kestrel, makes quite a number of very good, atmospheric monitoring units. Most of them being no bigger than two pack of cigarettes taped together; ergo they're portable.
And they measure, & record, everything that you need & then some; Temp., Dew Point, Humidity, Air Pressure, Altitude (Density Altitude), Wind speed, & more. Plus, most of them run on a 9v battery, & can also be hooked up to a computer via a Blue Tooth, wireless link (or with a cable).


Handy tools.
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Old 24-12-2015, 12:42   #35
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

One of my daily favorites, especially as we wait for the el nino to hit, is: CRWS Jet Stream Map Menu

Animated depictions of what this major weather driver is doing in different parts of the globe.
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Old 24-12-2015, 17:53   #36
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
One Wx forecasting product that I rarely see mentioned is the Forecast Discussion. [The US and Canada Wx agencies produce this at least daily. I don't know which other Wx agencies have a similar product..]

For those who may not [yet] be familiar with this document; it is the brain dump of the on-duty forecaster(s) describing how they arrived at the current forecast, how much confidence they have in it, and other possible scenarios they haven't mentioned in the main forecast that may come into play.

I always read the Forecast Discussion before I read the forecasts, Wxfax charts, etc. as they provide depth to help me better understand everything I'm reading and evaluating. [You also get to know how the various forecasters think over time- their names are at the bottom of each report...]

And often I find it helpful to consult the US National Wx Service [NWS] Glossary of Abbreviations...

As an example, here is the link to the Forecast Discussion for our current cruising area. [Sometimes you have to dig deep to find this document, or ask... I will also attach a copy of today's document to future-proof this post in case the above link changes in the future...]

I sometimes see the Forecast Discussion called by other names like the Scientific Forecaster Discussion, etc.

In case this is useful to anyone.

Cheers!

Bill
It is very useful A couple years ago, I heard a talk by Lee Chesneau at a boat show and he had mentioned this, but I could not remember the details later when I went looking. I just Googled "noaa forecast discussion california" and found it. Good stuff: Forecast Discussion - NOAA's National Weather Service
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Old 27-12-2015, 03:17   #37
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

What a lot of useful and fascinating information. Just to add to your winter reading, here is another thread started 2 years ago:
Best Textbook for Marine Weather/Meteorology?
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Old 27-12-2015, 04:49   #38
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
...

Modern Marine Weather [David Birch] and the StarPath website

...
For the StarPath material, I recommend doing the full online course. The book alone, while loaded with good info, can be tedious to work through and could use some professional editorial revisions. Combined with the online course, which includes support from Starpath staff and extensive online resources, it is like a college level course. Highly recommended.
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Old 27-12-2015, 08:39   #39
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

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Originally Posted by Delafontaine View Post
What a lot of useful and fascinating information. Just to add to your winter reading, here is another thread started 2 years ago:
Best Textbook for Marine Weather/Meteorology?
Delafontaine, good inclusion. Thanks.

It is good to see the recommendations of others and how much cross-over there is.

Your post reminds me we can all benefit by cross-referencing related posts on recycled topics.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 27-12-2015, 08:41   #40
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

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For the StarPath material, I recommend doing the full online course. The book alone, while loaded with good info, can be tedious to work through and could use some professional editorial revisions. Combined with the online course, which includes support from Starpath staff and extensive online resources, it is like a college level course. Highly recommended.
Belizesailor,

Thanks for mentioning that valuable course. I should have been more specific.

Also, thanks for helping me recognize my typo from the quote you included: My apologies to Mr Burch...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 27-12-2015, 08:55   #41
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

I'm 100 pages into 'surviving the storm' as recommended by 'dannc' earlier in this thread. I highly recommend reading it, informed... a little scared...but better prepared.
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Old 27-12-2015, 09:02   #42
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

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I'm 100 pages into 'surviving the storm' as recommended by 'dannc' earlier in this thread. I highly recommend reading it, informed... a little scared...but better prepared.
Steven,

I agree. It's a great read and useful [for me...] to review/reflect upon; re-instilling a touch of humility before each time I head offshore...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 03-01-2016, 15:08   #43
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

take a college course in meteorology. I did this for my commercial pilots license and it has been invaluable in the near 100,000 miles of sailing.
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Old 03-01-2016, 21:26   #44
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-73.22,31.31,908
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:18   #45
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Re: Need help to understand the weather

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http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-73.22,31.31,908
Very nice ...

Welcome to CF Capt.Bill !

earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions

EDIT- above post link...
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