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Old 17-12-2019, 13:07   #1
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Learning the Weather

I’m looking to learn as much as I can about meteorology and global weather in general to improve my sailing skill set. Does anyone have any recommendations for specific books or online courses that stand out? Thanks for any info!
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Old 17-12-2019, 13:55   #2
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Re: Learning the Weather

I have read 4-5, books on weather. For me- I learned the most by NOT listening to the weather man/lady/person first. First download GRIBs, then read them, then do you own simple wind forecast and then read the NOAA forecast.

Be sure to do this for the area you line in a sail the most. Living it makes it easier to learn. For example, during winter when the wind in southern FL goes SW- I know a Cold front is coming.

Like many things- there is no easy way. No one book to read for instant knowledge.
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Old 17-12-2019, 15:28   #3
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Re: Learning the Weather

The Dashews "Mariner's Weather Handbook" is a good one.



And they made it available as a free PDF download a few years ago. See the link at the bottom of this page:


SetSail FPB » Blog Archive » Weather Forecasting, Storm Tactics & Successful Cruising – Plus An Offer You Can’t Refuse
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Old 17-12-2019, 17:01   #4
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Re: Learning the Weather

The best way is probably just to observe the weather in your area for a year or two.

When I was 17 and had a very large car payment, I watched the weather very closely to see when I would be able to start work in the early Spring on my uncle's farm. (I had quit my job at a fast food place because I got mad at the owner.....and I was 17) We had 1000 acres to plow so the sooner we started the better

If it was too wet, I couldn't plow which meant no money. So I'd watch the weather and get hopeful then another front would show up coming East

Later while on the tractor maybe on a 200 acre field plowing for 12 hours a day with other fields nearby basically making it very open you could really get a since of the weather...….red sky at night etc. The view is the point. It's like being on a boat far offshore

Later still you learned what the winds would do before and after the approach and passing of a front because back then we didn't have cabs and when pulling the disc harrow on dry dirt you could end up in dust on one whole leg and by the end of the day you were covered in it except for your eyes and mouth

Similar to this but with older equipment like a 1600 Oliver with 6 cylinder diesel and dual back wheels and a 7 bottom plow.

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Old 17-12-2019, 17:10   #5
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Re: Learning the Weather

If you live on the West Coast, Fagans Cruising Guide is very good. He devotes a Chapter to weather. Basic things like how fog forms, the different types of fog, the Catalina Eddy, predominant wind flows and why they form, etc.
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Old 17-12-2019, 22:09   #6
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Re: Learning the Weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Living it makes it easier to learn. For example, during winter when the wind in southern FL goes SW- I know a Cold front is coming.
Absolutely agree you have to live it to learn it. But a lot is also pouring over the tutorials to try to learn something that generally takes years of schooling to become an expert. It's also important to know the whys. My understanding is that those southerly winds before a cold front will happen here on the US West Coast, too, but it won't happen if you're in Australia. Right?
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Old 17-12-2019, 23:23   #7
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Re: Learning the Weather

Here's one -
https://www.edx.org/course/backyard-...nce-of-weather
And another i haven't gone through yet
https://www.coursera.org/learn/meteorology (learn some Spanish while you're at it )

Also modern marine weather and the barometer handbook are must haves imho.

Enjoy learning
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Old 18-12-2019, 04:52   #8
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Re: Learning the Weather

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, trmitc.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:39   #9
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Re: Learning the Weather

I believe the best way of learning weather patterns and how to read nature is to combine studies (e. good books/courses) and field observations. And it comes by years of time in nature, studying it with you own eyes and mind.
Just the fact you have the interest of learning the weather, you will probably walk around having such thoughts in mind. Question what you see and research it. During all your time in the cockpit or nature - and that is the key. Read and live it.

I got a degree in geology and oceanography, and during these studies I learned a bit about meteorology too. I can recommend any basic academic beginner book in the field of earth science to learn the basics of meteorology and how patterns in nature comprehend.

Should be alot of official weather data available on government boards? Study them and read your weather patterns locally for some time. That will teach alot.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:49   #10
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Re: Learning the Weather

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Also modern marine weather and the barometer handbook are must haves imho.
Modern Marine Weather by David Burch is very good.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:00   #11
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Re: Learning the Weather

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Modern Marine Weather by David Burch is very good.
agree, this is a good book.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:34   #12
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Re: Learning the Weather

Many weather sites have loads of educational content - it's just a matter of finding it. It might help to focus a bit on specific guides if we know where you are in the world?

https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment...resources.html
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Old 22-02-2020, 11:00   #13
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Re: Learning the Weather

Thanks for the advice everybody!
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Old 22-02-2020, 14:37   #14
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Re: Learning the Weather

One we read that was pretty basic, hence easy to understand was "Weather For New Zealand Fishermen." I don't know if it's still in print.

However, if the OP's in the US, might as well stick to northern hemisphere forecasting.

**********

Understanding the basics, like in Northern Calif., when the central valley is hot, it sucks in cool, moist air off the ocean, because there is a pressure differential between the cold, heavier ocean air, and the hot air in the valley. Warm months have "fog near the coast, extending inland, night and morning."

Wherever the OP lives, there will be discernible wx patterns, but if you look at the conditions that generate the weather, you'll see warning signs...and the old fisherfolk sayings give clues, too. "Mackerel skies and mare's tails mean tall ships wear short sails". The skies give a clue what's on its way a couple of days in advance.

Ask Boatman 61 how he predicts the weather crossing from Caribbean to Europe, to avoid getting trashed.

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