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
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.