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Old 12-12-2018, 10:52 PM   #1
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Marine Weather Education

We're looking for an online course or series of courses that can teach us about forecasting marine weather, and using the available technology. We have a basic understanding of weather forecasting, but lack a more comprehensive understanding of the ramifications of weather fronts beyond what the TV provides. I want to be able to more accurately read the clouds, wind direction, approaching fronts, and local conditions to develop an awareness of the weather possibilities.

Does anyone have any recommendations of where to start this educational journey? Online and at my own pace is a must. I briefly reviewed the power squadrons site as well as americaboatingclub.org. Are there any more recommendations?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jimL View Post
We're looking for an online course or series of courses that can teach us about forecasting marine weather, and using the available technology. We have a basic understanding of weather forecasting, but lack a more comprehensive understanding of the ramifications of weather fronts beyond what the TV provides. I want to be able to more accurately read the clouds, wind direction, approaching fronts, and local conditions to develop an awareness of the weather possibilities.

Does anyone have any recommendations of where to start this educational journey? Online and at my own pace is a must. I briefly reviewed the power squadrons site as well as americaboatingclub.org. Are there any more recommendations?

Thanks,

Jim
You could look up pilot training materials. Ground school for aviation covers practically-minded weather forecasting. There are many books, online resources, etc. without actually registering for ground school (which also contains a bunch of other material quite irrelevant to boating).

Just a thought on where else to look, other than boating-specific materials.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:30 AM   #3
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Boaters University has a marine weather course. I haven't purchased it yet, it's expensive, but I am considering the year long pass to take advantage of the other courses.

https://www.boatersuniversity.com/co...her-101-basics
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:46 AM   #4
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An often recommended book is Watts' Instant Weather. It assumes no knowledge and doesn't get overly technical.

Very much in depth and getting very technical is Dashew's Mariners Weather which can be downloaded for free.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:46 AM   #5
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JimL
The USPS WX course is a good one and can be done self study w the materials. Most USPS instructors (myself included) would be willing to meet or teleconference periodically to help those doing self study.
The other option is NOAA they have an online course w quiz questions by section. From what I've seen It also is very good.
Even with the above training forecasting is a whole different level not only of knowledge but access to computer models and lots of local knowledge.
The expectation I try to convey to students is that they will NOT be competent forecasters but WILL be better able to understand and apply the info and forecasts performed by others.
As a good start the USA Today Weather book is a very good intro and is the basis for a large portion of the USPS Wx course materials.
Good luck... it's an interesting topic and very useful for boaters. Let me know if I can assist further.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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There is a weatherman on here who is also a boater, his handle is Wxx3. You might reach out to him but Iím pretty sure what heíll tell you. Best thing is to prepare for forecasts to be wrong which is just plain good seamanship. Also you might want to start keeping a deck log. It will force you to pay attention to whatís going on and give a time and tide reference to help adjust data and forecast data and better understand local conditions. For example Hatteras varies tremendously from the forecasts for a variety of reasons. Local surfers, windsurfers and sailors know what works and what doesnít. Our logs have provided us better info than any of the apps.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:04 PM   #7
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I woke up in the middle of the night and found this post. Weird, since I hadn't been on TF for a week.

First of all, I have taken a preliminary look at Dashew's weather PDF above. I really like it.
It has a lot of good pictures and diagrams and I like it's discussion about the numerical models.
So, a few thoughts:
1. Get one reference book, like the above, and stick to it. The more sources you add, the more confused one can get.
2. Ed, Cafesport, said it well. If your interest in wx is to make a better forecast to plan your own boating better, it's not going to happen.
3. Never base the safety of you or or boat on a weather forecast. Never, ever.
4. A safe boater always is prepared for the worst weather the season could bring.
5. If in you in the U.S., the NWS Forecast Weather discussion for your area, including the marine forecast, is mandatory reading and should be read at least every day of your entire boating season.
6. I also look at the NWS ocean chart for my area of interest every day of the year. I only look at the analysis, because from one to the next there is continuity, which may not exist in the forecasts.
7. With the above, I also look at Windy.com and I only look at the one model, usually the ECMWF. There is no point in trying to compare models. It's just confusing and there is no way you can determine which is better at any given time.
8. Too much data is just as bad as too little data.

Download the Dashew book. I'll keep it on all my computers now. Thanks DDW for bringing it to my attention.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:25 PM   #8
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I agree with the point above about reading the analysis. I fly sailplanes, which is even more weather dependent than boating. We get a NOAA aviation forecast and even a NOAA soaring forecast, but the discussion and analysis is where it gets interesting. There you will see the forecaster's reasoning, his uncertainty, his comparison of models, and you begin to appreciate the context. Same thing applies to the marine forecast.

I bought the Dashew book (at great expense) before he began giving it away . It's going to be a bit too in-depth for some - which is why I also recommend the Watts book.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:14 AM   #9
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For most if us, I would take the guess that local conditions while boating often imoact us more than generic weather forecasting.

Usually only experience from doing it and having it explained by an old salt is the way to get it....but it is out there is bitts and pieces and a very few publications ....so few I don't even know of any offhand.

It's like soaring or flying fire bombers or rescue aircraft , etc in situations hardly anyone else does.

Things like seabteeze, wind against tide, funneling, wind contour following, wave refraction and reflection, etc iare more important to understand because any reliable weather app gives the basics.

Some localized weather phenomena are so unusual, knowing what to ask experienced locals is important.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:12 AM   #10
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From their FaceBook Page.

PassageMaker
December 10 at 11:56 AM ∑
For the first time boaters can learn to be their own forecasters under the tutelage of popular weather router Chris Parker. This is not an easy thing to accomplish in a short period of time, so we have devised a unique system—a mix of online and in-person learning.

First, students must take Weather 101, Basics online at www.boatersuniversity.com. This 3Ĺ-course instills the fundamentals of how weather happens and includes quizzes. Then, the second part of the course—the part where forecasting is taught—happens at TrawlerFest in Stuart, Florida. That all-day session is called Weather 202, Advanced (Live), and it happens on March 6.

TrawlerFest attendees will have permanent access to the advanced course online, and for those who cannot make the trip to Stuart, the online version will be available for sale, so all students who have completed the initial course can finish the second one as well.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:25 PM   #11
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I would also look at seminars at boat shows. That helped us. We also use several weather forecast apps and compare.

One rule with weather. Go-No Go My Admiral has veto power on weather. We discuss the night before departure and the day of departure.
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:04 AM   #12
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This is my daily weather site:


RAP Real-Time Weather


There are educational links on the site.


TV weather really dumbed-down over the last couple decades.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:08 PM   #13
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This is my daily weather site:


RAP Real-Time Weather


There are educational links on the site.


TV weather really dumbed-down over the last couple decades.
Issues with the link on my laptop....
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