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Old 06-29-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Weather Apps/Services

I saw a thread on this from last year, but suppose a lot's changed since then.

We've been using Weatherbug and the Weather Channel on our trip north from Florida on the ICW. So far, while I like WB's Spark lightning detector, the predictions have been erratic to say the least, even allowing for the pop up nature of summer weather down here. They typically shift from 0 to 90% to 0 on the hourly forecasts. In one case, WB was calling for 90% probability for a thunderstorm in the current hour while radar continued to show nothing within 300 miles of our location. Weather Channel's forecasts, by comparison, have been much closer to what we've actually seen on the ground.

So which weather apps/services do you all like and why?
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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I saw a thread on this from last year, but suppose a lot's changed since then.

We've been using Weatherbug and the Weather Channel on our trip north from Florida on the ICW. So far, while I like WB's Spark lightning detector, the predictions have been erratic to say the least, even allowing for the pop up nature of summer weather down here. They typically shift from 0 to 90% to 0 on the hourly forecasts. In one case, WB was calling for 90% probability for a thunderstorm in the current hour while radar continued to show nothing within 300 miles of our location. Weather Channel's forecasts, by comparison, have been much closer to what we've actually seen on the ground.

So which weather apps/services do you all like and why?
I like Weather Bug's radar. This time of year the forcasts are hit or miss. That is why I watch the radar.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:33 PM   #3
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it's not an app...but they ay have one....

for those that have never tried it...try wunderground weather....I like the complete info and then be able to click into more detail. You can customize and place favorites...marine weather and astronomy...usually only a click to a different page..also weather history for all over....lots to look at..

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Old 06-29-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
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I use at different times, OCENS software, Clearpoint software, Commanders Weather Routing service, the Navy's wind/ wave forecasting site, Buoy Weather app, PocketGrib app, Weather Bug app, Magic Seaweed app, Radar US+ app, Weather Map + app, Weather Underground and of course the Weather Channel.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:21 PM   #5
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I like WeatherPro as an app with a good interface and pretty accurate forecasts. Good radar and satellite maps and very intuitive. Easy to input and save your favorite locations for easy reference.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:31 PM   #6
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We are using Sirius Weather since in SE AK the cellular data is not universally available.

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Old 06-30-2014, 02:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
I use at different times, OCENS software, Clearpoint software, Commanders Weather Routing service, the Navy's wind/ wave forecasting site, Buoy Weather app, PocketGrib app, Weather Bug app, Magic Seaweed app, Radar US+ app, Weather Map + app, Weather Underground and of course the Weather Channel.
Wow, talk about a tyranny of choice. All we have is the Maritime Safety weather report and the Govt funded Bureau of Meteorology website, forecast and radar etc.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:55 AM   #8
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Wow, talk about a tyranny of choice. All we have is the Maritime Safety weather report and the Govt funded Bureau of Meteorology website, forecast and radar etc.
Pete, we do have 7 Day Wind, Wave & Tide Weather Forecasts (including live wind reports) for Australia. When it and BOM disagree(they often do) Seabreeze is usually right. Worth a look, I like how it forecasts wind speed /direction/wave height hour by hour. Auscan uses it too I think. BOM became very conservative after failing to predict some weather(possibly for a Sydney-Hobart, but don`t most competitors use a private service anyway), when some bad things happened.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Wow, talk about a tyranny of choice. All we have is the Maritime Safety weather report and the Govt funded Bureau of Meteorology website, forecast and radar etc.
All we really have is the illusion of choice.
I'll admit it's been 15 years since I was involved in sourcing weather data, but little has changed.

There are a lot of great apps and applications out there, that dress up the end result in different ways, but the sources are pretty much all from the government, NOAA and NWS. Though we do have the Navy and USAF systems, or the parts that make available to the public.

The biggest issue is that when the sources get it wrong, all the forecasts are starting from a false premise. GIGO.

THe biggest problem I see is that almost all of the applications imply an accuracy that does not exist.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:49 AM   #10
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All we really have is the illusion of choice.

There are a lot of great apps and applications out there, that dress up the end result in different ways, but the sources are pretty much all from the government, NOAA and NWS..
Good point. :-) This is most evident when we have a strong hurricane starting to threaten. Different websites and forecasters (all using the same data, as you say) will come up with all sorts of varying prognostications.

Personally I always use the National Hurricane Center forecast which seems to average the other predictions insofar as track/intensity.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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I prefer the Official Weather Guess.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:32 PM   #12
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I prefer the Official Weather Guess.
When they start to get really close, I use the Official Meteorological Go method (abbreviated OMG!).
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:47 PM   #13
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Wow, talk about a tyranny of choice. All we have is the Maritime Safety weather report and the Govt funded Bureau of Meteorology website, forecast and radar etc.
As I said, I use different ones for different situations. And as mentioned , most of them are using the same raw data to make their predictions. So it can come down to what presentation format you like. That is one reason I mentioned several different sources and apps. People can look them over a pick what works for them.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:55 AM   #14
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Good point. :-) This is most evident when we have a strong hurricane starting to threaten. Different websites and forecasters (all using the same data, as you say) will come up with all sorts of varying prognostications.
This! When Weatherbug shows 90% in the current hour and everyone else (and Weatherbug's own radar) show nothing, something's wrong.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #15
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Radar Now!
Weather Underground
Marine Weather Pro (Bluefin/Accuweather)
NOAA's local buoy info (usually via browser)

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #16
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I use Wunderground very happily. No app really required, just bookmark the locations you want, I'd typically have the land and marine forecast, for a long time using an old by today's standards crude Blackberry Curve, non 3G for mobile. Laptop or iMac otherwise.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #17
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If you do any offshore jumps, I've found SwellInfo to be exceptional. NOAA gives forecasts out to 20 nm. But if I'm making a jump, let's say, from Charleston to Winyah Bay, I'll be 3 miles out. SwellInfo uses the GFS model to provide contours of wave height and period predictions. There have been a bunch of times in recent years when NOAA was saying 3-5 ft but SwellInfo was showing 1-2 near shore. We'd stick our nose out and find 1-2.

MagicSeaWeed is a competitor but I like the interface for SwellInfo better and find myself using it more. Both have various apps that provide some of the prediction data too.

I'll give a shoutout to WindFinder too. I dropped BuoyWeather and find myself only using WindFinder now. While I'm at it, I use Wundermap for radar. I have an affinity toward WeatherUnderground because they're a licensee of ours. I like the crowd-sourced overlays in Wundermap and their radar is as good as any of them.
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