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Old 09-21-2016, 10:26 AM   #21
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Seevee's Avatar
City: st pete
Country: usa
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I'd agree that local knowledge is valuable.

Weather prediction is a crap shoot, no matter who does it. And often it's over a broad area and you could be boating even 10 miles from the forecast area and be much different.

So many factors....

However, there's ways to somewhat predict the likelihood of nasty stuff, and one can do a bit of their own predicting. Need to start with actual data, weather stations, bouys, etc., and know where the weather station is. There are a lot of private weather stations that are poor, not mounted properly and don't give good data. Airports, bouys, stations on bridges without obstructions are usually excellent. Also, the radio sound info from the weather balloons is handy, launched twice daily, but can be hard to interpret.

Know the weather patterns... highs, lows, troughs, pressure, temp, wind patterns (18000 ft is a good indication of flows). Know the local situations.... hills, valleys, seas, lakes.

Often making last minute changes to plans is necessary because the forecast didn't come thru. It's pretty hard to predict accurate winds (and weather) much more than a day out, and even that changes.

And, there's private weather services, that sometimes do a better job than government ones, but ya pay for them.

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Old 09-22-2016, 11:55 PM   #22
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City: Brentwood Bay, BC
Country: Canada
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Vessel Model: Krogen 42
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Posts: 92

I agree that for the west coast of Canada, the forecast winds are frequently over-predicted. If I can get hold of alternative forecasts, I consider all of them.

For southern BC & Washington I have found the University of Washington model to be very good. I access this through Big Wave Dave's weather site:
Latest Reports - Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, marine weather, Victoria, Vancouver Island, coastal British Columbia, BC, Canada, windsurf, kiteboard, webcams, surfing, photos, kayaking

For the North Coast I used the Spot WX site this summer en route to Haida Gwaii and had consistently good results. On the SPOT site, you select a location and then get a time-series for that location.

We had a number of locations on the North Coast where there was no cell, weather radio or CCG/VHF reception (like right at Kitkatla!). I used a DeLorme InReach to get a friend in Newfoundland to text weather. I wish Coast Guard would give more attention to filling there VHF holes

John Harper
Golden Dawn, KK42-82
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:34 AM   #23
MurrayM's Avatar
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,401
Thanks for the link...I'll keep an eye on it to see how accurate it is. Since the Douglas Channel weather buoy is just south of town, you'd think predictions would be 'somewhat' accurate for that location at least...

*Nanakwa Shoal buoy hasn't been able to read wave height for years, in case you're checking it for wave height data.

"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
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