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Old 09-22-2020, 05:32 PM   #1
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Weather apps

Today we purchased a Nordic Tug 32 in CT and are headed to FL. We have been off of the water since 2013 and need some mentoring about what is now available for
Weather. We have VHF, i-phone and i-pad with unlimited data.

Many thanks, Harry and Jane (ex-Cormorant, Corbin 39)
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:42 PM   #2
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Hi Harry and Jane, and welcome to both the forum and the Nordic Tug "family".
I like the app "Windy", and also have Wind Alert, SailFlow, and PredictWind. They all have subscription (fee) services, but Windy's free app gives good results in my area.
In out of the way areas (no cell coverage), I have used InReach's weather service, but they only give predictions for "larger" bodies of water. The info, was good though.
Save travels and "Happy Tuggin".
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:45 PM   #3
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Similar story here. I went dormant in 2004 and awoke from my Rip-Van-Winkle sleep about 2-years ago. Here's my best thinking, though I had originally planned on going through Central America, so some thoughts may be over-blown for your needs. Prices quoted may have changed as they are from memory from a while back:

1. Windy.com. Free. Gives decent forecasts.
2. Buoyweather.com. IOS/Android app. 2-day forecast is free. 14-day visibility is $50/year. Gives point-forecasts. Very useful if you're going outside.
3. PassageWeather,com. I like this as it gives similar format as the old Synoptic charts I used to pull-down via WeatherFax. Free. Web-based, no IOS/Android app, but usable.
4. FastSeas - web-based that uses Windy.com as it's base engine and provides route-planning. Costs about $60/year. Probably not useful for you as you won't be doing multi-day offshore passages.
5. PredictWind. Very popular with the offshore cruising set. $250/year for the mid-tier package. Gives route planning and allows toggle between GFS and European forecast models. Often coupled with IridiumGO for offshore weather.
6. NOAA reports. https://www.weather.gov/marine/marsh. To be honest, these are still my favorite, and they're free. These are still issued via WeatherFax, though few have WxFax anymore. These take the raw GFS data (same as Windy and PredictWind use), but have an actual human interpret the data. Over time, you get used to the style of each weather forecaster - some are more detailed. But for my tastes, they are still the best. You can pull-down these from the web, though not as elgantly as Windy et al.

Welcome back to boating. Best success in your journey.

Peter
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:26 PM   #4
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Any local weather blended with NOAA marine weather......then run it though your experience filter and thats about as good as it gets...I have found most of the apps completely useless compared to the basics..

Local weather is pretty accurate, wind over large bodies of water is always a bit stronger and locally affected weather is rarely included in any of the apps and rarely in forecasts...so boating experience trumps them. That would be wind against tide, wind through narrows, sea breezes, etc...etc...

One exception...is a decent radar app. It will clearly portray inland routes that may suffer degraded cruising/anchoring. I use Android "My Radar".

Offshore predictions...then a paid weather service may be in order and having never used one...some others may have that advice.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for wx info

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Hi Harry and Jane, and welcome to both the forum and the Nordic Tug "family".
I like the app "Windy", and also have Wind Alert, SailFlow, and PredictWind. They all have subscription (fee) services, but Windy's free app gives good results in my area.
In out of the way areas (no cell coverage), I have used InReach's weather service, but they only give predictions for "larger" bodies of water. The info, was good though.
Save travels and "Happy Tuggin".
Thanks, this is what we are looking for. Perhaps you know our fellow circumnavigators George and Lorraine Smith S/V Silent Runner?
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:04 PM   #6
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We use Windy a lot and have found it pretty accurate.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:53 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard TF.
I also like and use Windy.
I wrote a few articles re planning & completing our 2019 Cruise. If you go to my Bacchus website... 2019 Cruise... the May ABC-FLX newsletter includes some details on what I've learned about Windy.
https://dkloeber.wixsite.com/bacchus
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:12 AM   #8
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I'm one that is not a big fan of Windy, but it does give a general idea of what's going to be. I find the forecasting fair at best, especially wind and waves (and that's what we need).


Local CURRENT weather is hard to beat, as are the Bouy reports. You're getting weather that's happening right now and that's accurate. Also looking at what the weather was a few or several hours earlier can somewhat give an idea of the future.



Couple that with NOAA forecasts and you can get a pretty good idea of the future weather.

I like:
https://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/florida.php#tabs
Can zoom in/out, select marine and get reasonably good info.


Also:
https://digital.weather.gov/?zoom=6&...t=0&mxmz=false


click on a location, give waves and good marine info, and reasonably accurate for forecasts.




For apps,

I just use the Weather Channel. Has local weather, forecasts, radar and works reasonably well.



I also have a few aviation apps and web sites, and get the airport current and forecast wx. Weather patterns, highs, lows, fronts, etc.


For ICW travels there's only a few things needed:
Frontal wx (and big pressure differences) that will cause high winds that I'd want to be secure for.

Also the above and winds that will cause high waves for crossings.
And Fog.


The above are the show stoppers and require some planning and thinking about. Knowing where to anchor/marina, etc.



And just for info, the local wx and forecast, temp, rain, etc., to plan the cruise and deal with, but not necessarily show stoppers.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:46 AM   #9
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Have them all on the iPad but keep coming back to PassageWeather and NOAA. Rather look at gribs with arrows then colors. Best low baud charts. I throw them a few bucks every year but free it you don’t want to.
From NOAA get the Gulf Stream and countercurrents as well as the 500mb. Download the local forecast.
All the internet services just repack the information the government gives them which you already paid taxes for. I have a visceral objection to paying twice for something so refuse to use any of the paid services except for Chris Parker and occasionally CommandersWeather. Currently much prefer Parker. Much less expansive and as good if not better. $300/year gets you full rout planning and emails and internet, phone or SSB chat. More times than one he’s saved our bacon so I’m a big fan of him.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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For the Great Lakes, Passageweather is infallible within 24 hours and better than NOAA for long range outlook. The presentation of wave height and direction is the best I've seen. The metric scales and UTC times take a few extra seconds to interpolate, but worth the effort.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:58 PM   #11
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I've found Windy to be less than accurate for inside waters as it seems their software doesn't account for terrain funneling of surface winds. NOAA is better at inside waters but their typical web pages generally give you ambiguous locations with weather forecasts for standard marine zones that may not mean anything for where you are. You have too look pretty deep on their web site to find links to the text forecasts that match the NOAA weather radio forecasts and even deeper to find a text listing of current observations in your area. NOAA assumes every one has access to broadband but when you only have 2 bars of 4G or 1 bar of LTE, text forecasts are best.

Tom
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:06 PM   #12
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My two go-to weather apps are Fishweather for the wind forecast maps and Weather Bug for the live lightning detection superimposed on a map called "SPARK". You can watch storms with lightning marching toward you in near realtime.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:33 AM   #13
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We use several of the above sites, apps and Chris Parker but also take a look at https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/. Focus is on hurricane season but also has an interface to a large number of global forecast models. Easy access to any weather parameter, region and time frame. The same information is available in an app - http://www.hurrtracker.com/Main/home.html.

We also use NOAA for local WX, tides and real time wind data.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:42 PM   #14
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I've tried many. I like Windy best, by far.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:54 PM   #15
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Just joined LuckGrib. Seems really good. They give you a 2 week trial then a one time payment of $30 for lifetime membership. Also for One time payment of $50 will do routing. For that will stick with Parker. Like ability to talk directly with him.
In process of buying an N40. Will get back after seeing how it does on a few actual passages.
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