Weather & Links

Weather Resources

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World Meterological Organization (WMO)

The page above is provided under the auspices of the UN WMO and provides an index to the national weather services around the world. Marine forecasts are then possibly provided by the relevant national meterological body website.
The World Meterological Organization (WMO) then provides access to the following:
    • The Severe Weather Information Centre which has links to the regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres as well a link to:
    • Weather warnings – Europe (meteoalarm) which lists severe weather warnings for all of Europe (most warnings are land based)
    • The Global Marine Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) (AKA Safety At Sea) operated by The Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) provides the marine weather information broadcast via SafetyNET, some information broadcast by NAVTEX and common abbreviations for International NAVTEX. Information on navigational warnings, including warnings for some of them, may be found on the NAVAREA co-ordinators websites through this website.

World

WindGuru is a great site. It provides access to a number of different weather models which can be selected from to provide 7 day wind forecasting for any place on the globe (as well as wave forecasting for some areas)! With a free signon ID you can save your own list of locations so whenever you sign on you immediately have forecasts for your favourite locations. In addition there is also a free app to run on the Android which duplicates the information display of the webpage. Well recommended! Features include:

  • forecasts from NOAA grib files every 6 hours
  • ability to add new forecast points (custom spots)
  • ability to collect spots (either custom or standard) into forecast sets which groups the forecasts for a route, there by allowing one refresh to update all spots on the route
  • complimentary app for Android
  • ability to export KML files for spots so they can be loaded into other KML-compliant programs

We have put some notes together for ourselves on how to manage the data in WindGuru, click here.

Note: Although GRIB files offer amazing features they do have limitations and persons unfamiliar with these are well advised to read the GRIB articles we have linked below (click here).

Europe (all sites are in English except where noted)

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting
Dutch Meteorological Institute
Dutch Buien Radar (in Dutch)
French CotWeb (in French)
German DWD Marine Weather Centre (in English)
German Weather Zentrale (in German)
Portuguese Meteo Office has a 5-day outlook for various coastal stations selected from a pop-up menu (in Portugese)
Spanish Meteo Office (in Spanish)
UK Weather Online
Dutch Sat24 has multiple satellite views (multilingual)
David Baron’s webpage of satellites (last updated 2002 but still comprehensive)

Mediterranean

Athens University Atmospheric Modeling and Weather Forecasting Group
Malta Airport Weather Services
Mediterranean Weather

Black Sea, Sea of Marmara & Aegean Sea

Turkish Meteo Office – Black Sea Daily Marine Forecast
Turkish Meteo Office – Black Sea 3-Day Marine Forecast
Turkish Meteo Office – Rainfall Radar (for Birleştirilmiş, Görüntü, Ankara, Antalya, Adana/Hatay, Balıkesir, İstanbul, İzmir, Muğla, Samsun, Trabzon, Zonguldak)
University of Athens – Interactive Forecast (Weather & Wave)
University of Athens – Marine Weather Forecasts
University of Athens – Wave Forecast
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Poseidon) – Wind Forecast
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Poseidon) – Wave Forecast
Passage Weather – Black Sea

UK

Met Office home page (UK)
Met Office Marine Weather
Met Office Offshore (Shipping Forecast & Gale Warnings)
Met Office Inshore
Met Office Weather bouys (UK)
Met Office Weather resources at YBW (UK)
GreatWeather Various (over 1,400!!!) weather links (UK)

As the British government turns the Met Office into a “pay as you go” profit centre, it is reassuring to know that their weather fax information (which they have now stopped sending out) is available from both German and American sites:

US NOAA

National Weather Service Marine Products via Internet (and email)

The page above seems to be the most relevant of all pages we have found. It not only lists all the services that can be accessed by either FTP or email (and the list is very long and impressive), it also lists the different products available for
utilising the internet while afloat. Using this service weather forecasts for most areas of the world can be requested through the internet free of charge.

National Weather Service home page (information on forecast models used)
Ocean Prediction Centre (formerly Marine Prediction Centre

Atlantic charts & Pacific charts

Meteorological and oceanographic data (US sites only)
Marine weather faxes (including by email)
Ocean Surface Winds
National Weather Service Marine Information Page (various links to articles of interest to mariners)
National Data Bouy Centre
National Hurricane Centre
Geostationary Satellite Images (US areas only)
Educational Resources in Oceanography & Marine Geology
Some impressive weather pictures from NOAA

US Misc

NASA Earth Science Office has a variety of weather satelite views of the earth
US weather site links
John Hopkins University Ocean Remote Sensing
US Coast Guard Navigation Centre
NOAA’s National Ocean Service (US domestic products as opposed to international)

US Navy

The Naval Oceanography Portal has the following pages:

Caribbean

Wunderground tropical weather centre

Various Weather Links

The Dashew’s SetSail.com no longer has a list of weather links other than PassageWeather.com which is technical but excellent
Various Weather Links from WeatherImages.org
NavCentre Weather data downloads (not responding 2015-06)
WWW Tide Predictor for world sites
Francis Perey’s links to weatherfax images on the net and also some description of GRIB files
Frank Singleton’s Weather Page at MailASail.com
Various links to weather related issues (includes a tutorial on submitting weather forecast requests to the US NOAA NWS email and ftp servers)

Personal (i.e. Pay to use) Weather Services

Weather forecasts by email (from UK)
Marine Weather Center (from US)
Commander Weather data and forecast downloads
Global Weather resources and tailoured weather forecasts by Internet.

Weather by Shortwave Radio

Klingenfuss books for shortwave (HF) radio monitoring (including world RTTY & weatherfax frequencies)
WRTH The Directory of International Broadcasting book lists worldwide frequencies (including weatherfax & RTTY frequencies)
Frank Singleton’s Radio Communications for the Cruising Sailor at MailASail.com
Marine SSB Radio for “Idi-Yachts” by Capt Marti Brown at Amazon
Chris Smolinski’s Shortwave Radio Links includes some weather specific links

RTTY (Radio Teletype)

There is quite a bit of information available for RTTY but not very much specific to Marine Weather RTTY
Frank Singleton’s Radio Teletype (RTTY) for Weather when Sailing at MailASail.com
Chris Smolinski’s MultiMode RTTY software for the Mac
RTTY information from hfUnderground

Weatherfax

Australian and New Zealand weatherfax schedules
European weatherfax frequency list (1996)
Marius Rensen’s large searchable database of weatherfax frequencies and broadcast times and also his HF-FAX weatherfax software for the PC
European & Atlantic weatherfax information links (German)
Understanding Weatherfax book

GRIB Files

GRIB files are generated by large computer programs called “weather models”, virtually all the internet weather sites use the same data generated by the GFS model run by the NOAA in the United States. This model runs every 6 hours and produces data to cover the globe. As a consequence all sites are using the same numerical data and preference is based on which site presents the data most conveniently or possibly provides additional analysis or prediction.The WindGuru website has a good overview of the different weather models that are used to forecast the weather. It covers the strengths and weaknesses of the different models as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using weather models as opposed to human based forecasting (click here for details). To fully understand GRIB files it is best to have an understanding of the models that generate them.

Frank Singleton’s What Are GRIB Files? at MailASail.com
What Is a GRIB File? at Sea Tech Systems
GRIB on Wikipedia which has a list of over 20 programs that manage GRIB files
zyGrib free GRIB software for Macintosh and other computers

 

HF Radio Email (eMail by Shortwave Radio)

Radio systems like WinLink and SailMail have weather forecasting capabilities built into them.
WinLink 2000 Global Radio Email System
SailMail
PSK Mail
HF Radio E-Mail for “Idi-Yachts” by Capt Marti Brown at Amazon

 

Satelite Communication

Satellite phones can offer online access for weather information but can be expensive to operate.

Iridium
Inmarsat Maritime Services
Globalstar
Thuraya
MailASail Satellite Communications

 

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Links updated/verified 2015-06


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