Sources of information on marine meteorology
Marine meteorology plays an important role when we plan a boat voyage. If we plan to rent a sailboat or a motor boat, we must take a look at «the weather prediction». Also windsurfers, kite, Stand-up Paddle, etc. can take advantage of these consultations to predict the best waves and conditions to be found to reach the sea.
Today, without being an experienced meteorologist, we have plenty of tools really useful. They will allow us to know fairly accurately the weather forecast for the area in which we plan to navigate.
First of all, we must calculate which will be our path and then delimit it geographically. To do this, we must look at certain things.
¿Which ones? Best sources of Marine Meteorology
-About our boat. If it is a sailing ship or boat engine. Its cruising speed. The range and behaves to a worsening sea conditions, etc.
– If it is a crossing. Miles to navigate and calculate estimated arrival time (E.T.A. – Estimated Arrival Time).
– Plan B. This is very important. We must always have along our initial program an alternative option, in case the wind and sea conditions worsen. Here we will check also possible anchorages, landfalls, sea ports or shelter, etc.
-Analyze the local weather. Sometimes these is hardly predictable among the general weather forecast. But instead, they are well known to those locals. Auction centers or fishing ports and marinas nearby are ideal places for this first hand information.
Creating your own forecast
Download the marine meteorological forecasting through a page or website. Each sailor has his own preferences. And also, some sources are more reliable than others in each area, but we will bring some of them as an example only. Either way, experience has shown me that it is always important to analyze more than one to end to form for ourselves our own composition or scenario of the forecast:
- Http://www.windguru.cz/int/. This page is the most used in Nautic Ocean to consult our trips in Playa Blanca and Lanzarote. It has some practical maps detailing the direction and intensity of the wind, wave height and temperature. We can also incorporate the sport that we will practice to show us more useful data. It will provide the information with a frequency of 3 hours.
- http://passageweather.com/download.htm. I particularly like this page and it is a page that I consult frequently. I discovered it about a year ago and gave fast reliability. It is probably more suitable for longer voyages and not for both inshore, where there are other ones more accurately.
- http://www.aemet.es/es/eltiempo/prediccion/maritima. Surely this is the official website. It is commonly used by coastal, maritime salvage, etc. And it attaches to the nautical meteorology officialdom. They have been introducing continuously improvements in both web display level as reliability. Of course, a reference to consult almost in any case. In the case of access, we can link to state ports maps where the information is much more detailed and frequent.
- http: //es.windfinder.com/forecast/lanzarote_playa_blanca. Very similar in format to windguru. It is also a very consulted and a comprehensive detail of the forecast page. It works at an international level.
And last but not least
- Http://www.eltiempo.es. The known meteorologist J.A. Maldonado is at the forefront of this weather forecasting page. I’ve included it for the easy and so handy format it offers. Probably won’t find the detail of a page like Aemet, but easy and attractive format, especially if we use it from our tablet or mobile devices. It is a page that will certainly be added to our list of favorites.
To complete your sourcing information…
The paths of the area or nautical guides, local applications, bulletin boards or Sea ports themselves, also provide useful information that can be a contrast. Always remembering that prudence is a fishing practice that should never forget. As always, as a good and marine friend of mine says:
It is better to regret for not having gone to the sea, to regret having done so.»
A few years ago it would have been unthinkable to be anchored in Isla de Lobos (Lanzarote). And then check on board the weather we will have with us. If we have a tablet, smartphone or laptop, we will be able to access to a very broad number of sources to know the sea state information, wind, etc.
To sum up, it is very necessary to know exactly which weather conditions will you find when navigating. That is checking the marine meteorology before the departure. That is because you will enjoy much more your time on the sea, not needing to be worried about anything else than the sound of the waves hitting your hull.