Five Tips For Choosing Weather Information to Believe…And Pay For

GFS on the right, PredictWind on the right. Time of frontal passage at Halifax is 5 hours different even though model is only 24 hours old.
GFS on the right, PredictWind on the left. Predicted time of frontal passage at Halifax is different by 4 hours, even though the models are only 24 hours out (GFS is GMT, PW ADT)—It's a forecast, not a prophecy.

As many of you know, Morgan's Cloud is spending the winter in the water this year. This has, shall we say, focused me on the weather and the best ways of deciding what precautions we need to take for each winter storm, up to and including sleeping on the boat, which I have done twice so far. (Yeah I know, anal-retentive, what was your first clue?)

Anyway, the process has got me using a lot of weather resources on a regular basis. But no, this is not a comparative article to pick the best resource, but rather a set of guidelines that I have developed over some 35 years of being a weather-freak that will be useful as you decide what weather resources to use (and pay for) and how much weight to credit to each.

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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