The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Don’t Forget Weather Maps

I have to confess that, now we are no longer cruising offshore, I have tended to get my weather information from Windy and call it good.

But I just realized that that lazy approach was resulting in me losing the strategic and tactical feel for the weather I developed over some five decades of observing it closely.

So this morning, for the first time in months, I took a look at the excellent weather maps produced by our friends to the south—thanks to all you US tax payers—and was immediately reminded why doing that pretty much every day before looking at raw-model output—that’s what Windy is, just prettied up—is way better.

All the reasons for looking at forecaster-drawn maps are beyond the scope of a tip, but the most important one is that applications like Windy do not show fronts, and if we don’t know where the fronts are, and how they work, we are just plain weather-ignorant—fronts are where most of the weather that can hurt you lurks.

To learn more, we have an Online Book. The parts about how to download the weather are out of date, but the strategic and tactical method that kept Phyllis and me safe for so many years is timeless.

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