The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Great Weather Product

The good folks over at the Ocean Prediction Center have a feature on their weather-maps page to cycle through weather maps for the last 3, 7, or 14 days.

A great way to study how systems are moving and evolving over time in the area we plan to cruise or the ocean we plan to cross.

  • It’s important to understand that this is historic (before today), not forward looking.
  • It’s easier to understand what’s going on if we slow it down, or better yet stop it and use the buttons at the top to step through at our own pace.

Don’t let the historic nature of this tool put you off. Knowing what the systems have been doing for the last two weeks is invaluable when planning cruises and voyages.

And those who have taken the trouble to learn a bit about 500-MB weather maps will get even better insights by looping those maps.

Other useful options are to add satellite imagery and look at how waves and swell have developed over time.

A truly great learning tool for anyone who wants to really understand the weather around them, rather than just looking at GRIBs.

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James Greenwald

Fantastic! I have not seen this tool before. As a professional pilot who crosses the North Antlantic regularly, I am a fanatic user and student of the 500mb chart. Got to love NOAA for providing these free features.

John Boardman

Hi John,

Agree great product. Where can I find the equivalent for the Med, Red Sea and Indian Ocean?
Love your work.



Carolyn Rosner

These are nifty! I found a nice page at NOAA that explains the basics of how to read weather maps, for those of us (like me) who are new to looking at weather this way. The lines and symbols are explained, as well as some other details. Here in CA we get to see Pacific systems marching across the globe. NOAA is a national treasure. Enjoy!