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Coastal and Offshore Weather by Chris Parker

Coastal and Offshore Weather, The Essential Handbook

by Chris Parker


An excellent resource for learning basic weather concepts, the use of GRIB files in weather forecasting, and efficient ways to acquire weather on your boat at sea.

This book is a must for anyone interested in learning about weather and the use of GRIB files in daily forecasting.

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Using Marine Weather Forecasts at Sea


How often are you surprised by marine weather? How often does the wind clock or back - increase or decrease when you weren't expecting it? How confidently can you pin-down the time of a frontal passage to within an hour or two? How sure are you in the morning that you'll sleep like a baby in the anchorage you plan for tonight? How confident are you that you should travel 30 miles to the next anchorage today in more-favorable winds instead of waiting until tomorrow? If you're surprised more than once or twice a month, the knowledge shared in this book can help.

Chris Parker on Marine Weather and GRIB Files

In the first half of the book, we learn why weather happens in the marine environment. The discussion is easy to understand because of my tight focus on surface weather phenomena with plenty of observable, real-world examples and no unnecessary technical terms. When I introduce additional topics (like meso-scale events, large-scale synoptic/airmass features, atmospheric lift dynamics and upper air influences), I stress their relevance to the surface marine environment. To make things even easier for the beginner, my examples are drawn from the SE US Coast and Bahamas. Advanced readers will increase their understanding of weather with my unique emphasis on atmospheric dynamics in general and Instability / Lift / Lapse Rate in particular. All readers will enjoy my tips on how to read the sky.

The second half of the book details how to obtain and interpret weather (observation and forecast) information, given the type of electronic gear onboard. I start with the ubiquitous Marine VHF, examples of the weather products available and how to interpret them. With additional electronic gear, your weather-gathering abilities increase, and I give examples and interpretation tips for each. Recent improvements to wireless data delivery and the explosion of bandwidth-optimized weather data available has introduced a new challenge for the voyaging mariner: how to select the best weather products from the overwhelming number of options (WeatherNet has over 10,000 products available, most under 20k in size). I offer some tips.

Finally, I devote a section of the book to GRIB files, including separate discussions of GRIB data and GRIB viewers. If you don't know much about GRIBs, or if you don't know how to get, view and interpret a precipitation (or one of the other 15 parameters of GRIB data) GRIB, you need this book.