Features May 2017 Issue

Marine Weather Forecasting

Safety at sea hinges on our ability to predict what lies ahead.

Over the last few decades, there’s been exponential growth in the availability of accurate weather forecasts and the net result is safer voyaging. Government spending on weather data gathering and forecast development has soared. Satellites and data buoys have filled in some of the oceanic gaps caused by an absence of weather balloon sampling at sea. State of the art, algorithm-driven, model data and ensemble-based forecasting have turned electronic guesswork into a better understanding of atmospheric volatility. The net result is an increase in the validity and reliability of marine forecasts and a trend that has stretched 24-hour forecast accuracy into 48- and 96-hour time frames. So, if anything deserves the label “don’t leave homeport without it,” it is today’s, better than ever, marine weather forecast.

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