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Old 09-29-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default Weather forecast

Next Spring I'll head from Panama across the Pacific.
Does anyone have suggestions for downloading weather on a crossing?
Grib files, weather maps? What would be the best system to get?
I have SSB and I download NOAA on my computer but the downloading is not always reliable and it covers a wide area without specific details.
I also have an Iridium on board.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Thank you,

Fabio
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:45 AM
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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You will be quickly out of the NOAA weather coverage region. The system used for years by cruisers is SSB radio to download radio weatherfax charts, then doing your own analysis. Rather than repeat the same information that has been typed 1000 times I suggest you do a search on weatherfax to find the old threads.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandla View Post
Next Spring I'll head from Panama across the Pacific.
Does anyone have suggestions for downloading weather on a crossing?
Grib files, weather maps? What would be the best system to get?
I have SSB and I download NOAA on my computer but the downloading is not always reliable and it covers a wide area without specific details.
I also have an Iridium on board.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Thank you,

Fabio
Download gribs via your ssb. it's pretty simple and painless if you have sail mail. Unless you plan to go out of season, or are doing some unusual passage, that will be more than sufficient. It doesn't take any special skill to read grib files - you'll pick it up pretty quick.

The other thing is, unless you're sailing a pretty fast boat, weather routing doesn't do a whole lot for you but make you worry (trust me on this one). I've done a bunch of long passages with and without weather routers & without weather forecasts at all and unless you have a really good reason rum line sailing almost always works out best.

There are a couple of websites that offer free weather grib software. I think ugrib was the last one i used. You're not leaving for awhile so download the software and start looking at gribs on a daily basis so you get a feel for how to read them and how the data compares to other sources of weather. Once you get used to them gribs are more than enough info.

I've crossed the Pacific a couple of times from Panama so if you have specific concerns ask away. As long as you follow the guide books you'll be fine. just don;t get caught out of season.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Thank you for your reply. I am comfortable with gribs but sailmail needs a Pactor and I am not going to invest in an old technology. I am checking into Skyfile to be used with the Iridium phone. I already have the phone so it will add a moderate cost. But I will check Ugrib.
And thank you for your offer and advise. I will contact you if I need it
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:06 AM   #5
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I'm with Lance on this one. When you're traveling at 6 knots, knowing what's 'in the wind' for the next day can be far more worrisome than the actual event. I like to know well in advance of any deep lows forming in tropical and sub tropical areas (*) but for the rest c'est la vie!

*Getting belted by the bum end of a hurricane south east of Japan was one of my more memorable sailing experiences and one which I am not keen to repeat.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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WWV & WWVH have weather for the Pacific and Atlantic high seas. Check for times & frequencies online.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandla View Post
Next Spring I'll head from Panama across the Pacific.
Does anyone have suggestions for downloading weather on a crossing?
Grib files, weather maps? What would be the best system to get?
I have SSB and I download NOAA on my computer but the downloading is not always reliable and it covers a wide area without specific details.
I also have an Iridium on board.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Thank you,

Fabio
Hi Fabio,

I recommend that you take a Sat phone and regularly download gribs. I personally use an Isatphone (connected to netbook), but there are now several relatively cheap portable units available.

Have a great trip!

Pete
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:25 AM
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