The April edition of Proptalk magazine (a free Chesapeake bay motorboating magazine, sister of Spinsheet) has a great article on Boating Weather by Kendall Osborne. The article provided a few additional weather links I bookmarked in addition to several I already had. I thought I'd share them now that it's "Is it nice enough to go sailing this weekend??" season here in the Northeast. Most of my links go to the Chesapeake area but other parts of the site cover other areas.
Here's what I have, in no order. The first four are from the article mentioned above, with my thoughts on them included.
"Just the facts ma'am" just a sheet of past conditions around the bay. Would be a quick load and easy view on a smart phone or blackberry.
FishWeather.com - MD - chesapeake Wind Data
One of my new favorites. Easy to get around and has wind predictions.
CBOFS: Wind Forecast Guidance
Wind predictions from the NOAA. Wind data is under repair as of 3/26/10.
National Data Buoy Center
Buoy data center. Also check out the link on the side for "Dial a Buoy" and save some local ones in your cell phone.
Windfinder - wind, wave & weather reports, forecasts & statistics / webcams, satellite images, isobar maps, tides
Nice simple site, easy to navigate. Bookmark your local point of interest (ex: Windfinder - Real time wind & weather report Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Kent Isl.
Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zone - East - Baltimore/Washington, DC
NWS radar image loop of Composite Reflectivity from State College, PA
Your local radar should be a must-have in your favorites bar, smart phone, or whatever. For me the weather.GOV site is more up to date than the local news radar or the for-profit weather.COM. I also have one of the local news stations's radar bookmarked because they own and maintain their own doppler tower. The ads on weather.COM and the local news site load and pop up all over the place making the sites a pain on a smart phone, but fine for home or work computers.
Only of interest to Baltimore/DC area: FOOT'S FORECAST: We predict weather differently around here.
A Baltimore County high school teacher-slash-weather nut. Provides explanations for weather phenomena and typically reliable (if not exaggerated) forecasts. Can be followed on facebook, subscribed to via email or RSS feed. For those with a weather background his links are amazingly useful.
SpinSheet - Weather
Good compilation of links, where I found some of mine.
That's all I have. Please reply with any you may have. Being an hour and a half drive from prime Chesapeake sailing, I do a lot of research before towing my boat that far. I'd hate to get there to find 3' chop and 25 knot winds. (in a 17 foot boat!) For sailing on the local lake/river I just look at my neighbor's flag in his yard, then make the 10 minute drive.