Aside from marine radio, what are other good sources for weather information, I'm mainly interested in wind forecasts to prepare for racing long distances around Southern California. Can you help?
Mark Matthews responds:
You can get basic coastal marine forecasts from the National Weather Service by using SailNet's Weather Center. NOAA also has a number of web forecast sites that are very useful for analyzing winds, but I've found the organization to be a little puzzling. Here's a link to real time buoy information in your area to get you started: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.
This is the site I use for weather and wave conditions in the east: polar.wwb.noaa.gov/waves/latest_run/wna_ecg.anim.gif, and I know there's one for the West Coast, but I have been unable to find it. You might also check out some of your local surfing web links.
Finally, know that there are a number of good articles on the site about understanding weather, its causes, reading weather faxes, fronts, and more. On the left side of the homepage under Main Areas, click on Seamanship, and then Weather.