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tarmand 09-03-2002 08:57 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...
... in the bunker they broadcast from? They must not, because if they did, they''d look out the window every once in a while and tell the computers to change the forecast! Example: this past weekend I took the family to Annapolis. The weather was supposed to be iffy, but the wind was going to come from the East all weekend. Sure enough, Sunday morning when we are set to leave (in the predicted rain) NOAA tells me the winds will be from the East at 10-15 knots. Great, this will leave us sailing up the Bay in one tack on a close/beam reach with a nice short fetch making at/near hull speed the whole way. So what if it''s raining. Well instead, we get 20-25 knots right on the beak out of the NNE, right down the Bay kicking up 2-4 foot seas. The racing crews at the Bay bridge were having a blast, but with a crew of my wife, a two year old and a four year old, we were not "staffed" to maximize the conditions. Sure we survived, we even had fun, that''s not the point. The point is that it wasn''t until late in the afternoon that NOAA looked out the window and changed their "forecast" to reflect reality. Shortly thereafter a Small Craft Advisory was posted. In all seriousness, does anyone know how/if NOAA factors real observations in with computer models to provide weather info?

JohnDrake 09-03-2002 12:24 PM

Does NOAA have any windows...
They probably don''t. I have found that NOAA weather radio covers such a large area that it is not always accurate. Example the 31 knot winds of about two months ago when NOAA weather radio was saying it was 10-15.

But YOU can get real time weather info from Thomas Pt Light on the net. I use a cheap cable that connects my Palm Pilot to my cell phone. I can get email or surf the net. I usually check the real weather data from the NOAA TPL site and real time weather radar from before heading out.

Looking at the TPL station logs, the winds were NNE at a steady 10 knots true, at that location, all day from before 0600 onward. Checking in the am, you would have been able to know that. I think you can also dial up these sites by phone now for an audio reading of real time or near real time weather info.


tarmand 09-03-2002 02:25 PM

Does NOAA have any windows...
John, I use the NOAA infohub for the Chesapeake. I don''t see TPL as a datapoint on that site. Could you post the direct URL that you use to get to TPL data? Thx!

JohnDrake 09-04-2002 04:54 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...$station=tplm2

If you back up on the URL, you can pick out any of the NOAA weather stations in the US. Its great to have real time data.

And... you can also get a cheap cable to connect your digital cell phone (like a Motorola StarTAc) to a laptop computer, if you don''t have a Palm.

..and no I don''t work for them...just a geek.

Best regards,


JohnDrake 09-04-2002 05:04 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...

The above is the main page for the National Data Bouy Center.

tarmand 09-04-2002 06:15 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...
Thanks so much, John. You seem to be an expert on this so help me with this: In your earlier post you said that the continuous wind reported at TPL was 10kts from NNE on 9/1. When you search the tabular data for 9/1 that is what it says. But when you click on the WSPD graph for the last 5 days, you clearly see the 20kt + conditions I encountered on 9/1. Do you know the difference between the tabular data and the graphic data?

See link for chart:$station=tplm2$wspd$E

JohnDrake 09-04-2002 06:31 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...

I am no expert but glad I can be of any help. And... WHOOPS!!! MY BAD...and maybe also yet another NOAA wacko thing....

The TABULAR data wind speed is in METERS per SEC. (M/s)...noted only in the small print on the page preceeding the tabular data page.

The GRAPHIC wind data is indeed, as marked on the graph, in KNOTS.

10 m/s is equal to 21.6 mph or about 19 knots.

Thank you for pointing this out, I am sorry for the confusion. And add to the confusion that the near real time front page for TPL2 has wind speed in knots.

Good thing to know!

Fair winds to you,

S/V Invictus

tarmand 09-04-2002 07:19 AM

Does NOAA have any windows...
John, thanks for clearing that up, I knew that neither my wind speed meter nor I were hallucinating. Thanks also for hooking me up with that website. OK, so I started this string by bashing NOAA, but that "dial-a-buoy" thing is way too cool. You were right, you just dial up 228-688-1948 and enter in station TPLM2 (87562) and get real time data! I don''t even need any of those other gadgets, just a cell phone. Thanks again for your help.
Tim Armand
S/V Bella Donna

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