So which version of this forecast do I believe? - SailNet Community

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Old 10-08-2010
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So which version of this forecast do I believe?

I always carefully check the NOAA graphical forecast to plan whether to even bother heading up to the marina on any given weekend.

So here is the forecast site that covers the southern half of Chesapeake Bay:
NOAA Graphical Forecast for Wakefield, VA

Mousover the table on the left to see the forecast displayed graphically on the right. I'm looking at Sunday.

So take a look at the projected winds on Sunday.

Now -

In the upper right hand corner, click on "Marine".

Then look at Sunday again, and see what the projected winds are.

So how is it that on the two versions of the forecast show very different projections of what the winds will be?

I thought maybe NOAA would be at least a somewhat reliable weather site - to the extent that anyone can reliably predict the weather at all.
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Old 10-08-2010
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I can never read those predictions either...

I use this site from noaa. a little easier to read.

Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zone - East - Wakefield, VA Click on your desired area

It's all from the National Weather Service. Reliability is another issue.
It's a good start though. I learned to interpret their codes somewhat...

"Chance" of Thunderstorms.. ...means go sailing.

Someone mentioned on another thread..to add the ranges...so if they say 10-15.. you may see some 25's I think that's more pertinent to offshore.
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Old 10-08-2010
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Oh, I have no problem reading it - the issue is that NOAA is offering two forecasts for the same area that show quite different predictions of what's going to happen.

I don't know which one to believe.

And then they keep changing. For instance, I just went and checked it again right now, and now they're much more consistent with each other.

I guess I need to just keep checking often and take the average of what they're predicting.

As long as they're not predicting a gale or thunderstorm, I'll head out.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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Old 10-08-2010
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forecaster is about the only job (except stock analyst) you can be wrong more often than right and keep it. I do tune into the tx on the vhf, look at the clouds
Amazon.com: The Weather Wizard's Cloud Book: A Unique Way to Predict the Weather Accurately and Easily by Reading the Clouds (9780912697109): Louis D. Rubin Sr., Jim Duncan, Hiram J. Herbert: Books
and the GPS has a barometer i keep an eye on. what do you think, 48 hrs is max window for a reliable forecast? this was a fascinating read, talks quite a bit about the genesis of the weather bureau...

Amazon.com: Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (9780375708275): Erik Larson: Books
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Old 10-08-2010
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I generally go with the forecast that is most optimistic and gives the best sailing conditions, but prepare for the pessimistic forecast....
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