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tjboatwright 07-10-2007 11:55 AM

Predicting the wind
Hi, Both my wife and i took sailing lessons over the last two weekends on the Potomac in DC. Both experienced days with little or no wind during the class. anxious to get back on the water, we're trying to schedule a day to go sailing and was trying to find a perdiction on winds on the potomac. The weather related sites i've been to don't seem to forecast wind more than a day or so out, which i can understand it's got to be hard to predict...but i was curious if there are any good resources for trying to figure out what the wind is going to be doing? i haven't called the marina yet, that's next, but thought i'd check here to see how real sailors plan when they make a run to the marina. thanks in advance! Tim

sailortjk1 07-10-2007 12:01 PM

Have you tried NOAA.

They too are like the local weatherman, about 50 percent accurate.
(Maybe a little better than the local weatherman)

NOAA Home Page

Scroll down to WEATHER

Good luck.

sailhog 07-10-2007 12:07 PM

Go to, and then get your local forcast by entering your zip code. Once you do this, look for "Tabular forcast," which will give you all sorts of data, including the predicted hourly wind direction and velocity.

sailingdog 07-10-2007 12:38 PM

I like has graphical near-real-time data.

camaraderie 07-10-2007 02:05 PM

christyleigh 07-10-2007 02:16 PM

I like the Weather Underground site - Welcome to The Weather Underground : Weather Underground - lots of wind and water info..... and it even sounds cool to us 60's type of guys ;)

chappyonice 07-10-2007 05:34 PM

I've been using a gadget for Windows Vista. They also have one for Apple OSX. The website has good info too.

SailorMitch 07-10-2007 08:09 PM

TJ -- In general, you'll find that wind predictions here in the mid-Atlantic aren't worth a bucket of warm spit for even tomorrow, let alone several days out. Listen to the weather idiots and they will explain that we are right on the border too often of whether a system will go north or south of us. Best assumption in the summer is that the Bermuda high will give us light winds out of the south, unless some front is coming through to change things. Now predicting that change is a whole other ball game.

Example of how maddening it can be here on the northern Chesapeake: Listen to the NOAA radio broadcast for wind speed and direction for places on the water -- Thomas Point, Key Bridge on the Patapsco near Baltimore, Patuxent Naval Air Station, Tolchester. It's not uncommon for wind speeds and directions to be vastly different at each one even though they are all within about 75 miles of each other. The two I listen for the most (Thomas Point and Key Bridge) lately have had winds in different directions and of very different speeds.

In short, it is what it is. Go with the wind you find out there. If you find a forecast for the future, assume it will be wrong. It's part of the challenge of sailing!

SailinJay 07-10-2007 08:47 PM

Amen on the wind speed data provided on NOAA. I was out two weeks ago sailing in the Chesapeake off of Annapolis in 12-15 knots coming from the south. Had Channel 1 WX on and it was reporting 8 knots at Thomas Point Light. Same wind speed reported for two hours.

I always check NWS on NOAA and the marine forecasts for the Bay from Sandy Point south. However, I agree with SailorMitch - just go with what you've got and make the best of it.

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