Internet/satphone Weather

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44c
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Internet/satphone Weather

Post by 44c » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:11 am

Any favourite sources for weather forecasts?

Of course there's the BOM's 3 day forecasts, but longer range, any other favourites?

Just recently this one was pointed out to me:

https://www.windyty.com

Quite fast to download, goes forward nearly 2 weeks, shows anywhere on Earth.

BOM has http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/, but I do like wndyty better in terms of speed, scope and ease of use. Haven't been using it long, but accuracy seems as good as any too.

Out of internet and VHF range we often get GRIB files through sailmail, via satphone. Anyone know any other sources? (Got to get around to installing an HF set.)

Finally
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:24 am
Location: Cairns

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by Finally » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:23 am

Have a look at http://www.predictwind.com

Their basic service is fee and then you start paying for added features.

It runs 2 forecasting models side by side - the closer the 2 models are in agreement, the greater confidence you can have in their forecast.

I used this (in conjunction with BoM and OCC) while tracking cyclone Nathan last year. These models had it crossing the coast near Cape Flattery for nearly a week while BoM had it all over the place including crossing near Cairms. In the end Nathan crossed near Cape Flattery.

David

sea_bee
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Pillar Valley NSW

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by sea_bee » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:52 am

Not so useful for specific weather, but just looking at the global patterns is http://earth.nullschool.net/

I have been looking at buying a HF receiver like the Sony SW7600 and running software on the computer to receive weather faxes like you could with a HF transciever. It is an expensive radio, but if it does the job it will be worth it.

Chris

Darren
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:37 am
Location: Launceston, TAS

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by Darren » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:18 pm

Have you looked at some of the GRIB weather services. Not weather forecasts as such, but weather predictions from numerical modelling.

There are some free tools that let you manage the files, even do route optimisation etc (OpenCPN I think it is called, and I've tried VLM - the virtual ocean racing thing that uses real weather data)

Smooth Cruiser
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:00 pm

A nice simple one is Seabreeze - seven day forecasts that I always find reasonably accurate on the Qld coast, and allow you to look at current observations at the same page. Predict Wind is good too and possibly more accurate but takes a bit more manipulating to get a view of where you are and where you are going to be.

44c
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by 44c » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:11 am

Darren wrote:Have you looked at some of the GRIB weather services. Not weather forecasts as such, but weather predictions from numerical modelling.

There are some free tools that let you manage the files, even do route optimisation etc (OpenCPN I think it is called, and I've tried VLM - the virtual ocean racing thing that uses real weather data)
Yeah I've gotten GRIBs from UGrib, and also via sailmail on the satphone. Can use either open cpn or ugrib to view them.

Gotta say, now I've played around with it a bit more, windyty is an amazing resource! When you zoom in, it shows most recent observations, you can click on anywhere and get detailed forecasts for that location, and links to any nearby webcams! Even a sort of "What's On" for a location. Only if you have internet access though.

So far, it seems to be a bit more accurate than the BOM official forecasts too.

mySerenity
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Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by mySerenity » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:43 pm

There is a cruiser in Canada who looked into this in a huge way.

His question was should he invest in HF or Technology. When I last read (4-years ago), he was tending toward Sat-phone/grid/printer and annual subscription to some mob in Europe who would supply him his zipped data via a link, with regular updates that he could download over a 1 ½ minute sat call. I seem to recall that he was having an issue with the time it took to connect with the satphone. He also did a fair bit of research on the various sat phone networks and the reason we went iridium.

I'll try and locate his data.
James
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Darren
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Location: Launceston, TAS

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by Darren » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:20 am

The next-gen iridium network (Iridium NEXT) is in the pipeline, now due late 2017. It's a significant speedup, promising speeds in the mega-bit range, rather than the low speed available now (it's 2400 baud or something I beleive, so we are looking at 1000x speedup). I wonder how much it will cost, but could be a massive win for remote data access.

44c
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Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by 44c » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:05 am

I've had good success with Inmarsat, an Isatphone Pro, using Onsatmail to download gribs.

I think the geosynchronous satellites work well in reasonably low latitudes. We always get signal, rarely get a dropout. (I can't think of any calls dropping out)

Cheaper or faster would be nice though. Usually takes a 90 second call to get 2 grib files, at about $1.20 a minute.

The ISatphone was a real bargain when the subsidies were in place though. Only cost us around $350.

44c
Posts: 1148
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Internet/satphone Weather

Post by 44c » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:16 am

puremajek wrote:There is a cruiser in Canada who looked into this in a huge way.

His question was should he invest in HF or Technology. .
Yep, that was the question!

Both have pro's and con's. HF sets are expensive, take some installing, and a bit of knowledge to use. Then you're locked into the schedule of the weather transmissions. And they are not portable.

But they are great social tools, most area have HF networks running, so you can chat with cruisers in the same general location. And once you own it, there's really no ongoing costs.

Satphones are cheaper, though maybe not so much now the subsidies are finished. They're generally simple to use. You can access weather at a time that suits you. They're portable, so you can take one with you if you're exploring some remote area inland.

But you miss the social side, and there are ongoing call costs.

Obviously the ideal would be to have both.

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