Marine Weather Forecasts

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by dut, May 31, 2014.

  1. dut

    dut Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Sidney
    Do the marine forecasts correspond closely with paddling conditions? I am looking at the forecast for West Coast Vancouver Island South where winds up to 40 kn have been forecast lately. But the conditions at nearby stations don't seem to end up with those conditions. Specifically Perouse Bank and Tofino Airport. The highest winds recorded for the past 24 hours have been less that 20 kn. I could possisbly understand a difference for the airport but Perouse Bank is offshore but not that far offshore.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Barry
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Barry,

    Others with more time monitoring forecasts may have better info. My experience has been that the forecast gives peak wind numbers, and that there may be periods of the day when winds are substantially lighter. In addition, offshore means offshore. Like 20 nm offshore. Winds onshore may be lighter.

    When deciding whether to round an exposed point, I look at the forecast, and the upweather buoy/lighthouse reports and meld those into a decision.

    Finally, often it seemed to me the forecast predicted the arrival of fronts 12 hours or so ahead of their actual appearance on the coast. Could by this is a CYA move on the part of Environment Canada, inasmuch as it is better to forecast early than late. We have had success tracking actual front onset by carefully monitoring the pressure and wind shifts on buoys upweather from our position ... and in areas like the Charlottes, which have buoys downweather as well, passage of a front using the same parameters. Two or three times, this scrutiny has salvaged a paddling day, which would otherwise have been spent on the beach, half stormy, and half sunny -- good for making miles.
     
  3. nootka

    nootka Paddler

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,515
    Location:
    Campbell River
    +1 for what Dave said.

    the forecasts are for offshore fishing boats, not inshore kayaks.

    West Coast Vancouver Island South.
    Gale warning in effect.
    Wind northwest 15 to 25 knots except northwest 30 over northwestern
    sections today and northwest 35 over northwestern sections late this
    afternoon and tonight. Wind increasing to northwest 25 to 35 late
    overnight except southeast 15 near the coast south of Tofino
    overnight and Sunday morning and northwest 15 near the coast south
    of Tofino Sunday afternoon and evening. Fog patches forming after
    midnight and dissipating Sunday morning.


    West coast VI south covers a huge area, from Tatchu Pt to Carmanah Pt
    (see http://www.ec.gc.ca/Publications/FB223B ... _WEB_e.pdf )
    so it shows strong winds if they are forecast for anywhere in the region.



    note the difference between inshore & offshore

    and you can check here to see how the landmass is currently sheltering the inshore
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wi ... ,47.0,8000

    One last point ....
    When deciding whether to round an exposed point, I look at the forecast, and the upweather buoy/lighthouse reports and meld those into a decision.
    upweather is not always upwind

    the arrows on
    http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/P_sfcbw.gif
    tell you where the highs & lows will move in 24 hours
     

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  4. nootka

    nootka Paddler

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Campbell River
    Results for today (wind speeds in knots):

    May_31_2014_05:25
    ESTEVAN NW 12 2FT_CHP LO_SW
    La_Perouse_Bank NW 14 G18 6_FT
    CARMANAH_PT E 5 1FT_CHP LO_SW

    May_31_2014_08:25
    ESTEVAN NW 12 2FT_CHP LO_SW
    La_Perouse_Bank WNW 12 G16 6_FT
    CARMANAH_PT C 0 1FT_CHP LO_SW

    May_31_2014_11:25
    ESTEVAN W 16 3FT_MOD LO_SW
    La_Perouse_Bank WNW 14 G16 7_FT
    CARMANAH_PT S 3 1FT_CHP

    May_31_2014_14:25
    ESTEVAN W 18 3FT_MOD LO_SW
    La_Perouse_Bank WNW 14 G16 7_FT
    CARMANAH_PT E 3 1FT_CHP

    May_31_2014_17:25
    ESTEVAN W 16 3FT_MOD LO_SW
    La_Perouse_Bank W 16 G18 6_FT
    CARMANAH_PT SW 3 1FT_CHP

    Meanwhile, at the Brooks peninsula:
    05:25 Solander_Island NNW 28
    08:25 Solander_Island NNW 25
    11:25 Solander_Island NW 30
    14:25 Solander_Island NW 33
    17:25 Solander_Island NW 36 G41