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Thread: Best source for current sea conditions and forecasts??

  1. #1

    Default Best source for current sea conditions and forecasts??

    After anxiously waiting for several years I will finally soon be getting my new Hewescraft Ocean Pro. I'd like to know the best source to use to get current sea conditions and forecasts when deciding whether it is safe to go out on the water? I will primarily be going out of Whittier, and also Seward. A friend told me that the NOAA website used to be the best "go to" source for this information, but that their website had recently changed and was no longer very user friendly...?? I would truly appreciate any insight you all have on the best websites to obtain the most proven, accurate, and reliable information on sea condition and weather forecasts. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I only know of NOAA. It's what I've always used. It may not be as user friendly via mobile but it still works. If there are other options I wouldn't mind knowing as well.


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    I second for NOAA

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Noaa is all there is, everyone else gets there info from noaa. Look at the bouys for near live info, but remember they lie. The port wells bouy I multiply by two for wave height.

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    The buoys do not lie, you just do not fully understand how the data is represented. Typically, a forecast wave height is recorded as the average of the highest 1/3 of the waves over a long time interval. However, for real time data that comes in from the buoy sensors, the wave height is simply measured as an average of all the waves over the set recording time period (usually every 5 minutes but some buoys only give this average every hour). That means that if there are a lot of 1 foot waves with only the occasional 3 footers, the recorded wave height might be 1.25 or 1.5. So when you get on the water and hit some 3 foot waves, your reaction might be "what the hell, it said only 1.5 foot waves!"

    Some buoys produce the real time movement data from the buoy. It is called "real-time water elevation". This graph can be super helpful as it shows you the actual up and down movement of the buoy. Add the high and low point of a period on the graph and you get that particular wave height. From this, you can determine what most of the waves are doing out there.Attachment 90130

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  7. #7

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    There is also a low bandwidth version which is good for spotty cell phone coverage:

    http://lowbandwidth.arh.noaa.gov/wmo...FC&type=marine

    I prefer that and the closest webcam

    Also do yourself a favor and get the Tidegraph and Sailflow apps.


    This one is neat too, but I wouldn't use it for making any go/nogo calls. More just for fun.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/

  8. #8
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I have two different apps on my android phone I use, the first is "Marine weather by accu weather". I get all my forecasts from here as it's pulled from the noaa information it's the same as the noaa web site but easier to access from a smart phone. The other app I use is called "Wind alert" this app has real time updated bouy and weather station information. There is also a lot more things in this app that are helpful if you get in and start playing with it but as far as getting weather station data it's one of the best I've found so far. I've been using both these apps for years and have been more than happy with them.

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  9. #9

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    Good advice so far. If you plan to boat out of Whittier and Seward you'll need to become real familiar with all these sources of info. The North Gulf Coast waters are tricky to predict and change fast.

    Here's what I do:
    For the days leading up to my trip I monitor the graphical forecast so I know what the trend is.
    http://digital.weather.gov
    Change the area to Alaska and parameter to wind speed. The waves are directly related to wind in these parts. If it's 20 kts or greater I usually cancel my plans. But even 15 can be unpleasant. The trend is important too, you'll want to know if a front is building or subsiding.
    Bookmark the low bandwidth text forecast and the buoy observation pages on your phone. While out there you can monitor any changes. The wx radio stations read the same text forecast as the NOAA site and the recent observations.
    Crossing Port Wells is often the worst part of boating out of Whittier. When the buoy reads more than 15kts and 1.5' then it will be a crappy ride. The wind blows out of 5 different bays and the sea is often confused.

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    https://www.windyty.com/

    Is very accurate .....

  11. #11

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    Thank you to everyone who has already replied! I am anxious to start trying out all of these websites and apps!

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    This resource was just passed on to me. Alaska Ocean Observing System is the entity that manages this data.

    http://data.aoos.org/maps/sensors/
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    I'm a big fan of swell watch. NOAA does not give duration and you can animate this and get a better idea of what is happening/coming. http://forecasts.surfingmagazine.com...e_satellite_-1

  14. #14

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    Thanks again for everyone's input!

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    I use windyty.com here in Kodiak it's been very accurate


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    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
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    This one works pretty well also...

    http://passageweather.com/

  17. #17
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    We use www.outcast.io everyday 👍🏻 tides,observations-both sea and inland, forecast and few other things I have yet to play with, 499$ app, great to cross reference with noaa and passage ..

  18. #18

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    As mentioned, windyty is pretty much the go to for a lot of commercial fisherman and charters now. I look at it daily during the season and it's crazy how accurate it is. NOAA marine forecasts covers some pretty large areas and winds/waves can be dramatically different within those areas.

  19. #19

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    Thank you guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    As mentioned, windyty is pretty much the go to for a lot of commercial fisherman and charters now. I look at it daily during the season and it's crazy how accurate it is. NOAA marine forecasts covers some pretty large areas and winds/waves can be dramatically different within those areas.
    Windyty.com has been the go-to here in Kodiak for pilots and boat captains


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