Top 5 Tools for Checking Sailing Weather
Checking the weather is an absolute must before heading out on the water. However, what are the best tools for checking sailing weather before setting off on your adventure? Check out the 5 favorite tools of Go Sail Virgin Islands:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is one of the best places to get weather forecasts. Specifically, you’ll want to check out the NowCOAST web map service from NOAA. On this website you’ll find coastal and marine forecasts that are updated in real-time. One of the best things about the map is the customization. You can toggle on and off different pieces of information to customize what weather conditions show up on the map and get just the information you need.
2. Predict Wind
If you are looking for an easy way to check the weather forecast from your phone, download the Predict Wind app. This app includes three great tools: weather routing, departure planning, and forecast alerts. This app has both a basic free version and a paid version. As with any weather forecast though, it can’t promise 100% accuracy so compare their forecasts with a few other tools for a more accurate prediction.
SailFlow offers sailors weather reports directly from the professionals. Their forecasts are meteorologist written, in-depth, and constantly updated. For Pro Forecasts you’ll have to pay for a subscription but some features do come free, if you’d like to play around with the app before jumping into making a purchase. A few of the free features you can check out on their website include the flow map, LIVE WIND map, and SailFlow reports.
In search of something a little more simple for checking sailing weather? Check out windy.com. This website allows you to toggle between seeing maps of current winds, wind speeds, rain accumulation, temperatures, swells, air quality, and more. Additionally, your can sign up for the premium subscription for less than $20 a year. That subscription will give you access to 10-day forecast outlooks, 12-hour radar and satellite loops, and forecast updates 4+ times a day.
5. ASA Courses
If you’re struggling to figure out the forecast for your sailing trip or are worried you may not have all the information you need to sail safely— sign up for an American Sailing Association (ASA) course before you go! The ASA courses offered by Go Sail Virgin Islands offer a wealth of information on how to best track sailing weather, plan for the weather on your trip, and avoid some common weather-related sailing mistakes. There is even an ASA course dedicated to receiving your marine weather endorsement! Ready to sign up for an ASA course to better your knowledge on sailing weather and more? Begin your journey here.