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How to Obtain & Understand a Weather Forecast

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

In this article we talk about weather forecasts and how to understand them


Sources of Weather Information

I'm only going to address inshore and coastal weather sources. I will talk about ocean-going weather sources provided via satellite or long range radio in another article. For the purposes of this article, I am talking about services available in the UK, but the principles around understanding a forecast are the same everywhere.


I hope we all agree that going to sea without a weather forecast is beyond stupid? In fact, so much information is readily available that ignoring it would be reckless.


Most sailors now use apps on their smartphones for accessing weather forecasts. As long as you have access to mobile data or wifi, obtaining a forecast is easy. Of course, after you leave land, your mobile (or cell) will quickly lose its ability to connect, unless you have a router and satellite on board.