Tropical Weather

The topic-du-jour has been Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Caribbean and the continental United States.

This means a delay on the next prospective boat’s survey and sea-trial as the marina is in Key Largo which could be in the hurricane’s path.

We had completely forgotten the requirement to create a preparedness plan for hurricanes and other tropical storms, a fact that became apparent during the journey towards our first accepted offer on a boat. When our broker asked us what our plan was during hurricane season, we realized that we had not considered that at all, so we asked for a closing date as late as possible in the season to reduce the risk as much as we could since we (let’s say just me) had been so stupid.

We knew of a number of apps and websites that we could possibly end up using for weather forecasts once we got going, and even though my purchase planning had been less than desired, I know enough about the weather to be dangerous having spent 25 years as a pilot.

Through recommendations and our own search, using Irma as a catalyst, we have started to mainly use two forecast sites in particular.

Tropicaltidbits.com is maintained by Levi Cowan, who has quite an impressive resume. The site’s purpose is to be a home for Atlantic tropical forecast discussions and various projects he is developing related to tropical meteorology. He uses freely available government information like that from The National Hurricane Center, but he lays out an easily understandable narrative through 10-15 minute YouTube videos embedded on his site, or directly from his YouTube Page. He also has a Patreon Page, so we encourage everyone to become a patron to help support this great service his is providing to us all for free.

Mike’s Weather Page is the other site that we have been spending some time on. If you’re into the finer details or want the science behind meteorology, you can fully geek-out on this site. It compiles endless information and content from numerous other sources. This can be very overwhelming when you first visit the site as you may not know where to start. Even with a bit of an aviation weather background, I have only scratched the surface of what is available here. There doesn’t appear to be a Patreon account associated, but you can submit a direct donation through a link in the upper left corner of the website.

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