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Met Data via the Internet Tim Thornton. November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the.

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Presentation on theme: "Met Data via the Internet Tim Thornton. November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Met Data via the Internet Tim Thornton

2 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the official marine channels: VHF, Navtex, Shipping Forecast, Weatherfax, so why use the internet?

3 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the official marine channels: VHF, Navtex, Shipping Forecast, Weatherfax, so why use the internet? Convenience – no need to wait for the next broadcast

4 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the official marine channels: VHF, Navtex, Shipping Forecast, Weatherfax, so why use the internet? Convenience – no need to wait for the next broadcast Content – much better on the internet in terms of area, parameters, detail etc

5 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the official marine channels: VHF, Navtex, Shipping Forecast, Weatherfax, so why use the internet? Convenience – no need to wait for the next broadcast Content – much better on the internet in terms of area, parameters, detail etc Comprehension – presentation is often easier to understand

6 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Why use the Internet? There is plenty of weather data available through the official marine channels: VHF, Navtex, Shipping Forecast, Weatherfax, so why use the internet? Convenience – no need to wait for the next broadcast Content – much better on the internet in terms of area, parameters, detail etc Comprehension – presentation is often easier to understand

7 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd How to Connect A number of different ways to connect to the internet:

8 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd How to Connect A number of different ways to connect to the internet: Broadband at home Broadband at home Wi-Fi in the marina Wi-Fi in the marina

9 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd How to Connect A number of different ways to connect to the internet: Broadband at home Broadband at home Wi-Fi in the marina Wi-Fi in the marina Mobile phone in coastal waters Mobile phone in coastal waters Satellite phone e.g. Iridium or Fleet offshore Satellite phone e.g. Iridium or Fleet offshore

10 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Mobile Coverage Vodafone Coverage - Need a good antenna to get this range - Note lower range of 3G services Worldwide Coverage (All Networks) On all 4 GSM frequencies

11 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Facilities ServiceVoiceFaxTextDataGMDSSCover WiFi Via VoIP Via net No2,000,000NoMarina GSMYesYesYes9600No miles GPRS Via GSM ~ 30,000 No miles 3GYesYesYes > 380,000 No miles IridiumYesNoYes2400NoGlobal ThurayaYesNoNo9600No Med, Middle East GlobalSt ar YesNoNo9600NoOffshore INMARS AT C No Text only Yes60YesGlobal INMARS AT Mini- M YesYesNo2400NoOffshore INMARS AT Fleet 33 YesYesNo 56,000 packet, 9,600 dial-up NoOffshore

12 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Costs (UK£ inc. VAT) ServicePurchase Monthly sub Voice /min Data per Megabyte WiFi < £100 LowFreeFree GSM £200 - £500 0 £ £1.10 £ £8.10 GPRS00N/A £ £8.50 Iridium£1800-£2500 £0 - £25 £0.50-£1.75 £ £99.50 Thuraya£1400£25.00 £ £1.30 £ £18.50 GlobalStar £800 - £1600 £16.60 £ £2.50 £ £30.00 INMARSAT C £ £2700 0N/A£5783 Mini-M£42500 £ £2.80 £91 - £160 INMARSAT Fleet 55 £ £ £2.30 £ £14.00 for ISDN, £20 - £26 for packet INMARSAT Fleet 33 TBA0 £ £2.30 £ £14.00 for ISDN, £20 - £26 for packet

13 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd How to Get Data A choice of two different ways to access the data: Web browsing on a PC or mobile phone Web browsing on a PC or mobile phone Easy to use Easy to use Masses of data Masses of data Slow to download Slow to download Data not saved for offline access Data not saved for offline access

14 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd How to Get Data A choice of two different ways to access the data: Download data to software on your PC Download data to software on your PC Needs special software Needs special software Data more limited Data more limited Faster, cheaper download (especially if direct to server) Faster, cheaper download (especially if direct to server) Data available offline Data available offline GRIB files often available GRIB files often available

15 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Sources of Internet Data Current weather reports e.g. weather stations, weather cams Remote sensing Forecast maps Weather Portals – One stop shops Forecast data e.g. GRIB Weather routing Commercial services

16 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Reports Useful for: Seeing the current conditions before you get down to the boat Seeing the current conditions before you get down to the boat Seeing any local effects, e.g. sea breezes, too small or too short to be forecast Seeing any local effects, e.g. sea breezes, too small or too short to be forecast Comparing forecasts and actuals Comparing forecasts and actuals

17 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Reports Weather station reports Weather station reports Weather buoys Weather buoys Reporting Ships Reporting Ships Weather cams Weather cams Check the time of the weather reports. Beware of local effects, and the location of the station relative to you

18 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Met Office Official Weather Stations

19 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Underground Personal and Official Weather Stations

20 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Underground Weather report – and data tabulated every 5 mins for personal, 1 or 3 hours for official stations

21 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd US NDBC – Ships, weather buoys etc Search for all weather reports within a given distance and time period See all reports with latest data See the history of data at weather buoys

22 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd

23 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd SmartMet Weather Reports

24 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd SmartMet Weather Reports

25 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Remote Sensing Weather satellite images and derived products Visible and infra-red images for cloud type and height, sea surface temperature, ocean currents available real time Derived products: wind, wave, current etc very useful (particularly over sea areas) Coverage and speed of delivery needs improving for some products

26 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Pseudo Colour Image Resolution ~1 - 3km/pixel Images up to every 15 minutes White – high cloud; yellow – low cloud Can show sea breeze front on higher res images

27 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd SmartMet Satellite Images Satellite image overlaid with forecast isobars and wind arrows

28 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Sea Surface Temperature Needs no clouds! Land/sea temperatures can help predict sea and land breezes Gulf Stream & other currents Fish finding e.g. on fronts of temperature changes

29 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Wind Speed and Direction - QuickScat and Ascat Satellites each pass twice daily Data 1-2 hours old when processed (or longer depending on source) 25km resolution over open water only Wind direction can be 90 deg out occasionally Can show local behaviours not shown by forecasts

30 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Wind Speed and Direction - QuickScat and Ascat

31 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Digital Atmosphere Software for downloading, decoding and viewing current weather reports Software for downloading, decoding and viewing current weather reports Also displays GRIB files Also displays GRIB files A huge variety of data is available, but some of it is too technical for the average sailor A huge variety of data is available, but some of it is too technical for the average sailor Simple and easy to use Simple and easy to use Not as much data for Europe as for USA, due to different government policies Not as much data for Europe as for USA, due to different government policies Cost from US$89 for the software, downloads free data Cost from US$89 for the software, downloads free data

32 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Digital Atmosphere

33 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Numerical Forecasts All forecasts based on numerical models All forecasts based on numerical models Manual forecaster input only useful for first 1- 2 days Manual forecaster input only useful for first 1- 2 days Synoptic models for global weather forecasts (e.g. GFS, WW3, ECMWF) Synoptic models for global weather forecasts (e.g. GFS, WW3, ECMWF) Mesoscale models for higher resolution local forecasts (e.g. ETA, Theyr, HIRLAM, MM5). These can better model fronts, sea breezes, mountain winds etc Mesoscale models for higher resolution local forecasts (e.g. ETA, Theyr, HIRLAM, MM5). These can better model fronts, sea breezes, mountain winds etc

34 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Forecast Limitations The smallest feature in the forecast is about 4x the grid size, so a 0.5 ° forecast doesn’t know about most of the Channel The smallest feature in the forecast is about 4x the grid size, so a 0.5 ° forecast doesn’t know about most of the Channel High Res forecasts from Theyr, ProGRIB, Moving Weather, WindGuru, Kona all use GFS model as the starting point, with no extra met data input, so are often no better than the GFS model (though sometimes they are) High Res forecasts from Theyr, ProGRIB, Moving Weather, WindGuru, Kona all use GFS model as the starting point, with no extra met data input, so are often no better than the GFS model (though sometimes they are) Beware of sites and software that just interpolate to get a higher resolution, e.g. Moving Weather, or web sites giving forecasts for “your location”, e.g. BBC Beware of sites and software that just interpolate to get a higher resolution, e.g. Moving Weather, or web sites giving forecasts for “your location”, e.g. BBC

35 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Maps Many sites have weather maps for viewing Many sites have weather maps for viewing Typically generated automatically from numerical models Typically generated automatically from numerical models Sites may use the same data source but just presented differently Sites may use the same data source but just presented differently Images can be large, so slow to download Images can be large, so slow to download Viewing relatively inflexible Viewing relatively inflexible

36 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Map Sites Westwind – - searchable database of all European data Theyr – high resolution forecasts – or

37 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Westwind Example

38 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Met Office

39 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd GRIB Files Standard file format displayed by many chart plotters Standard file format displayed by many chart plotters Download numerical data – faster than images Download numerical data – faster than images Free data: 1 or 0.5 degree, 3 or 6 hour resolution of wind, pressure etc, all repackaged from standard US sources Free data: 1 or 0.5 degree, 3 or 6 hour resolution of wind, pressure etc, all repackaged from standard US sources Use tools like Saildocs or download from sites like Raymarine Use tools like Saildocs or download from sites like Raymarine Higher resolution data at a charge e.g. Meteo France NaviMail, ProGrib Higher resolution data at a charge e.g. Meteo France NaviMail, ProGrib Each file is standalone, so cannot combine downloads Each file is standalone, so cannot combine downloads

40 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Free GRIB File Sources Raytech – (3 day fcsts) Navcenter.com – Global Marine Net – (5 day fcsts) Saildocs – - service

41 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd GRIB Files

42 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Moving Weather Uses standard GFS data, but interpolates to make it seem better Uses standard GFS data, but interpolates to make it seem better Simple and easy to use Simple and easy to use Good for overview or long passages, but not detailed enough for coastal sailing Good for overview or long passages, but not detailed enough for coastal sailing Cost £25 for the software, and £125/year for the forecasts Cost £25 for the software, and £125/year for the forecasts

43 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd UGrib Uses standard GFS data for wind, rain and pressure Uses standard GFS data for wind, rain and pressure Simple and easy to use Simple and easy to use Uses discrete GRIB files Uses discrete GRIB files Free of charge (at the moment!) Free of charge (at the moment!)

44 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd SmartMet Combines forecasts, satellite imagery, current weather reports – widest range of data of any software in its class Combines forecasts, satellite imagery, current weather reports – widest range of data of any software in its class Small, fast downloads – smaller than GRIB Small, fast downloads – smaller than GRIB Integrated database, no problems of separate files Integrated database, no problems of separate files GRIB import and export GRIB import and export Subscription £49/year Subscription £49/year

45 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd

46 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd

47 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Chart Plotters with GRIB seaPro – GRIB viewer and routing seaPro – GRIB viewer and routing Maxsea – GRIB downloads, viewer and optional routing Maxsea – GRIB downloads, viewer and optional routing Raytech – GRIB downloads, viewer and routing Raytech – GRIB downloads, viewer and routing Nobeltec – GRIB downloads and viewer Nobeltec – GRIB downloads and viewer

48 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Weather Routing Calculating the quickest route to sail Inputs: - Your boat’s polars - Tidal streams / ocean currents - Forecast winds (GRIB file) Outputs: - Optimal route - Isochrones Programs: Maxsea, seaPro, Raytech, Deckman

49 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Maxsea Routing

50 November 2007 Smartcom Software Ltd Conclusions Huge amounts of data out there Huge amounts of data out there Research the data that meets your needs before going afloat Research the data that meets your needs before going afloat Trade-off of cost of data against level of detail, reliability and comms costs Trade-off of cost of data against level of detail, reliability and comms costs Always compare the forecast with what you observe! Always compare the forecast with what you observe!


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