View Full Version : Anybody interested in learning about weather?

06-02-2006, 07:51 AM
From the number of posts lately on BOM - mentions of Seabreeze & Buoyweather etc. there is a great deal of interest being shown by responsible Boaties in learning what makes the whole system tick. OK, let me rush in right here and now and say:
NO I do NOT have the tag "World's Best Meteorologist" after my name! And secondly some of the answers from guys herein indicates a top knowledge of the weather and many of them can probably show me a few tricks on the weather here and then.
After flogging big jets around the world for about thirty years, 8 years with VMR Vicky Point, approval to conduct weather courses by Australian Aviation and Maritime authorities and a fascination with weather, I might be able to clear up some of the mysteries of local weather and if that meant ONE single Boatie learnt something or maybe saved a boat and passengers from harm, then it would be worth it.
But of course there is a catch! I don't mind putting in regular articles of an INFORMATORY nature only providing the minority of moaners and groaners don't start attacking the contents. I don't have all the answers and have been out myself many times and and been pounded to death when the forecast (and me) thought it would be OK. Goes with the territory!
Your call guys, if you think there is a genuine need for some online education I can do my bit but if not, I won't lose any sleep!
Like me mate SUBZERO (Lloyd Finn) who runs top Radio Courses at VMR Vicky Point, I had often thought of running weather courses for Boaties but kinda luke warm on the whole thing ......................... not sure what the response would be.... personally a hands on course at Vicky Point would be far better for everybody but that does present logistical and time problems for many guys...dunno ..
As this topic is related to Boating Safety maybe the Webby could make it a Sticky Topic for awhile?

06-02-2006, 08:22 AM

What a great idea. This site is all about learning from each other and I welcome your offer. Thumbs up from me.


06-02-2006, 10:09 AM
G'day PP and all Ausfishers

I wholeheartedly agree. One is never too old to learn.

Tight lines


06-02-2006, 10:21 AM
Great idea, I agree wholeheartedly.
But, it appears there are a lot of people out there who think the weather forecast should be a near certainty, and they don't leave any margin for error. Some see a forecast with 15kt in the morning with 25kt afternoon and think my boat will handle that and I'll be home by lunch. These weather systems speed up and slow down thus effecting predictions.
Plan trips carefully and factor in your own boat handling abilities and the handling characteristics of your vessel in different conditions.
I am well aware of my own and my boat's limitations, I have a sound knowledge of things nautical and I handle my boat in a safe manner taking into consideration the prevailing conditions. Now I can weigh up the different forecasts and put my own spin on them.

Understandably a lot of people don't have the time or inclination to study meteorology, so they rely on published forecasts.
If that extra 10kts does blow up you better be ready for it, or be in boat that can get you home. Have a contingency plan.

06-02-2006, 10:40 AM
Great idea, both on-line and face to face will generate a lot of interest

Go for it


06-02-2006, 12:31 PM
Sounds great.

PP count me as the one boatie who will learn at least one new thing :)

06-02-2006, 12:32 PM
Great idea. Maybe a whole new section could be allocated to questions and info on the weather?

06-02-2006, 12:58 PM
Yes, Certainly, the weather is something all land and sea goers could stop and learn a great deal about. Bring it on I say. I'm listening. I love watching the constand change in weather, daily. Many of us have a fair enough grasp of highs and lows etc, but all new explanations would certainly help all of us understand it a whole lot better!
And i'm pretty sure more than just one person will learn from it! The speach and influence of one can greatly enhance the knowledge and understanding of many!
Johnny M

06-02-2006, 01:04 PM
As someone who is about to get his first offshore boat I think its an excellent idea.

06-02-2006, 01:32 PM
good idea, i am curious as well :)

06-02-2006, 02:29 PM
A fantastic offer - I would prefer a face-2-face session (assume you are south Bris-bayside?) & happy to contribute to costs and/or make donation to VMR etc. For mainly legal reasons, suggest some caution doing it on a completely open forum like this chatboard.

06-02-2006, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the offer PP. I would certainly love to learn more but couldnt make personalised sessions as I am in Gladstone. Little tit bits that I have been taught so far have proved to be a bit out, like look at the 4 day forcast and see how far apart the lines are. the wider the lines, the flatter the water. Hmmmm cant say it rings true so far. My hand is upo and I am in. I promise not to critisise. [smiley=angel.gif]

06-02-2006, 02:53 PM
Hey PP,

What a top idea...I'm in...thanks


06-02-2006, 02:55 PM
Don't be lukewarm about it, I can't imagine anyone firing bullets at your efforts or content.

The whinges about weather arise, in my opinion, because we see Meteorology taught as a science, and so we think of it like other sciences, in terms of black and white fact. However, it is one of the "impresice sciences" and the more you know about it, the more you can appreciate why the pro's and expersts get it wrong.

When you plan ahead on the basis of a BOM forecast and the trip does not turn out as planned, the whinges are from frustration only, and the more knowledge that is spread and shared, the less frustrations there will be

Please do it !!!

06-02-2006, 03:10 PM
PP. I think it sounds great mate.

This could be very interesting.


06-02-2006, 04:06 PM
PP. Count me in too.


06-02-2006, 04:25 PM
Count me in,
Can you start from the basics too please..

06-02-2006, 04:59 PM
that would be fantastic.
I am interested.

06-02-2006, 05:03 PM
PP. Count me in too.


I moved to straddie 6 years ago and am still grappling with the vargaries of the local weather. Ive found it a lot more variable than where I came from(Port Macquaire), so an experienced local perspective is very valuable to me.

bring it on!!!!! ;)

06-02-2006, 05:22 PM

Sounds good you can count me in..

You may want a disclaimer of some type ..

06-02-2006, 05:28 PM
The PinkPanther,
It would be great if you could explain how that upper level system effects the lower level system and so effects us.
As I understand it the upper systems are the height above MSL where you have 500mb of pressure. The highs and low systems shown are actually the height above sea level where you find 500 mb pressure and nothing to do with air pressure and isobars. Is this correct and how does the height of 500 mb pressure effect the climate in our part of the troposphere, never really got that. cheers Steve.

06-02-2006, 05:42 PM

Brilliant:- face-to-face would be the bees knees but, failing that, I believe MANY would benefit from some on-line education.

Night Stalker

06-02-2006, 06:24 PM
I'm another hands up. (Also a rank novice at weather)

06-02-2006, 06:29 PM
I'm with Newby

Would certainly love to learn more about the weather but being in Rockhampton, face to face or classroom sessions are out

06-02-2006, 07:07 PM
I have done 3 weather courses with Ian aka pp as the instructor. The reason I have done 3 is that he is very entertaining and knowledgeable and also puts it in real terms with local examples. Everytime I have learnt something new.

Ian knows his stuff, so much so that 1 evening we had one of the Senior Meteorologists down from the B.O.M and ran a display through his laptop and overhead projector. Not only on the display, but out of the Meteorologists mouth as well, they had the winds going the wrong way in a tropical revolving cyclone. Ian scratched his head, pointed it out to the bloke and you could have heard a pin drop... the poor bloke went scarlet... this presentation had been shown at many public displays and B.O.M training days and it had never been picked up before.


The whinges about weather arise, in my opinion, because we see Meteorology taught as a science, and so we think of it like other sciences, in terms of black and white fact. However, it is one of the "impresice sciences" and the more you know about it, the more you can appreciate why the pro's and expersts get it wrong.
Couldnt agree more, it isnt an exact science.
Because of litigation concerns the highly skilled Senior Meteorologists at the B.O.M's hands are tied to using the inexact science more and more, rather than utilising their skills.
The B.O.M have 3 computer systems for evaluating weather forcasts.
2 of them have very similar programming and the 3rd is very radical in it's approach to forcasting.
They load data based over the previous years, the computer looks for a near match with current weather systems and then predicts what will happen based on those previous events.
If you can get 2 out of 3 to agree, thats pretty good, if you get 3 out of 3, thats even better... if none agree, the Senior Meteorologists get together and take a good gander and go, "I reckon thats the right one" and hopefully they pick it right. If they are not sure, they will err on the side of caution, this saves them standing up in a coroners court and saying I reached the conclusion by???? To my knowledge this is still how the forcasting is done.

In my opinion there job has gotten harder, not easier as aids to their forcasting has dissapeared such as Light House Keepers, compulsory reporting from larger vessels and of course the fear of being sued making them reticent to impart their true knowledge.
This coupled with forcasts only being updated a couple of times a day as opposed to 4 times a day previously, which I assume is a result of beuracratic cost cutting.
The above are only my opinions but i think that the B.O.M guys and girls do a pretty good job really, and cop a lot of flack as a result but have their hands tied to a certain extent. If you want truly bad forcasts, try living in NZ, I think they use 3 dart boards there, not 3 computers... well that was 10 years ago to be fair so hopefully they have improved.
Anyway, back to the course, if their is room, I will be there yet again Admiral.
Cheers Lloyd

06-02-2006, 07:10 PM
I would be interested. May give us some insight as to why they are wrong so often. Maybe we will see how complex predicting the weather is.

06-02-2006, 08:07 PM
What a great idea. I have had the pleasure of sitting in on 2 of Ians weather courses before and am hanging out to sit through another one. I can guarantee that every one that attends will have greater understanding and knowledge on the subject.
Thanks in advance Pink Panther (Ian)
Moreton (Ian)

06-02-2006, 09:48 PM
Mate you can count me in on this.
The weather is only a prediction and if i could learn more on how to read a weather chart it may give me more time on the water.
Cheers Dazza

07-02-2006, 03:15 AM
For sure.... I'm all ears #[smiley=ears.gif] or maybe that should be eyes :)

Cheers Les

07-02-2006, 05:23 AM
Great idea Pink Panther

07-02-2006, 06:02 AM
I'd appreciate the on-line learning from South Africa. I'm new to boating, and would welcome the chance to learn as much as you can type.


07-02-2006, 10:05 AM
Excellent idea.


07-02-2006, 02:12 PM
definitely keen - although located in Townsville, so on-line or similar would interest me. I would consider travelling for a weekend though.

I just want to know how to predict better - what time of day is best, etc. BOM always gives an all day forecast up here (pretty much), so 15/20kts forecast a lot of the time can be flat as a tack all day until 2-5pm when afternoon sea breeze kicks up. I want to know when safe to head to the reef, etc.