On land, the changes in weather and wind are not watched as closely as when you are on the water and are trying to find a good protected safe anchorage.  In the U.S. waters there is the NOAA forecasts that you can listen to on the VHF.  They are updated several times during the day and usually you can pick up on one either to your north or south so you have a good general idea on what is going on.  The forecast also gives good information on the wave height or sea conditions.

As we have traveled away from the U.S. we have  had to find other methods for getting weather.  A lot of boaters have Single Side Band (SSB) radios and can listen to different broadcasts, the most popular is Chris Parker on 4045 at 6:30 am.  Chris will give a  forecast for the Bahamas and the Caribbean 6 days a week.  He uses several models to help him predict the weather and if you want you can have him give you a specific forecast for your boat/area.

When we have had internet we use several sources, Passage Weather, Bahamas weather, Wind Finder,  and Weather Underground.  The nice thing about weather predictions is they usually do not agree.  Take for instance the other day we left from Spanish Wells heading north to the Abacos.  The weather reports were for light winds under 15 knots from the south and broken cloud cover.  As we left Spanish Wells it looked promising and after 3 hours under way we realized the weather was not following the predictions.  The "squall" with 25 to 30 knots of wind  lasted 3 hours and the winds were out of  the east with heavy rain and some thunder, of course the lighting did not help our outlook. 

We made it up to the Abacos without "trouble" but would have preferred the original weather forecast. 




Update 5/16/12 Weather forecast or predictions

VHF radio for NOAA forcasts

Chris Parker has a website, but transmits on the SSB radio

www.passageweather.com - great graphics

Bahamas meteorology dept forecast

www.windfinder.com - good reports on wind and waves

When all else fails, www.wunderground is there.