NOAA is no better than regular weathermen

You know, this weekend we went out hoping to find good conditions for fishing, but this was the 4th time in the past couple of months that we go out on a forecast of 2 foot or less, only to be buffeted by easily 4-8. I mean when the waves are so big that you actually lose the horizon on the backside of a swell, something is seriously wrong with condition reporting. Talked with a couple people at the ramp and they said that eveb inshore they were beat up pretty bad as well. This is the thing.......fine, I understand its a forecast and they are guessing, but good Lord, when you are leaving the ramp and the forecast and current conditions are 2 foot or less and you get out there in absurd conditions, and we stayed out there and toughed it out, but when we are there for enough time for another update to come out and current conditions are NOT what they are reporting 6 hours later, something needs to change. I lost count of how may people were calling the coast guard on 16, sea tow, towboats US. It seemed that many many people were having issues out there for one reason on another this weekend, and it makes me wonder, how many of those calls were related to nasty sea conditions. Something needs to change with this forecasting and current conditions reporting. UNSAT NOAA!!!!!!!!!

Replies

  • Almost PerfectAlmost Perfect Posts: 577 Officer
    Local news is not much better. I'm sitting on the couch watching the news and they are saying 2-3 mph winds. I'm looking out the window watching the trees and thinking WFT is this guy smoking.

    We rode out to the tripod and met up with some friends and the bay was all chopped up. Kids scalloped for a few minutes and gave up.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Contender 27 Cuddy
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,553 AG
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • a little knotsa little knots Posts: 1,222 Officer
    I feel your pain ... been there done that !!!!
    seems like they have been off alot lately. ..
    some one told me that they were thinking
    about doing away with noaa weather radio.
    because of all the weather apps now available .
    dont know how true that is ??? Maybe that has
    something to do with it ? Anyone else hear anything
    like that ???:shrug
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    I use windfinder super forecast and it is usually pretty good. They botched it on Saturday !! They all screw it up . You don't know until you go. I was expecting 2 foot or less west wind 3-5 mph. only to be greeted by 4 footers. I just slowed down and burned 3 times the amount of gas that I usually would
  • DeboDebo Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    I usually use weather underground but I also check others. I understand how you feel especially when you plan an offshore trip. I never saw 2 foot or less for today. I saw 2-4 yesterday and was surprised when I checked it this morning and saw a small craft exercise caution. It's usually updated every 6 or so hours and can change drastically in that amount of time. I begin checking 4-5 days out up to the last minute until I hit the water so I know what I'm facing because I hate getting pounded for 20 plus miles. I don't think one source is good to go on because many are just guessing what might happen so multiple sources is the best bet in my opinion.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,553 AG
    Debo wrote: »
    I usually use weather underground but I also check others. I understand how you feel especially when you plan an offshore trip. I never saw 2 foot or less for today. I saw 2-4 yesterday and was surprised when I checked it this morning and saw a small craft exercise caution. It's usually updated every 6 or so hours and can change drastically in that amount of time. I begin checking 4-5 days out up to the last minute until I hit the water so I know what I'm facing because I hate getting pounded for 20 plus miles. I don't think one source is good to go on because many are just guessing what might happen so multiple sources is the best bet in my opinion.
    Why would you be surprised for today when there is a high pressure in the Atlantic and a low pressure(front) dropping into Fl. by Wed?
    All of that calls for a strong westerly type wind.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • DOCKSIDEDOCKSIDE Posts: 1,812 Captain
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Why would you be surprised for today when there is a high pressure in the Atlantic and a low pressure(front) dropping into Fl. by Wed?
    All of that calls for a strong westerly type wind.

    This... Good call.
    somewhere south of disorder and on earth... mostly .
    ..............................................................................
    IBEW LU 433
  • sugarloafersugarloafer Posts: 195 Deckhand
    not only that, but we have a REX blocking jet stream pattern which means a summer cold front stalling in the S Georgia N fla area ..........moving up [west winds for us]...............and down......[light east wind]....back n forth

    these last weeks not days.
    custom self built 400lb 4" draft 16' microskiff
    custom self built 34' cold molded diesel flybridge lobsterboat
  • GatoRellaGatoRella Posts: 521 Officer
    Its a difficult job predicting wind speeds, direction, and wave heights on every body of water in the US. Thats not to say they couldn't do a better job, but it is pretty thankless none the less.

    Maybe we should shut down noaa and just have our forum members do the predicting, they seem to be more knowledgeable.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,868 Captain
    You should invest in a weather rock.
  • wvinfl12wvinfl12 Posts: 248 Deckhand
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Why would you be surprised for today when there is a high pressure in the Atlantic and a low pressure(front) dropping into Fl. by Wed?
    All of that calls for a strong westerly type wind.


    I understand all the fronts and the effects it could have but the issue here is current conditions and I do check it all the time several days in advance, always have..........being in the Navy for 11 years and flying in helicopters as a rescue swimmer and a student of oceanography, my problem is this.

    For example........I go out at 6 in the morning and the latest report was at 4 in the morning with conditions stating its 2 foot or less on Saturday.............its far from that on the way out, so I slow it down and eventually get to my spots..............then at 10am, the updated forecast and current conditions comes out, and what does it say? Its says the same thing.............2 foot or less..............when again, its far from that..........they do have buoys in the gulf, now none near us, but they do have wave measuring buoys out there further out into the gulf................there is no excuse why they are reporting crappy current conditions with the amount of data they have, not to mention the coast guard reporting current conditions back to home bases as well...............if the seas are 4-6 or in our case 4-8, that should be reported when the update comes out..................for that matter, even another 6 hours later at 4pm, they were still reporting the same 2 foot or less.............that is where my frustrations come from.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,553 AG
    There can be a world of difference between 100 miles west of Bayport and 20 miles west of CR.

    NOAA does the best it can with constant changing conditions.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,059 Moderator
    Maybe NOAA works Mon-Fri and are off on the weekends :grin
    "You'll get your weather"
  • wvinfl12wvinfl12 Posts: 248 Deckhand
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    There can be a world of difference between 100 miles west of Bayport and 20 miles west of CR.

    NOAA does the best it can with constant changing conditions.

    Thanks ANUMBER1............I'm not an idiot......I know that............just never mind my gripe, maybe I am according to your reply.
  • Riptide31Riptide31 Posts: 478 Deckhand
    I usually use stormsurf and find it to be pretty reliable, but even it undercalled last Sat. It was a solid 2-3'. They were calling for 1.5' I think.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,553 AG
    wvinfl12 wrote: »
    Thanks ANUMBER1............I'm not an idiot......I know that............just never mind my gripe, maybe I am according to your reply.
    Wasn't implying that.
    One of my worst times in the gulf was listening to the NOAA weather about a tropical system forming(literally on top of me) and trying to decide if I needed to find/pull my gear that night and head home or wait for daylight. Their 4pm and 10pm forecast implied I had the luxury of waiting till morning.
    By the 4am update and the falling barometer, I knew I had made a bad mistake by waiting, took us twice as long to load our traps and a 6 hour ride home became 14 pounding.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • wvinfl12wvinfl12 Posts: 248 Deckhand
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Wasn't implying that.
    One of my worst times in the gulf was listening to the NOAA weather about a tropical system forming(literally on top of me) and trying to decide if I needed to find/pull my gear that night and head home or wait for daylight. Their 4pm and 10pm forecast implied I had the luxury of waiting till morning.
    By the 4am update and the falling barometer, I knew I had made a bad mistake by waiting, took us twice as long to load our traps and a 6 hour ride home became 14 pounding.


    Thanks for clarifying that..........it does suck and I try not to rely so much on the forecasts and just use them as a guide like we all do.......... I like to get as current of information as possible..........normally they are in the ballpark, but what my problem is, is the current conditions when they are putting out a new report, not the forecasted..........like when I mentioned I was out there for 2 update cycles and I was out there at about 50 miles out, when I am hearing the updated forecasts state 2 foot or less and for a 12 hour cycle it has not been accurate at all is what I can't stand.............its the current conditions NOAA is putting out when they do the updates.......its as if they are not really observing actual conditions and just keep rolling forward with their predictions.........now if someone was to call me while I was out there fishing wanting to know what it was like out there, I would report back to them its rough and beating the crap out of us. I really appreciate your comments as from what I read as you appear to be really on the ball........NOAA is not my only source of getting predictions, but it seems that all weather forecasts for sea state are all getting their info from NOAA. That Stormsurf site looks pretty interesting after I checked it out. I just wonder where they get their information from. Im telling you if you were out there this past Saturday, the radio was just constantly being bombarded with calls to and from the Coast Guard like I have not heard in a long time and I think that the sea state really had something to do with that as most weekend thrill seekers mostly use NOAA, if they use anything at all.........there were several boats taking on water, maybe they were overloaded, maybe not, who knows.

    On a side note, it appears that red tide is now at about 35 miles everyone........this could really shut us all down if it gets much worse......plenty of dead floating hogfish around where we were. Been a while since one has reached this far up from my recent memory.

    All is good ANUMBER1.
  • HammerheadTedHammerheadTed Posts: 1,256 Officer
    There is an App called FishWeather that seems to have pretty accurate wind forcasts. Used it for a month in the Keys and it was better than other sources and generally very accurate. I have the free version, where you can get actual wind obs and forcast in 4 hr increments for up to several days in advance, but I didn't pay much attention on forcasts 36hrs or more in advance. No wave heights tho, unless you buy the Pro version @ something like $20/month.
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    I don't trust the weather reporters, I call my old man. :grin He was an air traffic controller for 37 years or so. He generally get's it right.
  • TypicleseTypiclese Posts: 393 Deckhand
    Find a pilot, professional pilot, and have them show you how to read one of these:
    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/sfc/namussfcbw.gif
    Moreover, pilots actually get to experience first hand weather phenomena and over time, we correlate what we've experienced with what was forecasted or reported. You begin to recognize patterns that set up that cause issue. Similar to ANUMBER 1 point of the high and low pressure setup recently.

    It's not that difficult once someone who knows how to read one points out the salient bits. In the aviation community we get these surface progs from dispatch as part of our weather briefings. We also get hi level winds, temps etc as we use these for identifying areas that may be presenting CAT (clear are turbulence); not to mention where we can ride with the jet or where it may kick or @ss as a headwind. We never put full faith in the "weather guessers" as we call them. As they can often totally miss the ball. In 32+ years of flying (in USAF and commercially) I can't tell you how many times it wasn't like they predicted. Not bashing them, but remember in the end they are just forecasts.

    One thing we have in aviation that is sorely missing in the boating world, is the PIREP, or pilot reporting. If I encounter something significantly different or I think it would be in my fellow pilots best interests to know, I provide a PIREP on actual conditions encountered. There are a number of vehicles we use, but suffice to say I trust the "eyes on" of my fellow pilots more than some weather guy sitting in his office.

    Yes, large ships do report on weather conditions, but often these are in areas not frequented by your average boater. Maybe its time we get something similar in place for the private small boaters?
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,516 Captain
    Sounds like a good idea except that who would trust the ability of private boaters to judge wave heights and wind speed?
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