Safety experts will tell anyone that it is a good idea to check the weather tomorrow before going out on your boat. Although I am not an expert, I agree with the idea that you never know what the weather might be like. You can at least get an idea of whether you might be facing a severe storm or a light fog by checking the weather forecast in advance.
Below is a list of some of my favorite online and mobile weather apps. Below each tool, I have listed what you can expect on each weather website. This will help you choose the right weather resource for you.
Accu weather Tomorrow
You can find your hourly, weekly, weekend, extended, and monthly forecasts for your local area. You can also see the chance of precipitation for a 24-hour period, in blocks of three hours each. You can also find maps for:
- U.S.radar feeds include zoom capabilities
- U.S.satellite images with zoom capabilities showing cloud coverage
- U.S. severe weather readings with zoom capabilities, legend. It also displays lightening strikes as well as their frequency.
- News and videos about the U.S. National Interest
- A hurricane center map with the most recent tracking information.
- Current sea surface temperatures around the world
AccuWeather can also be downloaded for free on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android. It features today’s local forecast and 15-day local forecast as well as satellite maps, videos, and many other features. It is a great resource for boaters with a smartphone.
The Weather Channel
This site has hourly and daily updates.
- Weather forecasts for the United States, including regional and local.
- Forecasts for marine conditions including temperature, wind speed, direction, wave height, and direction.
- These maps show the current temperature and weather in the United States. Interactive maps that will show you your local atmosphere conditions.
It’s free for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android phones. You can access hourly, daily, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts as well as beach forecasts. There is also a satellite map of your area and severe atmosphere reports. A great app for boaters with a smartphone is the Weather App.
Simply type in your location to get current/basic atmosphere information.
Clicking on Maps and Radar gives you data and information about:
- atmosphere fronts in the United States
- Alerts and warnings for severe atmosphere in your area
- NEXRAD animated radar readings of the USA, Canada, and Australia, with information about storm tracks, total precipitation, severe atmosphere, and more
- Satellite images of cloud cover at the national and local levels
- Marine forecasts around the world, including water temperatures, wave heights, and wind speeds.
Apart: Wunderground offers a free app for iPhone called atmosphere Quickie. However, it isn’t as extensive as the website and I wouldn’t trust it for my boating forecasts.
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
This site is probably the most complete. This site will give you your weekly weather forecast for the selected location. Scroll down to find satellite images and radar atmosphere maps. There are several.
- Regional radar map showing flash flood warnings and severe weather.
- Satellite images map of the Continental U.S.A. (color enhanced).
You’ll find the National Digital Forecast Database further down the page. This database has atmosphere data that is displayed graphically.
- An Hourly atmosphere Graph that shows 24 hours of temperature and wind, wind gusts and sky cover. It also indicates potential thunderstorms or precipitation.
- A Hazardous atmosphere Report is available for the area.
You’ll find to the left of National Digital Forecast Database two maps: one is Temperature Forecast and the other is a Forecast Database Map. This map allows you to view regional and local graphical displays for today, tonight, and tomorrow.
- Possible precipitation
- dew point
- Wind speed and direction
- Wind gusts
- sky cover
- relative humidity
- Temperature apparent
An aside: weather tomorrow Alert USA, an iPhone app from NOAA, has received positive reviews. It costs $3.99 as of the time this article was written.
NOAA Marine atmosphere
This site provides zone forecasts for the:
- North Atlantic
- North and Southeast Pacific
- Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Tropical Atlantic
- Alaska and North Pacific
- Central Pacific
You can view the daily activities within each zone
- Surface charts for wind, wave, and surface.
- Satellite technology allows for the creation of wave charts, high winds and typhoon warnings.
- Upper air charts
National Hurricane = NOAA Center
This site has a lot of information for those who are interested in hurricane tracking.
- A map showing the location of active tropical storms. Tracking information and analysis.
- Hurricane awareness and information about hurricanes in general, including a briefing about preparedness, storm surges FAQs, tropical atmosphere forecast models and tropical weather tomorrow questions.
Passage Weather Tomorrow
This site offers 7-day wind and weather tomorrow forecasts that are useful for offshore mariners. Forecast charts for all parts of the globe are available, as well as feature maps that illustrate:
- surface winds 10 miles above sea level
- Surface pressure
- cloud cover
- Wave height and direction
You might also like these other apps for your smartphone:
Weather Bug for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android It’s completely free and displays real-time weather data.
- Current conditions for temperature, wind speed, direction, wind gusts and high and low temperatures, day and night, wind chill, humidity and alerts
- The weekly forecast
- An infrared satellite map showing the conditions in your region
- Videos on the National Weather Outlook
It’s also the most widely used weather app and is also the most flexible for smartphones. The price is unbeatable.
Weather Radar iPhone. It provides immediate base reflectivity radar, global radar, and cloud cover. You can choose from a streets-only map, streets and satellites maps, or satellite only maps. This app only shows radar, it does not provide any atmosphere information. However, it displays real-time radar, which is a huge plus. The app costs $2.99 at the time of writing.
iPhone Boat Load. You can get real-time weather forecasts in any of the 42,000 U.S. towns. Get hourly, 36-hour, and 7-day forecasts for any area. You can also find information that might interest boaters, such as the location of ports and marinas. You can also access tide information and the ability to send an emergency alert or file a plan. The download costs $4.99 As of the writing.