Gulf Stream & Weather
Frank Bohlen has developed a list of online resources for captains and crew interested in studying the Gulf Stream and weather. Background on Frank Bohlen's weather & Gulf Stream information
Gulf Stream Tutorials
Several year's worth of analysis of the Gulf Stream from the racer's perspective.
National Weather Service **
The National Weather Service site with an abundance of products including marine forecasts and satellite imagery. A valuable resource for the study of weather. Look particularly at the NWS Ocean Prediction Center sites. Check out the film loops at this site. The place to start !
Northwest Atlantic Weather Briefing (NOAA)
Here’s a handy listing of most of the weather fax charts of interest for the northwest Atlantic. When compressed, an efficient way to download a lot of information in a hurry.
NOAA/National Weather Service Environmental Modeling Center
NOAA's Marine Modelling and Analysis Branch's site providing a variety of products resulting from the numerical modeling of meteorological and oceanographic systems. These include nowcast and forecast ocean winds and waves every six hours out to 180 hours and modeled surface temperatures and currents for the Gulf Stream region. A bit exotic but a very interesting site woth studying. Be patient. Compare these results with other model results, such as those of the U.S. Navy, as well as some of the satellite observed sea surface temperatures both available at the several of the sites below.
Naval Research Laboratory Global Ocean Analysis and Modeling
This site provides a listing of the results of U.S. Navy modeling of the Gulf Stream region. Several routing programs use these results. It's interesting to compare the results of the model runs to observed sea surface tempurature data as well as any current data that might be available. Run through the time series loops to develop a feel for the rate of change of Gulf Stream structure and the horizontal extent of that variability. Some additional information on the Navy models can be obtained at http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/GlobalOceanStart.shtml.
Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observation Lab **
A site maintained by Rutgers University which includes a variety of data specific to the Gulf Stream. Drift buoy data and satellite imagery are of particular interest. Comparisons between these data and the thermal images available from the Naval Oceanographic Office is often interesting and instructive. Also see the coastal current data provided by CODAR . These latter data will be of value to those transiting the Jersey shoreline. Similar data are available at LISICOS.uconn.edu for the area off Montauk Point. Entry to the site may be confusing at first. From the main menu enter Data to find the Real time and Archived Satellite Imagery of the Gulf Stream. Note that there are both instantaneous and daily composite files for review.
Navy Ocean Features Analysis - Colorized
This is the current site for what in past years was the U.S. Navy ocean features analysis. Although the accuracy of this analysis must be carefully evaluated by comparison with satellite imagery and altimetry its regular updating during periods of dense cloud cover makes it of value in planning.
Johns Hopkins Ocean Remote Sensing
A site maintained by Johns Hopkins University providing links to a variety of satellite imagery and altimetry data. The combination is sometimes able to provide a unique indication of the presence of a Gulf Stream warm or cold core ring. An additional means to analyze Gulf Stream features if carefully applied.
Near Real Time Altimeter - NOAA/AOML **
This site provides modeled currents based on satellite altimeter data. Although application requires care (View HELP) these model results allow analysis of Gulf Stream conditions during periods during which cloud cover prevents direct observation of sea surface temperature characteristics. Several model results are presented requiring study to assess navigational utility. Comparison with surface thermal data (e.g. Rutgers above) and any direct observations of surface currents such as those provided by drifters is recommended.
Bermuda Weather **
Bermuda Weather’s site. Provides continuing weather analyses and forecasts for the immediate vicinity of the island. It’s often interesting to compare these observations to conditions indicated by the larger area weather maps such as the NWS weatherfax charts of the northwest Atlantic. Also, see Yacht Charts under Marine Forecast as well as tidal data for Bermuda.
Bermuda Harbor Radio
A useful compendium of information dealing with sailing to Bermuda, communications, and safety with links to a variety of auxiliary sites. Helpful in numerous ways.
One of the University of Michigan’s weather sites (see UMICH.edu). Although this borders on sensory overload there is so much useful at this site that it qualifies as a must visit. See in particular the presentation of model outputs for each the numerical models routinely used by all forecasters. A study of the differences in model output instructive.
NOAA Satellite and Information Service
Easy access to weather satellite data for the east coast of the U.S. out to Bermuda. Represents a useful adjunct to the weather maps provided by the Ocean Prediction Center.
** Designates the sites of most value to the small boat navigator