April 1 distribution of new NOAA forecast by Saildocs

Is this the official SailMail logo?

Looks like Saildocs (a service of SailMail Association) will be able to distribute the new forecasts by April 1, 2014. Jim Corenman and his team have been in contact with NOAA and hopefully all will be ready by April 1, 2014.

The experimental bulletins will be automatically pushed out every 6 hours (230am PDT, 830am PDT, 230pm PDT, and 830pm PDT) just as soon as all the technical elements are in place, Southbound Evening Net has been informed. What this means for the SBEN is that volunteer net controllers will have very fresh WX information to relay every evening, and all other nets will also benefit.


Technical Discussion of NOAA process

For those of you who are technically-minded, here is an overview of the NOAA process (by Jeffrey), between the experimental phase, and formal adoption as an official NOAA product:

“During the period from May 1 to Dec 1 we will be working to adjust our
workflow and deadlines for current products for the forecasters that would
be issuing the Pacific Offshore Waters Forecasts once they would become
official Dec 1. Until that point, the text output will be generated
automatically on the crons that I mentioned and they will not be QC’d on a
routine basis until Dec 1, at which point they will ALWAYS be QC’d prior to
transmission. That being said, please keep in mind that these text
forecasts are being generated off our 10km by 10km gridded database and the
forecasters ARE QC’ing and updating that underlying database every 6
hours.  As part of that process, the forecasters constantly examine current
observations, satellite, radar, and evaluate the latest global model runs
(GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, NAM, etc.) to construct and update the gridded
database.  We are even in the process of taking those forecaster
value-added winds to run our own local wave model so that the 2 parameters
(winds and waves) are completely coordinated.  Partitioned wave data will
fall out of that local wave model giving us a better picture of all wave
groups (wave height, direction and period per wave group) which will one
day soon also be included in the text forecasts. The text formatters
(software) that we use to then generate the text products which you would
receive during the trial period are not 100% perfect.  Thus the caveat that
the output will not be always QC’d should be applied until Dec 1.”



  1. It is nice that saildocs will make these new forecasts available. But the basic question is what is the current url for them today? If they are not available currently on any NOAA site, it should be stated. Thank you.

    1. Hello Hopalong!

      During the trial phase of this project, all forecasts will be designated as “experimental” and so I wouldn’t expect them to be distributed widely. I am informed that by Dec. 1, 2014, the EPAC coastal forecast will be ready for prime time, so to speak, at which point a URL will be assigned.

      NOAA wants to have a period when it can evaluate both the accuracy and adoption of the product from the cruising fleet, and make tweaks as necessary. To me that makes a lot of sense. Hope it does to you, too!

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