Experimental Forecasts Now Available

UPDATE 0830 MDT March 25, 2014

Jim Corenman at SailMail Association has just notified me that Saildocs is now distributing the forecasts.  To request the forecasts all you need is to send an email to query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:

send OFFPZ7       

This will send the forecast for Pacific Mexico coast.  For Central America south to Ecuador,  use this syntax:

send OFFPZ8

A full discussion of the process can be found here.



I am delighted to share with you the great news that the new NOAA forecast for the coastal East Pacific is now available on an experimental basis. Below you will find two URLs which will refresh (I believe) 4 times daily (230am PDT, 830am PDT, 230pm PDT, and 830pm PDT).

The simplest method for those of you without broadband Internet access will be to use Saildocs to “scrape” the data on a request basis. For example, for those interested in Mexican Pacific waters:

Send an email to: query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:

send http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ7

For those interested in Central America down to Ecuador, do the same thing but send an email to: query@saildocs.com with this line in the body of the message:


Make sure the URL is in the top line of the message body without any spaces or indents.

Check your mail in a few minutes and your email service should send you the contents of those two URLs.

Net controllers: Please use the following disclaimer when reading the forecasts on your scheduled evenings:

“The following weather forecast is an EXPERIMENTAL product from NOAA. The product is in the beginnings of a trial phase, which will go on for several months. Until these forecasts become official, please use your prudence in interpreting this data especially when making travel plans.”

At the end of the weather briefing, please close it with this statement (please feel free to put it in your own words):

“That concludes the reading of the EXPERIMENTAL East Pacific Forecasts from NOAA. For more information regarding the trial phase, please see the Southbound Evening Net website at southboundnet.wordpress.com and sign up to become a beta tester.  Your feedback will be sent on to NOAA during the trial period and will help forecasters improve the product. Any questions or comments please call now.”

I will be incorporating this into a revised Preamble and will have it ready for you to download from the website.

SV Wendaway


Here is the information from Forecaster Lewitsky:

OFFPZ7 (Mexico)

OFFPZ8 (Central America, Colombia and Ecuador)

These should refresh automatically anytime the product is updated.

Also, please note that until these become operational if there are any
technical issues (e.g. the computer running the products goes down over a
weekend, etc) that they may become unavailable until the problem could be



  1. Very cool! Is there a forecaster’s discussion available for these? Is there a feedback mechanism? (For example, there is no period given for waves, just height. Not all 4′ waves are equal)

    1. Rob – funny you should ask. Yes, NOAA is working on swell/period and that should be included in the near future. As far as forecaster discussion, NOAA sets certain threshold values (wind strength, wave height) and discussions are triggered once the threshold is reached. According to Forecaster Lewitsky:

      “The criteria for this product is Winds 20 KT or higher and Seas 8 FT or higher.
      Thus, if your area is not expected to have those conditions during the next
      48 hours it will be blank (which will be most days).”

      Hope that helps and thanks for your interest!

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