Weather Routing / Private Weather Forecasts

Private Forecast & Weather Routing -

Solo Erie Challenge


A Private Forecast Package from LakeErieWX includes:

  • Marine Weather Forecasting Guide: You will receive a copy of the LakeErieWX Marine Weather Forecasting Guide designed to decode the confusing symbols and shorthand included on weather forecast graphics.
  • Preliminary Briefings: A detailed written discussion of the large-scale weather pattern and the potential for severe weather during the forecast period (Saturday through Tuesday). The preliminary briefings also include a written wind and wave forecast. Preliminary briefings are sent via email on the two days preceding the delivery of your Private Forecast.
  • Private Forecast With Routing: A multi-page Private Forecast will be sent to you in PDF format the evening prior to your race. The forecast will cover Saturday through Wednesday and include the following:
    • A detailed discussion and supporting forecast graphics showing the expected weather conditions including:
      • The location and movement of high and low pressure systems.
      • The passage of cold fronts, warm fronts, stationary fronts, and troughs, including the anticipated impact on the wind.
      • The potential for thunderstorms and organized severe weather including when, where, and what type of storms are expected.
      • A detailed wind speed, wind direction, gust speed, and wave height forecast at 3-hour intervals for Saturday and Sunday. The marine forecast for Monday through Wednesday is at 6-hour intervals.
    • A computer-generated routing solution based on the preferred wind forecast and your yacht’s unique performance characteristics (your boat’s polar data is required).
  • Consultations: Your questions regarding the forecast will be answered via email or telephone.

Click on the image below (or here) to review a sample Private Forecast from the 2019 Bayview Mackinac Race.


  • $225 for the Complete Private Forecast package (including weather routing) covering Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
  • $99 for a Private Forecast without weather routing covering Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Limited Availability
Creating a private forecast is time-consuming, therefore a limited number of customers are accepted for each event. Please contact me at to sign up before spaces are filled.

Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton has been sailing for more than 25 years and currently owns Osprey, a C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Penn State University Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting, a two-year program that develops skills in general, tropical, and severe weather forecasting.

He is the president of LakeErieWX LLC, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters ( Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches basic forecasting seminars to recreational boaters during the off-season. He has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bayview Race to Mackinac since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.

Click here to view my meteorological resume or here to read about my marine weather forecasting seminars and workshops.

Interested in reading and learning more about marine weather? A few times each year, I publish an article on an interesting marine weather event. Click here to subscribe to my 'no spam' email distribution list.

Phone: 440.250.9179

Marine Weather Forecasting Apps - Webinar
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 from 8 pm to 9:30 pm Eastern
Great Lakes Cruising Club School
Click here for more information

Marine Weather Essentials - Four Part Webinar Series
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 2021, from 8 pm to 9:30 pm Eastern
Great Lakes Cruising Club School
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Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms - Two Part Webinar Series
April 6 & 13, 2021, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm Eastern
Great Lakes Cruising Club School
Click here for more information

Tropical Weather Forecasting - Webinar
May 4, 2021, from 8 pm to 9:30 pm Eastern
Great Lakes Cruising Club School
Click here for more information

Click here for the complete seminar schedule.

Seminar Reviews
"You have a passion for meteorology that is contagious and a gift for communicating a complex subject.".

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