Preparing Your Chicago-Mac Forecast: A Workshop for Sailors

Chicago Boat Show - January 13, 2019

Overview

Long-distance sailing and weather forecasting are inseparable. Experienced Chicago-Mac sailors understand that developing a detailed weather forecast and monitoring its evolution on the racecourse is an important strategic and safety aspect of participating in this summer classic. Misjudging the wind forecast can quickly send you to the back of your fleet, while failing to properly assess the risk for severe weather can unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of the crew.

The workshop is designed for Chicago-Mac and other long-distance sailors interested in improving their marine weather forecasting and management skills.

You will develop the following skills at the workshop:

  • How to decode the confusing symbols and meteorological shorthand on forecast graphics.
  • How to predict the development and movement of low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries.
  • Why the wind behaves the way it does and how to prepare a detailed wind forecast.
  • How to prepare a detailed wave height forecast.
  • How to forecast the potential and nature of severe weather.
  • The terminology used by the National Weather Service during hazardous and severe weather events.
  • How to use Doppler weather radar to help you avoid a hair-raising encounter with thunderstorms.
  • Where to find forecast graphics and a strategy for preparing a multi-day marine forecast.
  • The advantages and challenges of using a weather routing program.

The workshop combines classroom instruction, case studies, and hands-on forecasting exercises to create an engaging learning experience.

Click here for a detailed outline of the workshop.

 

 

Location:
Chicago Boat Show

McCormick Place-South Building

Chicago, IL


When:
Sunday, January 13, 2019

8:30 am to 4:30 pm


Fee:
$125


Registration: Click here to register at the Chicago Boat Show website.

Please send questions regarding the seminar to Mark Thornton at Mark@LakeErieWX.com. Please click here to view the speaker's biography.

About The Presenter

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 (www.lakeeriewx.com). 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 Bell’s Beer 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.