Great Lakes Marine Weather Forecasting

Great Lakes Marine Weather Forecasting

Boating on the Great Lakes requires many skills. None is more important than a basic understanding of marine weather forecasting. Being familiar with basic weather principles and knowing where to find and how to interpret weather graphics can improve cruise planning, enhance racing performance and reduce the likelihood of being exposed to uncomfortable or hazardous weather conditions. The Great Lakes Marine Weather Forecasting seminar will provide the knowledge and skills to make you a weather-savvy boater.

What you will learn at the seminar:

  • 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 a thunderstorm.
  • Where to find forecast graphics and a strategy for preparing a multi-day marine forecast.

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

Click here for the seminar outline or here for the flyer.

Comments From Previous Seminars

  • Best weather seminar ever!!! My husband is a licensed captain and has attended several as well as basics in his classes and testing and in the 60 years he's been sailing.... He said it was, by far, the best weather seminar he has ever attended. 
  • I just wish I had half the knowledge Mark does! He's incredibly well-versed in both the topics of weather AND sailing, and I really enjoyed listening to him, not to mention I learned quite a bit as well!
  • I took your Great Lakes course at the Sandusky Sailing Club probably five years ago and still draw on the knowledge I learned there - you are a very good teacher of a complex topic.  We now live on our sailboat full time and cruise the Atlantic coast from the Bahamas to Maine.

About The Presenter

Mark Thornton has been boating on the Great Lakes for more than 30 years. Mark recently transitioned from sailing and now owns Osprey, a Mainship 34 Pilot. He 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 employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.

Click here to read about my marine weather forecasting seminars, webinars and presentations. Click here for the current schedule of educational programs.

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
Cruisers University - Annapolis Boat Shows
October 11 & 12, 2023
Click here for details.

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.".

Click here for more testimonials.