Great Lakes Marine Weather Essentials

An Online Webinar Series
For Powerboaters and Sailors

March 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2021 from 8 to 9:30 pm


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 Essentials webinar series will provide the knowledge and skills to make you a weather-savvy boater.

What you can expect to learn from the webinars:

  • 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.

Don't worry if you can't attend one of the live sessions. Each session will be recorded and made available to all registered attendees.

Click here to download a copy of this flyer.

Seminar Outline

  • Week One - March 2, 2021
    • Basic Meteorological Principles
    • Translating Surface Weather Maps
  • Week Two - March 9, 2021
    • Forces Controlling the Wind
    • Doppler Weather Radar
  • Week Three - March 16, 2021
    • High and Low Pressure Systems
  • Week Four - March 23, 2021
    • Thunderstorms
    • Creating A Daily Forecast Routine
Online webinars at GLCC School

March 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2021

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm, Eastern Time

$60 for the series. $55 for GLCC members.

Please send questions regarding the seminar to Mark Thornton at 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 ( 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 Mackinac Race since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.