Basic Marine Weather For Junior Sailors

Basic Marine Weather For Junior Sailors

Sailing a small boat requires many skills, however no aspect of boating is more important than understanding marine weather forecasting. The weather determines when it is safe to leave port and whether your outing will be safe and enjoyable. During this four-hour seminar, high school age junior sailors will learn basic weather principles and how to use a wide variety of forecasting resources. These skills will reduce the potential that they will encounter uncomfortable or hazardous weather conditions while they are on the water.

Topics covered during the Clinic:

  • Understanding Surface Weather Maps: Weather forecast graphics use a confusing collection of symbols, meteorological shorthand, and color schemes to display current weather conditions and portray future weather patterns. The symbols identifying high and low pressure systems, frontal boundaries, troughs, ridges, and other meteorological features will be explained.
  • Wind Forecasting: This section looks at the forces that control the wind and introduces a variety of online resources that will improve your ability to predict wind speed and direction.
  • Wave Forecasting: Wave heights can make all the difference between a pleasant trip and a wet, uncomfortable one. This section explains the dynamics of wave formation and the forces that sustain them. We will review a variety of forecasting resources to help you predict the size of the waves you will encounter.
  • Using Doppler Weather Radar: Doppler weather radar has a lot to offer the weather-savvy boater. You’ll learn how weather radar works (along with a few of its quirks), how to interpret the images, and how it can be used to monitor the development, intensity, and speed of approaching thunderstorms.
  • Understanding & Forecasting Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms can quickly spoil an outing in many ways—strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning or visibility-limiting rain. This section will examine the various types of thunderstorms and the ingredients that lead to their formation. Reduce your chances of a hair-raising or wind-swept encounter with a thunderstorm by learning to assess the potential for their development using readily available Internet resources.
  • Noteworthy Websites & Apps: There are plenty of websites and apps focusing on marine weather forecasting. This section will introduce several of the most popular resources.
  • Weather Jeopardy – an entertaining and educational way to review the materials presented in the seminar.

Click here to download the outline the seminar.
Click here to download the seminar flyer.


About The Presenter

Mark Thornton has been sailing for more than 30 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 Marine Weather, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters ( Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches marine 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.

Click here to read about my marine weather forecasting seminars, webinars and presentations. Click here for the current schedule of educational programs. My complete resume can be viewed here.

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

Weather Apps - Webinar
Co-Sponsored By Great Lakes Cruising Club
December 7, 2021
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Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms-Boston
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Co-Sponsored By Community Boating, Inc.
February 3, 10 & 17, 2022
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Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms-Chesapeake Bay
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Co-Sponsored By Spinsheet Magazine
February 24, March 3 & March 10, 2022
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Weather Forecasting For On The Water
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Co-Sponsored By Paddle Antrim
February 28, March 7 & 14, 2022
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Marine Weather Essentials
Four-Part Webinar
Co-Sponsored By Great Lakes Cruising Club
March 1, 8 , 15 & 22, 2022
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Wind Forecasting For Sailors
Two-Part Webinar
Co-Sponsored By Bayview Yacht Club
March 24 & 31, 2022
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Understanding & Avoiding Thunderstorms-Great Lakes
Three-Part Webinar
Co-Sponsored By Great Lakes Cruising Club
April 5 & 12, 2022
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Marine Weather Forecasting
Cruisers University - Annapolis Boat Shows
April 30 & May 1, 2022
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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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