Forecast Philosophy

What I Do:

Marine Weather Center’s Chris Parker provides high-value-added forecasts geared specifically for small (typically 30’-65’, but some larger & smaller) sail & power vessels, with the information you need to support good tactical decision-making.  I provide these forecasts on an economical Annual, Monthly, or per-forecast basis, and by the communications method(s) you prefer, including SSB Voice, email, phone, or fax.  I also simulcast SSB Nets on an Internet Webcast.

My Forecast Philosophy:

Weather forecasters tend to be an opinionated, and some might say arrogant bunch - we like to be right.  I see technical forecast discussions time and time again which mention the possibility / plausibility for severe weather, but, since the forecaster’s objective is to be "right" (to produce a single forecast with the greatest chance of being correct) - they fail to warn forecast recipients of potentially-severe weather.

I have a different objective - I try to make sure you are not surprised by the weather - especially that you're not surprised by inclement weather. Occasionally that means my forecasts for inclement weather fail to verify - but I'd much rather have it that way than to have clients surprised by nasty weather.

Of course, I can't anticipate all inclement weather, and I encourage clients to use as many forecast sources as they wish. I encourage dialogue. You need to make weather-based decisions, so you need to understand the weather situation. If you do not understand, please ask. If my forecast differs from other forecasts, feel free to ask why.

Routing Advice:

In addition to weather forecasts, most of my services provide Routing Advice.  While I may suggest you consider sailing a specific route for most-favorable conditions, my Routing Advice goes way beyond that.

I try to consider unique needs of each client. I’ve worked with physically disabled sailors, vessels with young children onboard, engine-less vessels, serious racers, delivery crews, day-sailors, vessels on Atlantic Crossings, fishing vessels, tug boats, surfers, airplanes, etc.  Each client has different goals, and desires different “ideal” weather conditions.

I try to tailor my entire interaction with a vessel to the needs of that vessel.  If I know a vessel is particularly “fragile”, I will actually alter the forecast I give that vessel (increasing wind speed forecast by 5k on marginal days, etc.) to make absolutely certain the “bad” weather sounds “bad” to them, and I over-estimate the risk for severe weather, to make absolutely sure that vessel is not surprised.

While I hope to never tell you what to do (you must make your decisions), I may recommend tactics I might use in a situation similar to yours, including how to pick-up a favorable wind-shift to win a race, or how to delay the need to jibe until after sunrise, or how to deploy available gear to steady a ride downwind, or to consider an alternate destination/anchorage given the weather forecast, etc.

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