GRIB formatted regional wind forecasts – review and updates

Each time we have a regional weather routing project to work on, I have to stop and remind myself about what data are available, and what are the specs.

By specs I mean how often and when is the weather prediction model run, when are the data available after that, how far out does its forecast extend, what are the time steps in the forecast, and what is the resolution of the data, ie a wind point every 1.3 km or every 30 km, etc. And of course, what regions do they actually cover, ie how far offshore, how far north into Canada, etc.

To help myself and others with this, I have compiled here a set of notes on available forecasts and summarized the crucial specs in a Table below for quick reference.

There are two broad categories of numerical model predicted wind data: Global and Regional. Global is for mid ocean or well offshore; regional models are for near coastal and inland waters.

The best wind data for US inland and near coastal waters (HRRR model) were only available as commercial products until the last few weeks or so when Saildocs made them available to the public.

NAMNAmerica

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