|Current Conditions||About Forecasts|
Presently, the Wind Power Weather Center does not provide it's own forecast pages, but there are some super Forecast sites available today. The links below are recommended. The following paragraphs provide some basic information on forecast and models.
The GFS (global forecast system) model is a publicly available weather model published by NOAA 4 times a day. NOAA runs a lot of models and produces huge amounts of weather information. The data is available in varying spatial resolutions and near term forecast have smaller time resolution than longer term forecasts. There are numerous web sites that have utilize this data to produce general or specialized weather sites. For example, WeatherUnderground, iWindsurf forecast, WindMapper forecast all utilize this data. Some of these sites allow you to look at other model besides GFS. Other models are based on different assumptions, calculation models and other variations which provide different forecast predictions.
What you want to learn from these forecasts is how the model predicts conditions for your local area and use that knowledge to help when looking at forecasts. You may have local geographical features or other elements that the 'global' model does not understand or interpret. For example, a 18 mph NE prediction at one launch, maybe reliable yield 25 mph conditions. Similarly, surfers use this method a lot as many of the wave height forecasting systems also use GFS, but local conditions depend on reefs, sea depth and contours and these features have great impact surf height and break. Thus, for surfers it is essential to know how to interpret the general wave forecast for any particular surf break. It is true that local features affect surf more than wind, but same principal. It could save you from missing a good session.
Here are recommended forecast links:
|Meterogram for Fond du Lac, WI. This forecast has a few different forecast models like GFS 0.5 deg, NAM, etc. The sensor is the public FDL airport sensor.|
|NOAA regional forecast for Fond du Lac, WI. The sensor is the public FDL airport sensor. It's NOAA, they publish the GFS... not much more to say.|
|WindMapper utilizes GFS and provides a innovative and interactive visual 'mapping' of forecast and current observations. WindMapper is very useful to quickly see what the wind is around us, especially the wind coming towards us from the west.|
|Windfinder has 2 forecasts. The Forecast, along term of a week with data every 3 hours and Super Forecast, a short term of 3 days with data every hour. It shows the wind strength, direction, temp and sky conditions. It has many other cool features like the Google Maps and the Isobars.|
As mentioned above, a GFS forecast page might be added to the Weather Center in the future. If you are interested in the GFS there is some open-source software available to help with processing and graphing the published forecast files (GRIB - gridded binary data). I installed GRADs on my Linux system and it was pretty powerful as you can create graphs with just a few commands. Windows versions are available.
If you are interest in GFS models, gribbed (gridded binary) data and GRADs, here are some links: