Weather Report for L-36.com
OverviewThis is not a report on the weather; it is a report on the weather report. Much has changed on the Weather page and I wanted to say a few words, actually likely quite a few words, on the report itself. After all, 90% of you come to L-36.com for our award winning weather coverage*.
The biggest change is the fixing of many issues for the half of you who come here from phones or tablets. The page now has no horizontal scroll so it is much easier to navigate. Some of the tables have individual scroll features but scrolling them will not scroll the entire page. This has the hard to describe benefit of page stability. There are several other changes to improve mobile page performance.
Other note worthy top level changes to the Weather page are the sticky navigation tabs, graphs (with tables optional) for the 3 day wind history on airports and Ports Stations, and a return to location specific radar displays. The NWS discussions have had some formatting improvements. The final top level change I want to draw your attention to is that the tide and current forecast now cover two days which should make it easier to do your planning for tomorrow's trip.
With that out of the way, I want to just highlight some of the possible unknown features in each section. Some of them might be called Easter Eggs.
The header now includes all of the links that were previously in the weather setup tab. Above them is the "sticky" navigation links that make it easy to get to a specific section of interest. Below is the date and time, including UTC, sun and moon rise and set along with a small picture of what the moon looks like. In red is the disclaimer pointing out that this is raw data and needs to be verified. For example, NOAA was reporting 50 knots of wind on a calm day last month. They later corrected it (5.0 instead of 50) but you do need to be careful when dealing with the latest data.
Marine ForecastBy default, the program will find the closest marine zone to your location along with the synopsis for the greater area. For example, where I sail, PZZ530 is the local are but PZZ500 is the overview of all the 5xx zones. But did you know you can add a third zone? This was added at the request of the US Coast Guard who was instrumental in the initial development of this site. They wanted forecast for where they were and where the boat in distress was. I basically built the Weather page at their request after the retirement by Google of Gadgets. The Coast Guard had used my Gadgets and wanted a replacement. To get the third zone, you click EDIT and enter the zones you want, up to three. I enter 531 and 530 as the first two zones and enter PZZ500 in the text area to get the overview.
Similarly, you can enter two locations for the 7 day forecast. By default, you get the forecast for the location you entered in setup. But if you want forecasts for two locations, click edit and enter the locations along with optional description and both locations will have 7 day forecasts. You can also click on "Hourly" and get expanded display of the icons, one for each of the next 14 hours.
If you want to check the location being used, there is a link on the lower right next to the forecast that lists the latitude and longitude. Click on that and you will get a map.
Area DiscussionThis is weather forecasters talking to weathermen. It can get technical but hovering over the underlined abbreviations will give a pop-up of the definition. You can also click on the title and see the source NWS discussion page without the L-36.com formatting.
Weather Reporting Stations
This data is from the National Data Buoy Center, part of NOAA. There are a number Easter Eggs in this section. On the upper left is a link to the data the page uses. Not very useful, but there it is. More useful is clicking on the station name. That will take you to the station page. Each station has a page which shows what data that station collects. Each station lists the distance from your base location to the station. Click on that and you will get a map showing the location.
The EDIT link here gives you a distance and the opportunity to include some other reports. The distance is the radius and any station in that radius will be included on your table. You can also select up to three additional stations up to 500 miles away. Finally, you can include ships and drifting buoys by specifying the maximum age of the reports you wish to see. Be aware, that if you specify 5 hours, you may get 5 reports for each ship. For just reports from the last hour, enter 1. Clicking on the title will show the location of the ship for each time displayed.
Below the table is a graph of the closest PORTS station. You can click on the station name and see the station page or you can click on EDIT and select another station. Be aware that if you are not near a PORTS station, this data may not be of interest in which case you can click on (on/off) and it will be gone. If you prefer a table to a graph, click on the (graph/table) option.
Note: The tables in this section are the first of several that you can scroll when using a phone. It does not run off the page, just scroll over to look at the rest of the data. The base page does not scroll so when you are done looking at the table, just scroll down. You do not have to scroll back.
This section is similar to the Buoy section but for airports and with more Easter Eggs. The EDIT page allows the selection of the primary station, the search radius for the rest of the stations, and a section where you can list specific stations. This last feature was added at the request of the Coast Guard. They wanted to list airports over a wide area but only the ones where they could land. Having a large search radius listed too many locations so with this they can specify which airports are shown.
As with the Buoy data, clicking on the airport name will take you to the NOAA page showing data for the last 3 days. I use the actual data that the aircraft would receive and you can see that by clicking on the age readout. This data is very difficult to decode but that is the data that this page decodes so if you want to see it, there it is. Clicking on the wind report data takes you to the NWS page for the airport. This is different than the page you get from clicking on the airport name. That one is a table and this one is more graphical. They are both useful. Clicking on the Temperature data gives yet another page for the airport. This one has a graph and a table of historical observations but they are more frequent than the main page. Next is a quick link to the page that has 5 minute data for the main airport.
Below the main table is a graph or table (options) of the last three days of wind speed, gusts, and direction for the primary airport.
The default setup is for two locations. One being tides and the other current. Using EDIT you can change the location. On the tide station, you can select a distance and the readouts will indicate when the tide gets to that depth. On the graph, there will be a red line at that depth. Both the table and graph will read out the times that the tide crosses this depth. I use that to tell me if I can leave the channel when leaving or entering the harbor. The Tide/Current links take you to the NOAA tide or current pages where you can get current data on different depths and tide predictions. If it is critical, I suggest using this data rather than the xTide data on this site. There are also links to switch to displays of the upcoming weekend or to the 7 day tide page also linked at the top of the Weather page.
Weather MapThere are two versions of the weather map, Pacific and Atlantic. The one displayed is the black and white version which shows the half of each ocean close to shore. I find this map easier to read than the color one which shows the entire ocean. If you want to see that one, click on the underlined Weather Map at the end of the title line.
There are two options for the Satellite map. You can click EDIT and change the map that is displayed. There are 17 of them. The program picks the one it thinks is the most relevant but feel free to pick another if you desire. Second, you can click on the loop and play a loop of the last about four hours.
Ground RadarThe program picks the closest radar station. If that station is down, which happens occasionally, the next closest is displayed. If you click on the title, you go to the NWS map that stitches all the radars together. You can zoom in there to find your region or look at other regions.
In Other NewsFinally, there are a couple of hundred articles on this site written by various authors. They are now organized by topic which makes it much easier to find ones you might be interested in. Again, everything has been edited to make it "mobile friendly". I hope you enjoy this site. Please leave a message in the Contact section if you have any questions or suggestions. I thank you for reading this far.
*OK, actually no awards. Just lots of happy users.
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