While we were worrying about dodging Hurricane Ida in Providencia, Colombia, we used Carolyn’s free software recommendation to keep track of exactly where the hurricane was and where it was predicted to be. This software, called Global Tracks, imports the NOAA tech advisory data from e-mails you subscribe to via either Saildocs or directly from NOAA and created a visual map. Easy hurricane tracking at a glance!
Carolyn’s description and instructions have been updated in the PDF but are so easy to use we were up and running in minutes. The downside is you have to set it up before you leave a good internet connection, but after that, you just import the sailmail, winlink or other e-mail from NOAA or NOAA/saildocs and voila, you see a useful map showing your location and how close the hurricane will track to your spot.
For a reprint of the article originally published in Blue Water Sailing in April 2006, visit Carolyn’s website The Boat Galley, click here.
Here’s the intro from the Blue Water Sailing article FYI —
If your boat is in hurricane waters, keeping an eye on tropical storms is a primary concern. But how do you do it when you can’t just turn on The Weather Channel? A weatherfax will show you where the storm is, but won’t give you a detailed forecast of where it may go. For a while, we tried listening to various weather broadcasts on SSB, writing down coordinates and then transposing them to a chart. Then I discovered that I could get National Hurricane Center advisories e-mailed to me, which I then spent a half hour or more plotting. This was better, but still took too long. There had to be a better way!