by Thomas Theisen
Chris Parker, Chief Forecaster for the USA's Marine Weather Center (www. MWXC.com), has a passion for both weather and boating and he shares his extensive knowledge of marine weather through his vessel-specific weather forecasts and routing advice over the SSB radio (every morning except Sundays) and through his live, interactive marine weather webinars at www.SevenSeasU.com.
He’s so good that Chris Parkers live seminars are often a sell-out, so the webinars are a great opportunity for people around the world - .. .
As a youngster, Chris enjoyed boating with his dad and bought his first boat at age 12. Soon after he was racing on sailboats ranging from a Sunfish, Laser, Flying Scot, Lightning, and Star to various PHRF and ULDB racing boats. He lived aboard full-time for 12 years with his partner, Michael Zidziunas, and Wizard the cat and they cruised full time for five years, visiting the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, and most of the US east coast - first on their 1965 Cheoy Lee 30' ketch Dragon Lady and then on their 1966 Morgan 34' sloop Bel Ami. They took pride in traveling an average of 5,000 miles each year, while burning an average of about 50 gallons of diesel.
Since Chris had long been involved in weather forecasting – he actually forecast the weather each day during third grade, something that he continued to do through high school—and since he had studied Meteorology for two years at Lyndon State College in Vermont, it wasn’t long until cruising friends realized his special skill at marine weather forecasting. They were soon hailing him on SSB and VHF radios for his forecasts. In 2002, Chris was a speaker on weather at a gathering of 300 Cruisers in Baltimore, MD (the SouthBound Cruisers Reunion). Since then he has presented more than 30 seminars to various groups.
When David Jones of the Caribbean Weather Center passed away in 2003, Chris became Chief Forecaster for the Caribbean Weather Center. He retired from this position in December of last year and started Marine Weather Center, where he provides weather forecasting and routing advice, mainly to small private yachts. Chris is the author of Coastal and Offshore Weather: The Essential Handbook.
This June/July Chris will present five live, interactive marine weather webinars in conjunction with Seven Seas U, the educational branch of Seven Seas Cruising Association. These webinars are available to anyone who has a good Internet connection – you don’t need to be an SSCA member to register (although SSCA members receive a discount), and several of the seminars are non-country specific, so Australians can equally benefit. Chris has a real knack for presenting marine weather in a practical and easy to understand way. Go to www.SevenSeasU.com
to register, though they might be occurring at some unusual times for Australian participants.
Weather 101: Basic Marine Weather – June 15
'Every time I present this seminar, I'm amazed how many people tell me that, for the first time, they now really understand something about Marine Weather,' says Chris Parker. 'And the course is not just for beginners - we explore atmospheric lift/convection, which many advanced courses gloss-over, and devote lots of time to convergence and convection and TROFs. I take a practical approach, keep the discussion relevant to Marine weather, and use real-world examples, so you'll remember what you learn long after the webinar.' Prerequisites: None. This is an excellent foundation weather course. Once you understand 'Weather 101', you'll be better prepared to get the most out of other weather courses and weather books.
Weather 102: Advanced Marine Weather – June 16
After a brief review of several key lessons from 'Weather 101', we'll launch into a discussion of how upper-air events influence Marine Weather. In contrast to dry, technical studies of upper-air weather, limiting the discussion to surface influences aids comprehension, as do the many real-world examples. We then look at some examples of weather forecast products (examples of products, their pluses & minuses, how to obtain them), and a lengthy question & answer session, during which Chris will field questions on any weather-related or cruising-related topic. Weather 102 pulls-together all you learned in Weather 101, and shows you how to make use of your new weather knowledge. Prerequisites: Weather 101: Basic Marine Weather
Caribbean & Bahamas Weather – Local Effects, and Local Knowledge - Monday, July 11. (This is naturally only useful for Australians if you are contemplating a visit to the Caribbean any time soon.)
GRIB data (all you need to know about Numerical Weather Products) - Tuesday, July 12
Go to www.SevenSeasU.com
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2:25 AM Sun 5 Jun 2011 GMT
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