3. Support Request, by email or website
4. Support Requests - more info
5. Unable to Transmit on SSB? That's OK, I can broadcast your forecast!
6. Why is your forecast different from forecasts from other sources?
7. What areas are covered in Regional Daily Email forecasts?
8. What is the "<" symbol in my email forecast
9. What is "N ROUTE" and "S ROUTE" in my email forecast?
10. I need help interpreting Regional Daily EMail forecasts
11. What methods of payment are accepted?
12. Is your website secure?
13. I'm still worried about credit card security?
14. How can I receive my forecast?
15. Can you email me a copy of an old forecast / forecast for a previous day?
16. Custom (vessel-specific) forecasts by Email
17. I'm on a long passage. How much will Custom (vessel-specific) email forecasts cost?
18. I want a Custom forecast by email. How do you decide when to send the forecast?
19. What if weather is no good?
20. How do I order another forecast?
21. Will you monitor the weather and contact us if things change?
22. How often should I request a new Custom Email forecast?
23. Can you give me a waypoint to head toward?
24. Sharing forecasts with others
25. Position Reports
26. Pacific Ocean - do you provide forecasts, or know someone who does?
You can participate in interactive, real-time SSB Voice Nets from almost any Internet-connected device.
Login to your account here:
With your username & password
Once logged-in to your account at mwxc.com, click one of the 2 "WEBCAST" links in the upper-right area of the screen.
Link takes you to appropriate Greenlight Collaboration meeting "waiting room".
Click the "Click to Join" meeting link, and you'll enter the meeting room.
"Low-bandwidth" Webcasts stream:
--my voice and SSB Net audio
--allows you to text questions
--this is in FLASH format, so may not work on some iPhones/iPads, unless you use a FLASH workaround (see below).
"High-bandwidth" Webcasts stream:
--my Computer Desktop (you can see the weather details I'm describing)
--my voice & Webcam, and SSB Net audio
--allows you to text questions
-- this is NOT in FLASH format, but, unfortunately, the Computer Desktop streaming is not supported on iPads/iPhones, unless you use a workaround (see below).
Workaround for iPad/iPhone:
There are many solutions for viewing FLASH content on iPads/iPhones. Feel free to try others, but I have had great success with "Photon" web browser.
Purchase for $4.99 from iTunes store (I have NO relationship with the developer, and receive NO kickback). Open "Photon" browser, and login to your account as above. Preferably, BEFORE you select which Webcast to enter, click the "Lightning Bolt" icon (upper-right corner of Browser screen) to enter FLASH mode.
--if you want to type a question, click the box into which you want to enter text, then press the "Keyboard" icon on the navigation bar at the top of the screen. To make keyboard vanish, press this icon again.
--Photon nicely displays the ENTIRE screen I send - just scroll around to view different parts of the screen.
--use the "Settings" cog-wheel icon to select Bandwidth and other options.
--to access other TABS you have open, click the odd "diagonal-shaped pennant and + sign" icon to the left of the address box.
Each time I have contact with a client, I make a NOTE in the database. I can elect to email that NOTE to all email addresses you have selected to receive emails/notes/support.
This works well to email you a brief note if I think you have not copied me well on the SSB Voice Nets, or if you have family back home wanting to know where you are, etc.
If you want me to email NOTEs every time I make one, please let me know (they'd be emailed to all addresses set to receive email/notes/support).
When you email me at email@example.com my system searches the database for client records matching your email address, then tells me when I need to answer your email.
IMPORTANT: the email address in the "From" or "Reply-To" fields of your support request should match an email address in your client record at mwxc.com (questions from existing clients are given priority, and if the system can't match From/Reply-to to your client record, it will assume you are not a client).
The Subject Line of your Support Request MUST contain 3 items (4th is optional):
1. Priority (H, M, L) corresponding to high (you must have an answer) / medium (you would really appreciate an answer) / low (I should answer you only if I have ample time).
2. Date, for example: 05-Dec-2011
Format of date can be:
US standard DD/MM/YY or YYYY (for example 12/5/11)
my preferred format above DD-Month-YY or YYYY (05-Dec-2011)
or even Month DD, YY or YYYY (Dec 5, 2011)
3. Time, in even hours EST/EDT for example: 1700 (1700 hrs EST/EDT)
4. (Optional but suggested) brief text subject, for example: when should I tack
Each item should be separated by a comma. So, the subject line for the above request would look like this:
H, 12/5/11, 1700, when should I tack
NOTE: Weather-related questions should be answered as late as possible, so I can base my answer on the best possible information - while still giving you time to retrieve my answer and incorporate my answer into your plans.
When you follow the above protocol, here's what happens:
--Your support request appears on my computer, in the proper order so I have the best chance to answer all support requests from existing clients in a timely manner.
--All interactions I have with you, including this support request, are contained in your client record, so I have all your information whenever we interact.
--I provide you with the best possible answer to your question at the optimum time.
If you send a follow-up Support Request, you may remove the old message body (to reduce email size). Within the subject line, you may adjust Priority, Date, Time...but do NOT alter or remove the xxxxx-xxxxx Support Ticket number.
If you have Internet access, you can login to your account at mwxc.com then enter your Support Request from your Client Panel or the Contact page - these are handled in the same manner as email requests.
You can still use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address for general correspondence, but if you require an answer, I will get you that answer better and faster if you email questions to: email@example.com
When I am on vacation and Ed Bilicki fills in for me, Ed will receive and respond to Support Requests sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (and entered on the website) just as I do.
Support Requests emailed to email@example.com are the BEST way for all clients to get useful and timely answers from me on both weather-related and account-related questions.
We've fine-tuned the Support Request feature, as follows:
Requests submitted WITHOUT suggested SUBJECT LINE are now treated as requiring an answer immediately. Previously, they were treated as non-critical requests.
For best service, please include the following in the SUBJECT LINE of your email to firstname.lastname@example.org :
Priority (H, M, L for high, medium, low), Date-answer-required (any date format you like, but note xx/xx/xxxx will be read as mm/dd/yyyy), Time-answer-required (in hours EST), Subject
Each separated by a COMMA...for instance:
H, 1/14/2012, 1600, when should I cross Anegada Passage
The above request will be treated as critical (High priority), and I'll make every effort to answer it no later than Jan 14, 2012 at 1600 hours EST.
By including the above in your SUBJECT LINE, I will be able to get you the best possible answer at the most-appropriate time.
If you do NOT include the above information in your SUBJECT LINE, then I will have to guess when I should respond.
When replying to (or re-opening) a Support Request, please enter your reply text BELOW the appropriate line...
DELETE ALL of the message body except for the new text you're sending.
If you simply add your text to the BEGINNING of the email, my system will NOT display the text for me.
I hope the Support Request feature, and other current (and planned) features make Marine Weather Center an even-more-valuable resource when you're Cruising. Thank you for your continuing support!...Chris.
If you're unable to transmit on SSB (or I'm consistently unable to hear you when you do), we can still transmit your forecast on the SSB Voice Nets (usually right after the Synopsis), if you do the following:
1. Your email should have the following in the SUBJECT LINE:
H, 1/25/2012, 0600, Transmit forecast on SSB Net
Where H is the priority (high)
1/25/2012 is the date you want me to BEGIN broadcasting the forecast
0600 is the time (important that it's 0600 so I see it 1st thing in the morning)
Transmit forecast on SSB Net tells me what you need
2. in the MESSAGE BODY your:
a. vessel name
c. Plan (i.e. where you're going, when, and anything else I should know)
d. the SSB Net on which you'd like me to broadcast your forecast
Alternatively, you can ask another vessel to hail me with the above information, or you can call me ahead of time with the above information, at 863-248-2702, and I'll broadcast your forecast as requested.
It's best if you update the above information as frequently as possible, by any means possible.
If I'm broadcasting your forecast over a number of days, please close-the-loop by telling me when I can stop broadcasting your forecast.
I employ a unique methodology, which I call the "worst likely scenario". When preparing your forecast, I consider what might happen, and include in the forecast details for the worst of the plausible scenarios.
This differs from other forecasts, which give you the most-likely scenario.
3 Regions available:
E Caribbean (E of 72W)
Bahamas/W Atlantic/US E Coast (as far N as Southern NewEngland in summer)
W Caribbean (W of 72W)
The < symbol indicates a change in conditions over the relevant time period. Read "<" as "becoming".
"240@18<15 this afternoon" means wind will be 240-degrees, starting this afternoon at 18k and becoming 15k.
The Bahamas Regional Email forecast offers specific forecast and recommendations on the GulfStream between:
FtPierce / LkWorth - to - MantanillaShola / MemoryRock / WEnd (N ROUTE)
Miami / FtLaud / KyLargo - to - Bimini / S RidingRk / GtBahamaBk (S ROUTE)
I have a "Primer" for each Region, which details which information is in which sections, and details abbreviations I use. Here are links:
E Caribbean: http://mwxc.com/news/?p=113
W Caribbean: http://mwxc.com/news/?p=116
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
If you strongly prefer to pay by check, please contact: email@example.com
Yes, mwxc.com website has a SSL 3.0 security certificate (notice the "https" on the sign-up form).
We follow credit card industry "best practices", and every 3 months we re-verify "PCI-compliance". While this is no guarantee your data is 100% secure, it is as secure at www.mwxc.com as it is on the Internet's other "most-secure" websites.
If you elect to have your credit card information stored on our system, it is retained in a password-protected file.
There is no requirement to store your credit card information (though I ask you to do so if you expect to order any Custom email or phone-in forecasts).
If you do NOT elect to have our system store your credit card information, then the system NEVER even knows your card number.
Here's how processing works:
When you place an order, your computer transmits all order details (including your credit card information) via a secure connection to the mwxc.com server...which, in real time, forwards credit card information and the amount of the order to ePN, one of the 2 largest payment processing networks in the world.
In real-time, ePN forwards this information to the appropriate credit card network, and they verify with the bank which issued your credit card whether to approve the transaction.
The result (approved or declined) is sent back through the entire network, and you see the result...all in real-time.
While the mwxc.com server forwards your credit card information, it does NOT store the information anywhere. While ePN does store your credit card information, to my knowledge, the largest credit card processing organizations have NEVER been hacked.
Although not often, credit card information is occasionally hacked from a merchant's website (like mwxc.com). But, again, unless you elect to have mwxc.com store your card information, your credit card information is not on the mwxc.com server to be hacked.
Via ANY communications capabilities beyond VHF radio. Basically, if you can communicate with the outside world beyond VHF range, you can receive our forecasts. Methods include: email, phone, fax, and SSB radio voice nets.
Actually, you can retrieve ANY email forecast which was sent to you since April 15, 2011.
Login to your account, then click "View/Search All Regional Forecasts"
We are working on allowing access to email forecasts since April 15, 2011, for Regions which were not sent to you, and for any periods for which you were not a subscriber...if you need one of these, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many clients use our Custom (vessel-specific) email forecasts.
Forecast (except general 10-day Outlook) generally includes:
1. summary of current weather and sea conditions
2. SYNOPSIS of major weather features and their expected influence on you
3. analysis of and optimized routing based on Sea Surface Currents
4. Detailed forecast of wind speed and direction; estimate of wind in squalls; and height, direction and interval of both swells and wind-driven seas - all every 12-hours out to 2-days or 5-days, with more-granularity to time intervals near significant weather events.
5. suggested TACTICS you may wish to employ to optimize your trip, given the expected conditions at each 12-hour interval.
6. suggest when you may want to request your next forecast Update
You can order the initial forecast on the website www.mwxc.com or by phone or email.
Forecasts can be charged to your credit card as you request them, or you can purchase a package of forecasts in advance, as follows:
--Detailed 5-day forecast and routing advice with 10-day Outlook $55
--Detailed 2-day forecast and routing advice $30
--General 10-day Outlook $30 (useful for ensuring vessels on long passages are maintaining the best route for the overall weather pattern, while the vessel handles their own day-to-day forecasting)
--Package of (10) Custom forecasts for $195 (each $30 forecast or $25 phone-in forecast will count as one (1) forecast / each $55 forecast counts as two (2) of your ten (10) forecasts).
TO REQUEST SUBSEQUENT FORECASTS:
email me in the morning with the following, and I'll email your forecast later in the day:
1. your Location, course and speed
2. weather and sea conditions
3. your PLAN (and anything else I should know when preparing your forecast)
4. type of forecast you're requesting:
--5-day forecast $55
--2-day forecast $30
--general 10-day Outlook $30
Schedule your 1st forecast for 1-2 days before your earliest intended departure.
I'll contact you within 24hrs before sending the forecast to confirm favorable weather for your departure. If conditions are not favorable for departure, I'll continue monitoring weather (and communicating with you every couple days) until there's a suitable departure opportunity. So the 1st forecast includes a Departure Window recommendation.
Cost varies depending on how self-reliant you are, and how bad or changeable weather conditions are.
Some self-reliant folks cross the Atlantic with just 3 or 4 "general 10-day Outlooks" and one or two "2-day forecasts" when there's a significant upcoming weather event. Forecasts for their entire Atlantic crossing can be $100-or-so.
Other folks prefer more input from me on their forecasting and routing. Most folks request about $100 of forecasts each week on extended offshore passages.
When you order your initial Custom email forecast, please schedule it for the day before your 1st possible departure date.
On the day before this (2 days prior to your earliest departure date), I'll look at your request, and assess the weather situation, and read any NOTES you've made on the order.
If I assess a delay is advised, or if you've asked me to confirm your departure intentions, I'll contact you by email or phone, and re-schedule your forecast appropriately.
I'll on the day before your forecast is due (2 days prior to your earliest departure date), if conditions do not look acceptable, I'll contact you by phone or email to re-schedule your forecast.
I'll continue doing this as many times as necessary to identify a departure opportunity you deem acceptable.
Of course, once we agree I should send you the detailed forecast, and I send the forecast, if you later decide not to go, the order will still be considered to be completed.
If you elect to have the system SAVE your credit card information, then either you or I can enter an order for a subsequent forecast. You simply order the forecast the day before you need it, or email/call me in the morning on the day you need another forecast, and I'll send it.
While you can order a 10-pack of $30 (2-day detailed email and/or 10-day general email and/or phone-in) forecasts, I prefer to handle the $55 5-day detailed forecasts with 10-day outlooks 1 forecast-at-a-time.
This way, you only pay for the forecasts you actually need.
No. Some folks might object to a forecaster contacting them (and billing them) for forecasts when they don't need them. I have no shortage of work, and no desire to charge you for anything you don't feel you need.
You will usually have a good feeling for when you need another forecast, such as:
My previous forecasts detailed uncertainties in the predicted weather pattern, the possibility for severe weather, or highlighted a specific day on which you'd probably want more information so you could make a decision when to tack, etc.
Or you'll notice your weather conditions are beginning to deviate from the previous forecast.
See the above answer for clues it's time to ask for another forecast.
In general, for extended offshore passages, clients request 2-3 forecasts per week.
I've worked with self-reliant folks who only needed 1 general 10-day outlook each week on their trans-Atlantic passage, to help ensure they were at about the optimum Latitude, and not at risk for a severe storm. These clients can cross the Atlantic on 4-5 forecasts for a total of $100-$150.
More typical is a client requesting 1 or 2 detailed 5-day forecasts per week, and 1 or 2 detailed 2-day forecasts the day before inclement weather...for a total of about $100-or-so per week.
Occasionally there's a good reason to aim for a specific waypoint, and, when this is the case, I'll give you a specific waypoint.
However, it is my strong opinion that clients are best served by sailing their vessel in a manner which is fast and comfortable, while heading basically in the right direction.
For instance, I had 2 clients heading from Florida to E Caribbean this week.
One seemed hell-bent on maintaining a due-E course in spite of strong SE wind, and he ignored or didn't understand my advice to sail "whatever course is comfortable basically to the NE-E". He got battered-up, turned around, and sailed 2 days back to Florida.
The other vessel was more-flexible, sailing generally NE-E, on a consistent beam reach in the brisk SE-S wind, and - he's now sailing nicely E-ward, with mild S wind and excellent prospects for a mild trip to E Caribbean with mild N wind next 2-3 days, before reaching NE-E Trades.
Again, there are situations where navigation is restricted, or where weather trends make sailing in a specific direction (and achieving a specific waypoint) imperative. More often, however, maintaining a comfortable sailing angle while going generally in the right direction is preferable.
You are purchasing limited rights to use my intellectual property on your vessel and, unless you have my express permission, you may NOT redistribute, or cause to be redistributed, my forecasts for use on a vessel you are not physically on.
However, there are some ways you can share:
Feel free to put my forecast into your own words, and share this with others. Be sure you note it's your interpretation of my forecast. Sharing my words is NOT OK. Expressing your own words is fine, as long as people don't think they're my words.
If you believe sharing my forecast on a single occasion may motivate a potential new client to purchase my services, then it's OK to share MY WORDS on that one occasion. However, this is NOT OK on a recurring basis, or if you do not think there's a reasonable chance the sharing could prompt the person you're sharing with to purchase services.
Many vessels have the ability to send Position Reports, and I find these useful in several ways.
I established a special email address for receiving Position Reports from clients. Please send (or copy or blind copy) Position Reports to: email@example.com
In order to match the Position Report to a client (so I can provide better service to you), I need one of the following in the SUBJECT LINE of the Position Report:
A. whatever characters are in the "SSB Call Sign" field of your account at www.mwxc.com (this can be an SSB or Ham Call Sign - but NOT BOTH).
B. the 4-digit "SPOT Email Identifier" field of your account at www.mwxc.com (a 3 or 4 digit number unique to your vessel, assigned by my system, with a "#" symbol before & after the number).
To find either of the above, login to your account at www.mwxc.com (if you don't know your username/password, click "Retrieve Your Login Information" from the Login page, and my system will generate a new password and email it to you).
When my system receives a Position Report at firstname.lastname@example.org it attempts to match words in the SUBJECT LINE of the Position Report to the "SSB Call Sign" and "SPOT Email Identifier" fields of your Client Profile.
Once a match is made, your position is plotted on an interactive map I use to track clients and monitor real-time weather information. See the FAQ on Interactive Weather Map.
In addition, my system attempts to "parse" any weather observation details your Position Report may contain into numerical data, which it graphs for me, so I can see recent weather observation details throughout the area.
And my system displays (and I read) any additional text/comments from your Position Report.
Position Reports can be submitted by any combination of:
SPOT device from Glogalstar (Original SPOT, Spot Connect, SPOT G3), but the SPOT phone is just a phone, and not a position reporting device.
Email via any method
Specific requirements for each are below.
I provide weather forecasting & routing advice for the Pacific Coast of Central America, and adjacent waters, including:
Colombia & Ecuador, Galapagos, and Panama to SanDiego
Forecasts for this area are via SSB Voice Nets or Custom Email or phone-in forecasts (NO "Regional Daily Email forecasts").
If you're heading N of SanDiego, S of Ecuador, or W of the Galapagos, then I suggest you use a different resource.
For folks heading to the SouthPacific, there's Bob McDavitt: