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Guide to Numerical Weather Prediction published

The Nautical Institute has published a practical guide for mariners which explains the benefits and limitations of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP).

The book “cuts through the jargon and complexity to provide mariners with the confidence and knowledge to exploit all of the advantages of modern meteorology and to avoid the pitfalls,” says author Huw Davies, a former Commander in the Royal Navy.

Entitled ‘Numerical Weather Prediction – a practical guide for mariners’, it explains the NWP production process and examines the accuracy and characteristics of the main meteorological and wave models.

It demonstrates how seafarers can evaluate the many digital weather products on offer and also create their own forecasts using freely available NWP sources.

The Nautical Institute notes that, while NWP has made forecasts more accurate and helped develop services such as routeing advice, weather still accounts for a significant share of total losses of shipping (45 per cent between 2006 and 2010, according to the International Union of Marine Insurance).

Mariners need to be able to recognise when they are being presented with NWP, establish its source and the characteristics and performance of the particular NWP model and make informed judgements on suitability and use, the Institute notes.

“Information should be reliable and in a format that supports decision-making,” sums up David Patraiko, director of projects at the Institute.

“This guide should help mariners to make the best use of the technology in a practical and professional way.”

‘Numerical Weather Prediction – a practical guide for mariners’ is available from The Nautical Institute at the price of £30.

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