Companies that must perform ocean transport, services, or construction should use a marine meteorologist when time means money. I have been involved in marine and tropical marine weather forecasting, hindcasting, and research for 40 years and the key to getting the most out of your marine meteorologist is communication. Weather Research Center has found that a good communication system between your operational teams and marine meteorologist operations can help to avoid or minimize costly weather impacts. Your meteorologist should be a Board Certified Consulting Meteorologist [CCM], a meteorologist certified by the American Meteorological Society, a Royal Meteorological Society Chartered Meteorologist [CMet], or a Qualified Environmental Professional [QEP] by the Institute for Professional Environmental Practice.
The key to understanding the impact of weather on your operations is to have dialogue where you communicate to the marine meteorologists your critical operating limits, weather window needs, and provide daily weather observations. This enables the meteorologists to provide you with information and forecasts that are tailored to your specific needs. The meteorologist should have a knowledge of your operation and how the weather can impact your operations in order to find the weather windows to provide safe operating conditions.
One of the first uses of your meteorologists is to find out what type of weather conditions typically impact the site for your operations or the route to your operations. Do storms or high swells impact your operations? Are you in a region impacted by tropical cyclone, winter storms, ice accumulation, or sudden weather changes? These are all good questions that your marine meteorologist can help answer.
A good example of this in the northern hemisphere would be the forecast of Hurricane Sandy as it moved up the east coast in 2012. Sandy developed a very large windfield with an extremely long fetch of tropical storm force winds that allowed the waves to grow to larger heights than would normally be created from a storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 knots. The fetch is the distance that the winds blows over the ocean from the same direction.
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