Planning an offshore trip? Inshore early season flounder fishing? Bayside cobia run? Here are the weather links we use. Most of the forecasting here is for trips based out of Chincoteague Virginia, however the models shown here do apply to a wide range along the east coast. If you are planning on a long offshore run sometime in the fall winter or spring you have to look for weather windows. Summer weather is usually much calmer, but still, I prefer to plan a trip out days in advance to coordinate with low winds. We are not running a large sport-fisher yacht so we have to take the winds and seas into account every trip.
If you are here because it is 4am and you are checking the weather before you go, the plots below are for you (wave height period windspeed etc)
If you are here because you are plotting a trip a few days out, or want to be a general weather nerd, scroll down, or “Click Here”
The plots below show Buoy #44089, this is the newer weather buoy located about 5 miles off of Wallops Island. I check these plots frequently to look for a trend in the last few days seeing if the sea is dropping out or if the periods are getting larger. My rule of thumb, 8 second periods and great is good, less it will be very bumpy. I also included the OC weather buoy wave heights (first plot below) just to compare if its better to the North. Make sure to look at the title for the right location! The lower plots are average and dominate wave periods. Dominate period might be a big swell that you would hardly notice, but if it is blowing 17knots and you see an average wave period of 4 seconds, you know it will be really choppy. Below those are Water temp plots for the Wallops buoy and then the harbor at Wachapreague VA.
Windguru model for Assateague Island
Current Conditions 5 miles off Wallops island
I added this plot below mainly for early spring flounder fishing. This is the station located at Wachapreague harbor. Watch this in early spring for temps to climb over 50 degrees.
To get the latest marine forecasts from NOAA for the different sectors off our coast. I typically look at the inshore, then the offshore a few days in advance.
Click Here —> NOAA marine zone forecast
Now on to fishweather. This is a free service that I started using about 2 years ago I now I rely heavily on it. This is where you can really see small weather windows opening up and in certain areas you othewise wouldnt know. This is a wind only forecast for the free version, but that is what I am after. I do not like to fish in winds over 15-17knots. In fact I really try to find window when the wind is switching or is around 5knots, those are the days I try to plan around. If you want the weather model info scroll down more, if you want to see the site and start planning your trip, click below.
Click Here ->>> Fishweather wind models 7 day forecast
Windytv if a new website we have started using in polar forecasting and I will be trying it more next year. It has multiple models for their data (ECMWF, GFS, NAM) It also includes winds, wave heights, pressure and other data. Worth checking out.
Click Here —> WindyTV.com
Get the latest FREE sea surface temp here from Rutgers. The satellite passes over a few times every night, there is a good chance you get get a new shot around 5am
Click Here —> Sea surface temperatures from Rutgers University
Also you can check out TerpSST, it uses the best Rutgers image and you can measure distance etc, also has a phone app.
click Here —> Terp SST
Now here is neat link using the NASA Worldview web portal. I have add two sets of chlorophyll overlays and 2 sets of temperature overlays. When you first click it will bring up today’s date, you need to move the slider back a day to see current data (yesterdays) At first only chlorophyll A is selected from both the Terra and Aqua satellites. If you want, you can view SST here by enabling the layers at the top left, (you would want to disable the chlorophyll layer) So why is this important? Well less chlorophyll means bluer water. Sometimes you have a hot water eddy but the color is horrible green, this chart can tell you water color before you head out. Use this in combination with the SSTs. At the bottom right there are GPS coordinates, you can copy them down when you point at a break you want to plot on your map.
Click Here—> NASA Worldview portal with chlorophyll and SST
The University of Delaware has some good real time satellite imagery on their website, They also do a composite image of SST, Chlorophyll, Salinity, Modis (visible) and a new neat one called “sea scapes” which shows different water types. I really want ot see if this seascapes can be usefull.
Click Here —> Udel realtime Sea surface temp
Click Here —> Udel realtime salinity
Click Here —> Udel realtime MODIS (visible)
Click Here —> Udel realtime chlorophyll
Click Here —> Udel realtime Seascapes, this one could be interesting to find different bodies of water
Another current site with good ocean bathymetry
Found this link at NOAA with some good information, need to research this further this year