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Current Swell, Wind and Weather
Current weather overview
Current weather events can be viewed for the UK and Ireland under the Current Weather tab on the main menu. There are two main views: land-based data (mainly focusing on wind), and marine buoy data (mainly focusing on current wave characteristics and wind). All current weather observations are automatically collected by Bigsalty every 30 minutes (this time frame does vary, and in an instance where the data is deemed too old to be accurate, this data will be omitted). It is always important when considering usefulness of the data to check the issue time for when the data was reported, and this can be done by rolling your mouse over the arrow and buoy icons.
Using Current Weather
- The map shows both land-based data and marine buoy data and can be switched between by clicking on the relevant icon.
- To refresh the view of the map so it appears small again, you can reset it by clicking the ‘rest/Show UK ’ button in the bottom LH corner.
- Navigation involves clicking on the map perimeter or zooming using a click and drag action with the mouse. Another more intuitive way to navigate involves holding down the space bar whilst clicking and dragging the mouse.
By clicking on Land-based data, you can access current weather data from land stations around the UK . The wind arrows on the map indicate wind direction and their size is a rough indication of the wind strength. The colour of the wind arrow always represents the Beaufort measurement of the wind for quick reference.
Info available: On rolling over the individual arrows, an issue date and issue time is displayed, as well as the reporting station’s name, elevation and the exact wind speed at that location. It is important to consider the station’s elevation, (which is the height above sea level) because if the elevation is significantly higher than sea level the reading may not accurately represent the conditions at the beach.
By clicking the mouse on the wind arrow it is possible to see more data in greater detail. Some or all of the following data is available: reading time & date/wind strength and direction/temperature/dew point/visibility/general weather observation and sky condition. You can also access the wind history graph, which is described as below.
- Wind history graph: The land-based data includes a graph of historical wind at this location. Note that this graph represents the wind strength but does not incorporate direction. This can be a helpful tool if you follow the trends in the graph to interpret local wind behaviour. For example, a steady increase in wind speed on a sunny afternoon with a cumulus cloud build up may indicate a building sea breeze. Another tip is to interpret the advance of wind patterns by viewing stations further down the coast.
Marine buoy data
By clicking on Marine Buoy Data, you can access current weather data from marine buoys around the coast. The buoy size is a rough indication on the swell size. Colour is an exact indication of the band that the swell height exists in.
Info available: On rolling the mouse over these buoy icons the following data is shown: station name/issue time and date/wave height/wave period and wind speed. By clicking on the buoy icon it is possible to view the extra data, which includes water temperature/air pressure/pressure tendency/air temperature/dew point and visibility. You can also access the below three graphs:
- Wave period history graph: By clicking on the ‘view wave period history’ button you can view wave periods that are appropriately labelled time steps. You can use this to determine spikes for when maximum period swell might hit your beach.
- Wave height history graph: By clicking on the ‘view height wave history’ button you can view the wave height history at this location. Again this can be useful when determining when a spike might reach your beach.
- Wind speed history graph: By clicking the ‘view wind speed history’ button, you can view wind history over the past 24-hours for the location.