As a former Senior Forecaster for the Met Office, an RYA Yachtmaster, the creator of the superb weather internet site ‘Frank’s Weather’ and a CA member of longstanding, Frank Singleton needs no introduction. This book is the latest addition to the Reeds Comprehensive Pocket Guide Series.
This book is divided into 9 chapters: ‘Air masses’, ‘Fronts and depressions’, ‘Sea and land effects’, ‘Waves and swell’, ’Weather forecasting - the background’, ‘Using forecasts - and your experience’, ‘Sources of weather information’, ‘Getting forecasts’ and finally, ‘Observing - learning by experience’. There is an Appendix containing terms, acronyms, abbreviations and sources of information plus an Index.
The 143 colour-coded pages are packed with essential information for the cruising sailor - whether sail or power. The book focuses on the practicalities of obtaining, understanding and using advice from weather forecasts, personal observation and experience. Meteorology is a complex subject and this pocket book keeps the theory to a necessary minimum to give a basic understanding of the background to forecasts and their production. Photographs, synoptic charts, diagrams, tables and GRIB wind charts are all used effectively to aid understanding. A picture or table ‘tells a thousand words’ and saves endless paragraphs of description. Examples of weather phenomena are taken from the UK, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, NW Europe and the Caribbean so wherever you cruise you will come across weather references and examples with which you can identify.
That the author is a sailor is evident in virtually every paragraph of this small but mighty book. Each topic is explored and explained from the perspective of a small boat sailor. As an example of this the 8 pages on ‘Waves and swell’ are not to be found in longer books on weather purporting to be written for the leisure sailor. Just published in 2014, this Guide is bang up-to-date in terms of sources of weather information and receiving equipment for weather forecasts.
I can thoroughly recommend this book. I have already bought my personal copy and will be encouraging my Day Skipper and Yachtmaster students to buy it. CA members will not be disappointed by this practical explanation of a complex but essential subject for all sailors whether ‘stick and string’ or power.
Darryl Hughes 388 words