Modern Marine Weather (Third Edition)
by David Burch
The problem with teaching marine weather is the same problem as celestial navigation: How do you demonstrate a three-dimensional concept so that the recipient can visualize it? A book on marine weather represents a daunting subject, but once again David Burch has delivered a book that can be managed by expert and novice alike.
The chapter “Strong Wind Systems” exemplifies Burch’s pragmatic yet encyclopedic approach to difficult subjects. For the sailor who wants to take a few rules of thumb for execution on the water, Burch offers a set of 12 steps for managing squalls at sea. For the more advanced, he provides elaborate diagrams of cloud profiles, tables of percentages and a detailed description of how to better understand forecast modeling. The same is true of the chapter “Working with Weather Maps,” which starts with a description on under-standing surface maps and then moves into a detailed description of 500-mb weather maps, which show characteristics of wind at about 18,000 feet.
Why is this important? Burch explains: “The ultimate wind we feel on the surface depends on what is taking place up here with these winds aloft: how fast it is, whether it is rising or sinking, whether it is diverging or converging, as well as which specific direction the flow is proceeding across the globe, and how this pattern might be changing with time.”
Burch’s particular genius is to convey how and why context matters in understanding and predicting weather conditions at sea. The third edition of Modern Marine Weather puts the latest information about marine weather forecasting at your fingertips.