The web gives you access to a lot more weather information than the VHF broadcasts, analysis of what is behind the forecasts and graphical presentations of the data. Here are the sites we found useful during this year's Squadron Weather class.
CURRENT REPORTED CONDITIONS
FORECASTS AND BIG PICTURE
For the Salish Sea you only need the first three.
Pacific weather maps: Select the Pacific Marine tab and scroll down to surface maps, current and 24, 48 or 96 hours out from NOAA (computer models plus human review) Note the wind/wave charts are for offshore, they include ocean swell and have no relations to conditions in the Salish Sea or Inside Passage.
University of Washington local forecast simulation maps, each with a large table of options:
GFS Link has a WRF-GFS 4 km Domain out to 84 hours. Scroll down to the 4 km Surface and try 10m wind Speed for Western WA which is the tightest coverage of Puget Sound up to Nanaimo. Select either a LOOP or the forecast hour you would like. (There is a higher resolution 1.3km set which you may want to watch, although it looks ahead only 60 hours and is computed last. (See Salish App below for easier to use presentations combining 1.3 and 4 km results)
Ensembles to compare a collection of computer models
Note: the first frame of the simulations is the initialization; the model becomes effective in frames 2 or 3.
NDFD forecast grids to 5 km resolution prepared by NOAA regional centers, accessible in XML or graphical form (source for XM and Sirius satellite radio plots).
Forecast maps of wind, pressure and waves for the world's oceans offering 0.5 degree GFS and some NAM computer models. Passage Weather
The University of British Columbia has made their 412-km simulation available at MM5N Canada. Try the WRF NAM or GFS 12km in the selection table, then pick the latest initialization, the Colored Surface Winds oe Colored Wind Speeds, and either Show Movies or time desired. Note this is low resolution compared with the UW simulations above and does not have the same quality of terrain modeling for winds.
These two excellent general weather sites access lots of other resources and some explanations. If a link is broken above you might be able to find its new location though one of these pages. Or check them out when you just want to do some weather web surfing: