Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Seminar

Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Seminar

Learn a little weather forecasting and reduce the uncertainty of boating on the Great Lakes. While it isn’t possible to predict the weather with total precision, it doesn’t mean that the weather must be entirely unpredictable. The Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Seminar is designed to provide Great Lakes power boaters and sailors with an understanding of basic marine weather forecasting. With these skills, you can:

  • Improve your decision-making for family outings.
  • Enhance your confidence in planning long-distance journeys.
  • Improve your racing performance.
  • Reduce the likelihood of being exposed to uncomfortable or hazardous weather conditions.

What you can expect to learn at the seminar:

  • How to decode the confusing symbols and meteorological shorthand on forecast graphics.
  • How to predict the development and movement of low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries.
  • Why the wind behaves the way it does and how to prepare a detailed wind forecast.
  • How to prepare a detailed wave height forecast.
  • How to forecast the potential and nature of severe weather.
  • The terminology used by the National Weather Service during hazardous and severe weather events.
  • How to use Doppler weather radar to help you avoid a hair-raising encounter with a thunderstorm.
  • Where to find forecast graphics and a strategy for preparing a multi-day marine forecast.

The workshop combines traditional classroom instruction, case studies and several hands-on forecasting exercises to create an engaging learning experience.  The seminar is offered in a full-day or half-day format.

  • Full-day seminar outline - click here
  • Half-day seminar outline - click here

Download the flyer describing the full-day or half-day seminar.

Comments From Previous Seminars

  • Best weather seminar ever!!! My husband is a licensed captain and has attended several as well as basics in his classes and testing and in the 60 years he's been sailing.... He said it was, by far, the best weather seminar he has ever attended. 
  • I just wish I had half the knowledge Mark does! He's incredibly well-versed in both the topics of weather AND sailing, and I really enjoyed listening to him, not to mention I learned quite a bit as well!
  • I took your Great Lakes course at the Sandusky Sailing Club probably five years ago and still draw on the knowledge I learned there - you are a very good teacher of a complex topic.  We now live on our sailboat full time and cruise the Atlantic coast from the Bahamas to Maine.

About The Presenter

Mark Thornton has been sailing for more than 25 years and currently owns Osprey, a C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Penn State University Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting, a two-year program that develops skills in general, tropical, and severe weather forecasting.

He is the president of LakeErieWX LLC, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters ( Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches basic forecasting seminars to recreational boaters during the off-season. He has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Race to Mackinac since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.

As both a sailor and a meteorologist, I am uniquely qualified to improve the weather-related skills of your members. Please contact me by email or call 440-250-9179 to learn how a weather forecasting seminar can help address your organization's educational, safety, and membership goals.

Click here to view my meteorological resume or here to read about my marine weather forecasting seminars and workshops.

Interested in reading and learning more about marine weather? A few times each year, I publish an article on an interesting marine weather event. Click here to subscribe to my 'no spam' email distribution list.

Phone: 440.250.9179

Upcoming Seminars & Presentations

Now scheduling for 2018/2019

December 18, 2018
Weather Forecasting Apps
Great Lakes Cruising Club School
Online Webinar

Click here for more information.

January 11, 2019
Chicago Boat, Sail & RV Show

  • Thunderstorms: A Primer for Coastal & Inland Sailors -- 2:15 to 3:15 pm
  • Doppler Weather Radar: A Sailor's Best Friend -- 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Click here for more information.

January 12, 2019
Chicago Boat, Sail & RV Show

  • Weather Apps -- 1:00 to 2:00 pm
  • Demystifying The Wind -- 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Click here for more information.

January 13, 2019
Creating Your Chicago-Mac Forecast: A Workshop For Sailors
Chicago Boat, Sail & RV Show
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

Click here for more information.

January 15 & 17, 2019
Basic Marine Weather Forecasting
S.T.E.M. For High School Students
The Foundry
Cleveland, OH

Click here for more information.

February 26, March 5, 12, & 19, 2019
Great Lakes Cruising Club Weather Savvy Mariner Webinar Series
Online Webinars

Click here for more information.

March 6, 13 , & 20, 2019
Weather Savvy Wednesdays
Edgewater Yacht Club
Cleveland, OH

Click here for more information.

March 9, 2019
Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Forecasting
Columbia Yacht Club
Chicago, IL

Click here for more information.

April 27 & 28, 2019
Marine Weather Forecasting - Two Day Masters Class
Cruisers University-Annapolis Boat Shows
Annapolis, Maryland
Click here to register at Cruisers University.
Click here for additional information on the seminar.

Seminar Reviews
"You have a passion for meteorology that is contagious and a gift for communicating a complex subject." -- Steve H.

Click here for more testimonials.