Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors

Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors

No aspect of weather is more important to sailors than the wind. It dictates when it is safe to leave port and whether your journey will be fast or comfortable. On the race course, properly predicting the wind separates the winners from the losers.

This workshop is designed for sailors of all experience levels and interests. Accurately forecasting the wind promotes safer, more enjoyable outings and improves performance on the race course. Whether you are a day sailor, long-distance cruiser, beer-can racer, or serious competitor, the skills learned during this workshop will enhance your understanding of the wind and improve your sailing experience.

What you can expect to learn at the workshop:

  • Why the wind behaves the way it does.
  • How to translate the confusing symbols and meteorological shorthand on forecast graphics.
  • The basics of lake breezes, land breezes, thunderstorms, clouds and other dynamics that produce localized and short-term changes in the wind.
  • Ways to judge the likelihood, strength and duration of headers/lifts.
  • A methodology for observing the wind and using on-line resources to develop your own forecast.
  • Strategies for using your wind-forecasting knowledge to your advantage, whether you are a day sailor, cruiser or serious racer.

The workshop combines traditional classroom instruction, case studies and several hands-on forecasting exercises to create an engaging learning experience.

  • Click here for a detailed outline of this workshop.
  • Click here for the workshop flier.

Comments From Previous Seminars

  • I thought the Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors was a great in-depth look at weather and forecasting, some of it was review, but so much of the program gave me a greater understanding of the elements of a forecast that I'm looking at. It was great!
  • I have attended many workshops and I can say yours ranks at the top. The material covered and your way of presenting it made for a great day.
  • What a great seminar on weather and wind forecasting at the BCYC. Mark did such a good job helping me plan our day on the water. If you are new to sailing/boating or an old salt this will benefit your sailing experience. I'll certainly be at the next seminar! Thanks.

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.