A thoughtfully and masterfully crafted work. It will be my prime recommendation of a book focusing specifically on the application of weather information and knowledge for maritime interests, whatever the size and purpose of the vessel. David thoroughly explores the essentials of meteorology, and does so in a fascinating manner. What makes Modern Marine Weather particularly valuable is the inclusion of countless applications of weather to actual situations faced by sailors or skippers on the water. Reading and absorbing these principles and applications will lead to safer, faster and more efficient passages.
— Jeff Renner, Meteorologist, King 5 TV, Seattle,WA
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I have chosen this book as the definitive text for the wardroom of my U.S. Navy Destroyer. Superior explanations that are as useful for the professional naval officer as they are for the coastal pleasure cruiser or blue water sailor. Consistent with all of David Burch's texts: Easy to read, fascinating, and the absolute best resource.
— CDR Tate Westbrook, CO USS Spruance (DDG111).
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No subject is more important to every sailor than the wind and its direction. Modern Marine Weather is first class reference book on the subject of marine weather and the information it contains will help every sailor, every day!
— Peter Isler, two-time America's Cup winning navigator.
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The 21st Century is bringing us a rapid evolution in weather information available to the common sailor. Modern Marine Weather points out where to find the best stuff quickly. The book also gives a thorough review of how to read weather maps and digest storms warnings, as well as tips on how to read clouds and use the wind to win coastal yacht races, or how to interpret GRIB data and Scatterometer pilot charts on Google Earth to sail comfortably across an ocean.
—Bob McDavitt, MetService (NZ) Weather Ambassador and forecaster for EarthRace, the holder of the fastest ever circumnavigation by a powerboat.
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"Modern Marine Weather is an instant classic. If you own one book about weather this is it. If you are navigating across the Pacific, the Atlantic or the Equator you’ll make better decisions and truly understand the machinery behind the wind, waves, and currents after studying this book. If you are preparing for an Olympic regatta in Melbourne, Weymouth or San Francisco and want to make your own intelligent forecast and pick-up local knowledge like a local, you will find all the information in this most excellent book. Serious about weather and navigation: Get Modern Marine Weather by David Burch."
—Philippe Kahn, technology innovator, CEO of FullPower Technologies, and champion racing sailor, holder of the Doublehanded Transpacific elapsed time record, and other worldclass achievements of his Pegasus Racing Team.
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"David Burch's Modern Marine Weather is a fresh and practical guide to understanding the complexities of marine weather and modern forecasting.
Directed at both offshore and coastal sailors, it goes beyond much of the current literature to first explain modern forecasting technologies with less emphasis on weather theory. According to Burch, it's only with an understanding of these technologies that mariners can purposefully apply the ever increasing amount of meteorological data available to them. Burch explains how to use weather charts and how to interpret GRIB forecasts—including a discussion of their values and drawbacks. He discusses how to compare various computer models, discusses new and existing onboard technology and record keeping, and provides comprehensive lists of weather resources, and much more.
The book fills a serious void in the literature. Voyagers will profit from a serious study of the material discussed in this book."
—Ocean Navigator Magazine, March-April, 2009
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"Modern Marine Weather is an essential reference for the coastal and offshore sailor. It goes far beyond the traditional "marine weather" books. There may be new tools available for weather forecasting, but weather itself has been around a very long time and David does an excellent job of laying proper foundations for understanding marine weather, and bringing clarity to a complex topic."
—Jim Corenman, racing and cruising sailor, and developer of the SailDocs and Sailmail programs for weather and communications used by thousands of mariners worldwide.
"Modern Marine Weather like “Brave New World”…takes a bold step forward and takes on today’s challenges of the complexities of weather over the marine environment. This text is unique and is a sorely needed and powerful upgrade to existing marine weather resources currently on the market!"
"I strongly endorse this text as an invaluable resource that belongs in the wheelhouse along side of Bowditch as a mariner’s reference on marine weather."
—Lee Chesneau, retired senior marine forecaster at NOAA, National Weather Service, popular lecturer and teacher, and co- author of Heavy Weather Avoidance—Concepts and Applications of 500-mb charts
"This is the definitive text for those wanting to learn more about marine meteorology. It's a shame that this book wasn't around when I was studying marine meteorology. It would have made the job a lot easier. David Burch should be applauded for this beautiful piece of work"
— Kenn Batt, Manager, Canberra Meteorological Office, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, weather briefer for participants of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and active racing sailor.
Burch really knows his stuff and Blue Water Sailing thinks that his book has a place in every nav station.
— Blue Water Sailing magazine, July, 2009.
Modern Marine Weather is a brand new and truly extraordinary 304 page “treatise” on an age old subject. Indeed,
“treatise” in the classic definition of that word fully applies: “a systematic discussion of facts and principles with inescapable and
unquestionable conclusions.” It is accompanied by a 68 page companion: Weather Workbook, with questions, answers and
resources on marine weather. These two works are much more than the term “treatise” would, standing by itself, imply,
however. In addition to the facts, principles and scientific conclusions expertly revealed in layman’s terms within their respective
pages, these two works constitute a truly complete and insightful guide to the numerous new computer-based resources that are
now available in the marine weather field, and David has done an outstanding job of comparing and explaining these
independent resources, web-sites, downloads, etc.
Burch will be appreciated by both Northern and Southern Hemisphere mariners, because he clearly explains why and how the weather systems in the two hemispheres differ and why they differ at various latitudes from the Equator to the Poles. In the judgment of this reviewer, he does a remarkably clear job of explaining the Coriolis effect of the Earth’s rotation from west to east, the differences between west and east coast weather systems of continental land masses, the mid-ocean weather systems, the reasons for the differential heating of water and land masses by the sun, with the consequent effects on wind, wave and weather patterns, and the consequent selection of sailing routes and mid-course, real time adjustment of sailing routes at various times of the year, in various oceans and latitudes.
David’s eight main sections deal, consecutively, with: Pressure and the Wind; Global Winds and Currents; Strong Wind Systems; Clouds, Fog, and Sea State; Wind and Terrain; Weather Maps Review; Sources of Weather Data; and On-Board Weather Tactics. His 24-page introductory section deals with: Overview; Role of Marine Weather; Elements of Marine Weather; Terminology and Glossaries; Wind Terms and Symbols; Getting Started on Resources, and Units and Time Conversions. He is comprehensive and very complete without being redundant.
One could spend many fascinating hours just absorbing the initial introduction and the ending on-board forecasting and tactics discussions, but that would lead inevitably to many hours in the other sections as well—or briefer forays into various areas of those other sections. They need not be read consecutively, but David’s organization is purposeful and very helpful to an over-all understanding of his topics.
This enthusiastic review could go on at length by citing specifics from each section. In the interest of appropriate brevity, I’ll conclude with just a few inviting “morsels” from the last main section—the “old sayings explained.” Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning. Mackerel skies and mare’s tales make tall ships set low sails. Long foretold, long to last, short notice, soon past. First rise after the low can portend a stronger blow (the so-called sting in the scorpion’s tail). Rain kills the wind. A fair wind follows the sun. Burch tells us how and why the old-timers with little or no formal education, but with lifetimes at sea, came to know a lot about marine weather that has benefited their modern and educated followers.
Mariners young and old, get, keep and read Modern Marine Weather. It will take you , as it says it will, “from the time honored maritime traditions to the latest technology.” You will be enriched along the way!
— Roger Jones, Director, Foundation for the Promotion of the Art of Navigation, Powerboater, sailor, and pilot.