This page lists the essential weather links, those you absolutely need to know and use if you want to get a more precise opinion of the weather situation in the tropical Atlantic. Another page with secondary weather links is available.
Institutional weather links
Weather France Antilles Guyana
The website of the French meteorological service dedicated to the Antilles-Guyana zone. It is in fact among all weather links most important for people living in the French West Indies since it gives the official forecast, the ONLY one that should be followed in the event of a major risk.
It takes more and more into account the cyclonic specificity of the West Indies and the monitoring of current systems is improving every year. On the other hand, still no https and an interface which is not always very intuitive.
Météo France forecasts are based on 2 forecast models developed by the group, namely Arpège for the global forecast and Arôme for the local forecast with a much higher resolution.
The NHC (National Hurricane Center)
It is LE Reference weather link for cyclone monitoring. For decades the NHC tirelessly informs and tracks cyclone systems in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. Ever more relevant forecasts and extraordinary tools such as the famous “Hurricane Hunters” planes which cross the most violent hurricanes to collect all the necessary data. In addition to the data on the website, the NHC and NOAA make all their data available through FTP servers (it is thanks to this data that the site Tropical weather is partially automated). In short, an absolute MUST for all those who want serious information.
A tutorial on all the data of the NOAA and how to use them will be available soon in the member part of the site.
NRL (US Navy)
The US Navy closely monitors tropical weather systems to ensure the safety of its ships. For all the basins followed by the NHC, they are the same forecast. On the other hand the NRL also monitors systems in areas where the NHC is not present (the Indian Ocean in particular). It is interesting to see the evolution of the systems in these areas poorly covered by the usual weather sites.On the other hand, it is the NRL which is at the initiative of the classification of disturbances in Invest. They are also the ones providing the logistics for the Hurricane Hunters.
The site is a bit old and the interface is not the most intuitive!
University weather links
American universities are at the forefront of atmospheric research in both climate and hazardous weather systems. And they consistently share ALL of their research and data… it's a gold mine and one of my favorite sources of information.
University of Colorado
The University of Colorado Atmospheric Research Department and its Tropical Weather Lab are recognized around the world for their seasonal forecasts. All relevant national weather services (including the NHC) use these forecasts to build their own roadmap.
The teacher's team Philip klotzbach has developed particularly relevant long-range forecasting models.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
It has long been my reference site. 15 years ago he was the forerunner of graphical interfaces allowing to stack the layers of data to have an overview of a system or an area. At the same time, the university's weather service has developed an automated tool to estimate the power of a cyclone and its evolution from satellite data. Based on early research from the NOAA this tool, ADT (Advanced Dvorak Technique) is used in all geographic basins subject to tropical weather systems. The NHC makes it one of its major forecasting tools with the famous T. A tutorial on using its cyclone tracking interface will soon be available for subscribers.
NCAR - National Center for AthMospheric Research
It is not strictly speaking a university but a research center integrating public and private resources. This specific site (there are dozens of them) converts the output of forecasting models into graphs of type plotters, commonly referred to as “spaghetti graphics”. In addition to these graphical tools, the site provides an ftp service making it possible to retrieve all the data available for each weather system. Developments are underway to graphically integrate live data from Hurricane Hunters.
The essential weather links
There are a multitude of weather and website links dealing with the issue of cyclonic systems. From the most elaborate to the most amateurs, it is impossible to go around it. Another page talks about “secondary” links, but in this section we will focus on 3 sites that we absolutely cannot neglect as they are complete..
It is probably one of the most used weather links in the world. Originally launched in the Windguru and other Windfinder niche, mainly wind forecasting, it has considerably increased its functionality since then, to such an extent that few people really know how to use it. The vast majority of people are happy with the initial layer of wind or the few layers available on the first screen. However, it is almost possible today to access all the weather information from this single site! A multi-part video tutorial on using Windy. will soon be available in the subscribed part of the site.
But we must not forget that Windy is not a forecasting service. It just does (very well) aggregate an incredible number of sources.
It's been my favorite site for a few years. Its creator, Levi Cowan launched it in 2012 when he was a master's student in meteorology. Since then, it has integrated a fairly impressive number of data and tools which make it the most complete weather site but also one of the most complex to understand. Here too, a getting started video tutorial will soon be available for Météo Tropicale subscribers.
Tropical Tidbits can be used as a single source of data when you know how to use it and understand what it's all about. Not necessarily suitable for a large audience, however, with little explanation of the data displayed.
It is a general weather site with a section dedicated to cyclones very well done. It was created by one of the most recognized specialists in cyclone weather: Dr Jeff Masters, which I recommend reading regularly (this is the Category 6 section on the site) that he shares with another forecaster outside of the common: Bob Henson.
WU offers a lot of editorial content as well as very sophisticated graphical tracking tools.
To finish, I will quickly tell you about Google Earth. This program allows, when you know where to find them, to display almost all the meteorological data of the planet with KML files. You can display the tracking, satellite images, radar images and even live data from Hurricane Hunters! A dedicated section will be set up on the use of Google Earth for cyclones in the coming days in the public area of the site.