How many times have you planned for a dive or a snorkel on the basis of a forecast and the conditions turn out to be terrible or vice versa? There have been times when I have woken up in the morning, looked outside and thought it looked like a great day for a dive or snorkel, headed down to the site and discovered otherwise.
Particularly in winter Ireland has some very unpredictable weather conditions that can change rapidly. There are some applications out there that will help you plan ahead and give you a better picture of what the conditions are like or will be in the area. Below are two suggestions of well-known applications that will help you plan your next snorkel or dive trip along with a few other worthy mentions underneath.
The first port of call for anything meteorological over Ireland. While perhaps not the most extensive of applications Met Éireann is Ireland's national weather app for, amongst other things, the marine area which provides small craft and gale warnings. Met Éireann has improved the app greatly over the last few years providing better information on longer-term forecasting and storm intensity.
Realistically speaking this should be your first port of call when looking for weather information for the Irish coast line. The Commissioner of Irish Lights also provides a more detailed forecast on their site with a central information service about where to get even more information on the weather conditions.
This popular independently constructed app brings together more complex information from different sources (Click here for more informtion on the Windy community). For the most part Windy (formerly known as Windyty) is a free service offering tide direction, swells, wind and other very detailed information but in a far more complicated way than that of the Met Éireann app. According to the app page the Windy takes its information from, amongst others globally, the ICON (7) weather service for Europe which means the information is quite up to date.
Other worthy mentiones are the Commisioner of Irish Light Met Ocean Charts page that offers updated information from buoys that are equipped with weather sensors. There is a great Twitter page devoted to two of them just off the Aran Island called Finnis Buoy. Magic Seaweed, which is very popular amongst surfers and Accuweather which offers a very good ISO / Android app.
What weather app do you use? Do you agree with the two below. Leave your comments in the comment section below.