Forecast accuracy

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Wanderlust
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Forecast accuracy

Post by Wanderlust » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:40 am

Hi. Been lurking a while, gathering info for my solo trip end of September. Lot of good posts here.

I was wondering what the experience has been with weather forecast accuracy on the island? Is the forecast I read Sunday morning pretty reliable out to mid week, or is it a complete dice toss after a day or two?

Thanks!


johnhens
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by johnhens » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:05 am

Isle Royale creates its own weather in some respects. If you are looking the NWS recreational forecast for IR, it is usually good. The boaters forecast can be sketchy. When kayaking we have a vhf for updated marine forecasts. If backpacking, I carry a small am-fm and rely on the radio station forecasts.

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Wanderlust
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by Wanderlust » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:48 am

I'd be backpacking, but no radio. Trying to be reasonably prepared for all weather, but if the nws forecast is reliable for a 5 day trip that could help narrow down the scope of 'all weather' ;)

Thanks!


johnhens
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by johnhens » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:13 am

Having been out there in late Sept early Oct, I expect snow of some sort and gear accordinly. If the extended forecast doesn't call for cold weather and you are comfortable with that, gear accordingly. Cold weather does not last.


treeplanter
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by treeplanter » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:18 pm

The Park Service usually posts a written weather report just outside the visitor’s center. It's updated daily.

I worked with a gal, year’s back, who was frequently on Isle Royale until the park closed late in the fall (as I recall, her husband was the maintenance supervisor). She told me more than once that the “big change in the weather” happened in mid-September. That’s when the weather segued from summer to fall. The upshot to all of this is that the weather in late September can be unpredictable. Be prepared for everything.

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Wanderlust
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by Wanderlust » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:17 am

Good info, thanks again.


RICHIGAN
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by RICHIGAN » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:39 pm

i was on the island around this time last year and had georgious, bug free weather, till the last day. then rain
there was snow in the air a few weeks later. im heading up at the end of the month and will carring an extra layer this year just in case its cold and/or wet.

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JavaHiker
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Re: Forecast accuracy

Post by JavaHiker » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:56 pm

I concur about the extremes of September weather...

After being caught in a severe thunderstorm at Feldtmann Lake in mid-September of 2004 (wind gusts at Rock of Ages peaked at 69 mph) I started packing a NOAA radio. I switched to a marine radio with NOAA when we started taking kayaks a few years ago. Recent fatalities in the BWCA and Quetico show how important weather awareness can be.

One additional thought on trip planning: when it comes to weather forecasts online I prefer the National Weather Service (NWS) rather that the Weather Channel or Weather Underground. The latter two may look slick but are commercial operations with a commercial focus, as well as few (if any) staff outside of a major cities. The NWS office in Duluth has meteorological staff that know the local area and the micro-climates created by Lake Superior. Weather watches and warnings for the Isle Royale area are issued out of the Duluth office, so access to a weather radio can be a trip saver if the forecast immediately before your trip looks iffy.

As I get within two weeks of a trip I also start checking the 6-10 day and 8-14 day climate forecasts issued by the NWS. With the computer models now in use these can show general trends for these periods. These can be accessed at http://w2.weather.gov/climate/climate_p ... hp?wfo=dlh.
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