Instant Wind Forecasting: Book Review

Published 18 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Instant Wind Forecasting

Alan Watts

Adlard Coles Nautical

2nd edition 2005

The UK recommended price £11.99

ISBN 0-7136-6869-5

Alan Watts is the author of the highly successful “Instant Weather Forecasting” which he wrote almost forty years ago and continues to be many sailors’ favourite (and often only) book on meteorology. The current edition of “Instant Wind Forecasting” is based on the book of the same title first published in 1975 but improved by nearly three decades of observations and the addition of more recent colour photographs. Those telling photographs of the sky are what this slim 112 page book is all about as the author does not expect the sailors who use this book to necessarily know much about meteorology. What the author sets out to provide is a simple way of making an educated guess of what kind of wind to expect from what the sky looks like at a given moment.

The first section of the book deals with winds generally by giving some basic facts about sailing winds. The information then becomes more specific by dealing with local winds, wind shifts, sea breezes, nocturnal winds, with tips on how to assess them and put them to best use. There is one section, new to this edition, that deals with regional winds in the Mediterranean and this is the only section where photographs are absent.

The last section of the book describes various scenarios based on specific days with recognisable wind patterns. This advice seems to be directed primarily at coastal sailors who will be the main beneficiaries of this book, although the author hopes that others will also find it useful, such as motor yacht skippers, hang-gliders and even golfers.

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