Submitted by anonymous1 on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 19:31
Just wanted to know how reliable the forecast system for new regions e.g. yorke peninsula is at the moment for planning surf trips? Is the automated forecasting system as relaible as its going to get or are you guys still going to be tweaking things abit once you get more data? Obviously I know forecasts can always be off and you guys are doing a great job but I was just wondering if I should use a bit of caution trusting the forecasts using the automated system untill everything is a bit more dialled in or are you guys pretty happy with everything as it stands.
We've been keeping a close eye on the forecasts for the Australian region, and mainly our report locations and we're extremely happy with the results. It's nearly exactly the same as what I'd forecast manually and sometimes out performs me!
The Yorke Peninsula forecast is regional and a guide for exposed spots, so you'll have to use your own knowledge to understand how a 6ft swell at say West Cape would translate to Chi's or Pondie depending on swell direction etc.
Just to expand on Craig's point - each forecast location around the globe is for exposed spots. Whilst some other websites have tried to provide specific beach-by-beach forecasts, we've found that it's very difficult to maintain a consistent, accurate forecast service at such a macro level.
Therefore, by providing a calibrated forecast for each exposed coast, local surfers can then use their own knowledge to fine tune this for individual surf spots. We've been testing the system for around three years now and it works extremely well. We are therefore confident that our forecasts will be the most consistent and reliable of anything available in the world.
For some locations like Yorkes, this means that the forecast will often look too high. However the reality is that exposed locations on some coasts - like Yorkes - are rarely surfed during large swells. More often, surfers are looking for sheltered bays and reefs which provide better waves.
All of this being said, the forecasting system will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months as we refine and improve the product. We'll always discuss any changes we make to individual forecast locations in this regard, so that you're aware of any potential trends in the model data.
Cheers Craig and Ben, exactly what I wanted to know, keep up the good work and congrats on the new website!!