Weather forecasts - our sources
Weather forecasts are vital on our operation as we need to know with what to count with on our birdwatching and whalewatching tours. Despite being in an island, where forecasts are not so accurate, we need to check them regularly and trust them, so for that we check different websites and compare the forecasts to see if they predict the same.
We use windy.com to acknowledge for wind and rain forecasts around the island as it has a map which we can zoom in or out and 2 of its 3 different models - the ICON 7km which stands for Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic and the ECMWF 9km which stands for European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - count with the orography of the island and the different effects of it on the atmospheric conditions of each place. This is also a good website to check waves and swell direction and height.
For a week overview of the weather forecasts, windguru.com provides an easy reading with different models.
For an even more local approach though mainly for forecasts of rain as the wind forecasts are not accurate on this model, we visit Ciimarmadeira.org.
For weather alerts or when we get many doubts after visiting these 3 different websites we go for the IPMA - the Portuguese Institute of Ocean and Atmosphere
After checking all these forecasts and if on the day of the tour we are still doubtful about the weather in certain quadrant of the island, we check the different Netmadeira webcams. These are especially useful to check how the weather is at Pico do Arieiro, before a Zino’s Night Expedition.