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Jaywalker
distinguished member(1969)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/28/2019 10:15AM
In a recent trip report, I read a couple of comments about the weather forecasts received in an Inreach being a bit inaccurate, especially regarding precipitation. As I'm considering getting an Inreach, I'd be curious to hear from any Garmin users what your experience has been specifically with the weather forecast? How would you rate the forecast accuracy with regard to temps, wind, rain, storms, etc??
 
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WhiteWolf
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03/28/2019 01:03PM
I own one also- but never use the wx function based on that I'am professional in the weather field. Not that I'am the best 3 days out without having looked at the last data- (which I can't two days into a trip) but from the reviews I have read - and piecing the data together by going back and looking at actual NOAA data- I would say this data comes from the same source you get Weater.gov (NOAA) data from-- just down to a smaller grid point, perhaps. (at least they think they can) Foreign wx reports should be even worse- but it depends on distance from nearest weather station- for the most part. By the time the data is to the satellite ( at least 6 hrs old as a rule) and into your position (?) - it's gonna be slightly slower than what you get at home with the NOAA point and click. MANY, MANY variables involved in this but without timely / accurate surface observations on the hour-- (there are little to none in most areas where a weather radio will not work) - I find it hard to believe they can work with much accuracy, esp at a much smaller grid point that many think the INreach WX gives them- in an area where the grid point for the National forcasts (CAN etc are much GREATER) Pilots struggle with accurate weather at 30K feet- one of the reasons Pilots/planes report weather to ATC and to other pilots/planes through PIREPS. (Pilot reports to other planes and ATC) This is the same in remote areas that most of us use IN reach in- - just no surface obs getting transmitted to NOAA/others/- hence the errors with precip. Precip is too scattered most times to be that accurate .. Temps/winds to 6-12 hours can be done pretty DARN accurately via satellite. Storms/precip not so much. Anything past 12-18 hours with IN-REACH or other satellite sources - esp in changing weather- is an educated guess, at best.
 
03/28/2019 01:31PM
I consider the accuracy to be good. It is a 3-day forecast and breaks it into about 3-4 hour increments during the day and maybe 4-6 hours at night. We find it especially useful for the wind forecast when crossing bigger lakes.
 
TipsyPaddler
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03/28/2019 02:34PM
I have used it on three different BW trips last year and don’t recall any surprises or “big misses” like 0-20% chance of rain forecast and then getting a multi-hour soaker or the opposite. Temp and wind forecasts seemed very accurate and precip % likeliness was reasonable—seems to fit with WW’s explanation of the limits of the system. I do half chuckle at the 50-50 precip forecast I seemed to get a lot up there.

I find it well worth the text message allowance it consumes from your plan. When figuring out what level of service to pay for before each trip I count one checkin message and one weather forecast per day and then round up a smidge. If the weather pattern is really unsettled/changing fast and I have some potential travel in big water planned that day or next morning I will spring for the $1 premium forecast to get some more detailed weather intel.
 
03/28/2019 06:35PM
I agree with ghamer.

I have used an INREACH on my past 3 Quetico trips and have found the weather forecasting accuracy to be very good.
 
03/28/2019 06:43PM
I consider it to be ver good. We were on Pickeral last year and did the purchase option twice for a more detailed 3-4 hour forecast.—I can’t remember the details—- it it was spot on for the wind and really helped make good decisions on when to travel the large expanse.

T
 
user0317
distinguished member (268)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/28/2019 07:39PM
I used a Garmin Inreach on my September trip down the Drowning river. The forecast was very accurate (unfortunately, as it snowed nearly every day).
 
03/29/2019 10:28AM
I've had no trouble with the forecast. But remember it's giving you the forecast for the nearest weather station, not YOUR location.
 
Abbey
distinguished member (180)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/31/2019 07:11AM
My wife has been kind enough to send any weather information that I “need to know” via the InReach. Helps maintain more of the wilderness experience that way. The summary has been accurate :).
 
TominMpls
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03/31/2019 01:00PM
Jaywalker: "In a recent trip report, I read a couple of comments about the weather forecasts received in an Inreach being a bit inaccurate, especially regarding precipitation. As I'm considering getting an Inreach, I'd be curious to hear from any Garmin users what your experience has been specifically with the weather forecast? How would you rate the forecast accuracy with regard to temps, wind, rain, storms, etc??"

I think it depends on your expectations. Understand that Garmin isn't making weather forecasts; they're using the data that exists from normal weather sources (NWS mostly, I think) so the data isn't a question of "Inreach" being accurate.

So with that said, I find the weather forecasts on my Garmin to be useful, but you have to understand that Quetico-Superior is an area with rapidly changing weather, low density of weather stations, and lots of variability from place to place. I've seen storms ravage a lake, but not even touch an area just 1000 feet away. The Inreach uses your satellite location to give you forecasts based on the closest location they have data on, with fairly decent granularity. So if it says sunny but you're seeing clouds, you shouldn't throw your rain jacket overboard.

Use your senses, always be ready for anything, and understand the limitations of remotely forecasting backcountry conditions via satellite. But within that set of expectations, I find it to be useful and generally accurate.
 
easye515
member (10)member
 
04/16/2019 07:29AM
egknuti: "I've had no trouble with the forecast. But remember it's giving you the forecast for the nearest weather station, not YOUR location. "

This. The further into the wilderness you get, the less likely you are to get an accurate forecast. We use the inreach for trips up in ANWR for work, and the forecast is pretty off. At that point, we just rely on the weather rock (if it's wet, its raining).

For BW, I found it's pretty close.

But the rest of the inreach is awesome, and I take it everywhere.
 
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