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LuckGrib version 1.2 available

Mar 18, 2016. | By: Craig McPheeters

A new version of LuckGrib is now available.

The main focus of version 1.2 is the creation of a number of tools which support passage planning. This includes: departure planning, navigating through the weather while underway, and reviewing prior passages.

Passage Planning

To support Passage Planning, LuckGrib v1.2 supports the creation of points and routes, as well as allowing the creation of vessels. The points and routes support will be familiar to anybody who has used these features in other applications, including, if you have used a chart plotter.

You can also now create vessels. Vessels have names and average speeds. Vessels may follow a route and vessels contain a list of position reports. Each position report records a location at a particular time. For example, you can use position reports to record the actual path sailed while on passage. You can also use position reports to indicate where you plan to be in the future - for example if you plan to deviate from the route due to there being a better path through the weather you are seeing in the GRIB forecasts.

Using the new Points and Routes tool, you are able to explore planned passages in great detail. You can quickly see information such as: the wind at the vessel, including relative and apparent wind; distance to next route point; distance to end of route; estimates of the time remaining. There is also information available as you move the cursor around, similar to the Measure Distance tool, such as distance from cursor to route; relative and apparent wind at the cursor; along with other useful information.

These new features will let you reason about passage planning decisions, including: what weather can you expect if you depart on a certain date, or push the departure forward or back by a day or two; what apparent winds can you expect if you were to tack, while on passage, and what would that do to your positioning in future weather; along with many other scenarios.

The general philosophy is that these new tools can be used by you to help your making decisions. They do not try to automate this process, but they will allow you to see, both visually and by reading the numbers, what you may expect to experience while making the decisions needed on a passage.

When a passage is completed, you are able to go back and review both your path and the weather experienced at that point, quickly and easily.

Other improvements

In addition to the changes in support of Passage Planning, there has also been a number of changes in many other areas of the application. LuckGrib continues to be refined further, improving the experience you can expect to have while using it.

A short list of some of the other changes is:

  • improved the display of sea level pressure stationary points (the labels H, L and col). When these labels appear in areas close to the world wide average pressure (1013mb) they are drawn slightly dim. This improves the graphics while examining area in the tropics, for example
  • added an explicit Pan Map tool. Its the hand icon in the toolbar
  • added the ability to pan the map while in the other tools (select region, measure distance and points and routes) by holding down the CMD key. If you hold down the CMD key while clicking and dragging, the map is panned
  • improved the support for viewing GRIB files which contain a lot of different parameters. In the past, it was possible that the list of information scroll off the screen when viewing these files. You are now able to choose which information you want to see by selecting a mode in the View menu. (These choices are only present when viewing a file that is sufficiently complex.)
  • show the forecast hour for the GRIB time in the main window. For example, 108H is shown when the viewing a GRIB file at a time, 108 hours into the forecast

El Capitan only

Unfortunately, due to the use of some new technology in the latest version of the Mac operating system, this version of LuckGrib is only available on El Capitan, version 10.11.

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