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GRIB files of current predictions available to leisure sailors

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH) makes available GRIB files of its surface current predictions, which are suitable for use in navigation and regatta programmes.

As there has been an increase in demand for current predictions from leisure mariners, the BSH is planning to test whether its data are suitable for use by regatta participants or the leisure sector in general. Therefore, it is making available four GRIB files covering different regions of the North and Baltic Seas, which are updated daily and cover three-day prediction periods:

    North Sea

  1. North Sea approx. 48.5°N 4°W to 60°N 10°E, grid spacing 6 nm, temporal resolution 1h.
  2. German Bight approx. 53.3°N 7.5°E to approx. 54.5°N 9.3°E, grid spacing 1 nm, temporal resolution 30 min.
  3. Baltic Sea

  4. Baltic Sea approx. 52°N, 10°E to 68.8°N 30°E, grid spacing 6 nm, temporal resolution 1 hour.
  5. Western Baltic approx. 53.2°N 9.5°E to approx. 56.4°N 14.8°E, grid spacing 1 nm, temporal resolution 1 hour.

The GRIB files can be downloaded from the BSH's website under

using any commercially available web browser or FTP client programme.

The above directory contains the latest updated three-day current prediction, and its subdirectory "archiv" the predictions of the preceding two days. The data have been compressed using the compression programmes bzip2 and zip. bz2 files can be processed directly by some browsers. The designation of the decompressed data files is Current_kk_2006mmdd.grb, with kk an area code (no: North Sea, gb: German Bight, ba: Baltic Sea, wb: western Baltic Sea), mm the month, and dd the day on which the predictions were computed. Updates are available daily from about 5:00 a.m.

The BSH generates the data by means of a numerical prediction model which has been developed for up-to-date predictions of water levels and storm surges as well as drift and dispersion forecasts, e.g. in connection with oil spills. The model computes daily predictions of tidal currents, wind induced currents, and baroclinic currents. The computed surface current data are mean values of the currents in the uppermost 8 metres of the water column.

Legal notice:
The BSH does not guarantee the functioning, completeness, accuracy or up-to-dateness of the predicted current data. Moreover, it will not be held liable for any technical failures or malfunctioning resulting from errors in data files or in the configuration of formats.

The BSH wishes all regatta participants success, and may you always find fair winds and good sailing!

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 © 2017 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last update: 19.06.18 10:44  
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