Weather and Tide Resources

Summer Fog
Summer fog pours down the hills above Sausalito

Anyone rowing on the San Francisco Bay will become very familiar with the very changeable weather and tide conditions of these waters. Fortunately for us we have a number of excellent resources on line to help us judge conditions and plan our rows. Below are links to weather and tide prediction sites, and a list of local web cams at the bottom.

Weather Links

While it’s important to keep an eye on the weather prediction, we rowers must deal with the peculiar micro-climates  of the bay, and the general area forecasts on tv or weather sites is usually no help (except for major winter storms). There are resources that display the readings from weather instruments in our area, which can give you a sense of conditions right now in the area you plan to row. But be alert, i can be sunny and warm at one end of Richardson Bay and foggy and windy at the other, and that can change by the hour. Don’t take conditions for granted. Sausalito weather is both fascinating and frustrating.

Tidal Height Predictions

The height and timing of the days high and low tides is worth knowing, but it will be obvious when you walk down the ramp to the dock. When the tide is very low, a “minus tide”, be careful in the shallow area in the north of Richardson Bay.

Tide Predictions for Sausalito

Tidal Current Predictions

Even more important for rowers are the predictions for tidal currents. The speed and timing of the peak ebb and flood tides varies as you move around the bay. The NOAA has generated predictions for a number of points in our area. The sites listed below display these predictions in different ways, as graphs, daily tables our annual tables, so you can choose your favorite. But do check the predicted currents in the area you plan to row.

We’ve also linked to an iPhone app for tide predictions that some club members use. There are other apps for the iPhone, iPad and other smartphones. If you find one that you like tell us and we’ll add it to the list.

Rowing in the Rain
Caught in a November Rain

Graphs of currents for next three days

Alternate source with current tables for today (Use options below table to get a graphical plot)

Tides and Current on the iPhone

Some OWRX members using the iPhone have found this to be a great tool for checking tides and currents at key places in our rowing area

Web Cams

Sometimes the best way to determine the conditions right now is to get a look. For those of us who lack an expansive view of the bay, there are web cams that can show us a bit of it.

Sausalito Yacht Club – view of the waters off downtown Sausalito

WebMarin – From the top of Wolfback Ridge, often foggy

Hi-Def San Francisco – View of SF and bay from a ridge in Sausalito, also often foggy

Angel Cam – Ayala Cove on Angel Island

St. Francis Yacht Club – Rowing to SF? Get a preview of conditions here