Tropical Storm Tracking with Sailmail & Winlink (Blue Water Sailing, April 2006)

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

Want pictures like this on your computer screen to show the forecast track, instead of trying to plot points you tried to write down from an SSB broadcast? It’s quick, easy and FREE if you have onboard e-mail!

NOTE: As of 7/3/14, the software referred to in this article — Global Tracks — is no longer available and I have not been able to find anything similar.

If you are cruising in hurricane-prone areas, you know you can’t always count on getting weather information by TV or internet. While you should never rely on just one method of getting forecasts, here’s a service you can utilize with Sailmail, Winlink or any other form of onboard e-mail.
And be sure to read my companion article on Speeding Up Sailmail and Winlink so that you have enough bandwidth to get the forecasts you need.

“Tropical Storm Tracking” originally appeared in Blue Water Sailing in April 2006. There have been minor changes in the software referred to and it’s now FREE. Find it at ExtremeWX-GlobalTracks — when you go there, the top of the page will make you wonder if you’re at the right place.  Scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, and you’ll find a download link.  A few screens look slightly different, but I’m sure that resourceful cruisers will figure out the minor differences!

If you are planning to use this, I strongly urge you to download it BEFORE a storm is bearing down on you.  Get comfortable with using it as part of your pre-hurricane-season preparation!
IMPORTANT:  Don’t use the PDF button below to download the PDF itself.
If the article does not show below (some browsers have problems), click here to view. Right-click this link to download

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  1. Radar House on Facebook says:

    Thanx for bringing this up…….

  2. Kenneth Arnold on Facebook says: is another good resource!

  3. Roland — I was able to find an old (2004) version of it at but it didn’t install correctly for me on a Windows 7 machine. I can’t find the newer version, which is 7.4. It’s too bad as it’s great software for the purpose.

    • Carolyn — many thanks. I found that version already, same problem on XP and Win 7 plus complaints from my anti virus software. Do you have a copy of the install version which is running on your PC?

  4. Pat Canniff says:

    I was following a link to your web site on hurricane forecasting/tracking. I followed the links in the articles too and something looked familiar. So I checked in my cruising info archive and sure enough I found a copy of Tropical Storm Tracking SW – gt742setup.exe. I hadn’t installed it yet on my Windows 7 system so I gave it a try and it setup ok and comes up. I haven’t played wit it to know if it works yet. I’m willing to share it if you can tell me how. (It’s 54 meg)

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