Courtesy The Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance

The first and only near real-time weather reporting site has been installed on the Peace River by the Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance. The weather sensors were placed on Peace River Marker 4, approximately one-half mile off Gilchrist Park, and will provide near real-time wind, temperature, and barometric pressure data. A second site will be established on Peace River Marker 2 in the fall of 2018.

John Welsh, president of the Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance stated the weather information can be reached from the Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance website (www.boat2puntagorda.org), and clicking the “Real Time Weather” button. “In the past, boaters on the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor have only had access to land-based eather reports. The new site on Marker 4 will provide boaters with more representative readings from on the water. In addition to recreational boaters, the weather information will be invaluable to marine patrol units of the Punta Gorda Police Department, Charlotte County Sherriff’s Department, FWC, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Data from the site is also relayed to NOAA for inclusion in their weather forecast models,” said Welch.

Boat clubs and boating organizations wanting to place a link on their website to access the weather information should contact Welsh through the Boaters Alliance at info@boat2puntagorda.org.

Funding for the equipment for this project was provided by a grant from the Charlotte County Marine Advisory Committee. Approval for installation of the equipment on Marker 4 was granted by the U.S. Coast Guard. The project was a cooperative effort by The Boaters Alliance, the U.S. Coast Guard, Learn2Sail, Peace River Sail and Power Squadron, and The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 98. The project manager was Ron Jones, a retired National Weather Service employee.

The Punta Gorda Boaters Alliance (PGBA) is a non-profit organization formed after Hurricane Charley to promote recreational boating and the boating industry in Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor. Membership includes boat cruising clubs, yacht clubs, marinas, commercial marine businesses, plus advisory representatives from the City of Punta Gorda, Charlotte, County, Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, TEAM Punta Gorda, Fish & Wildlife Commission, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Peace River Sail and Power Squadron. The mission of the Boaters Alliance is to advance and protect the interests of the boating community in Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor.

For more information about this topic, contact John Welsh at 941-205-0042 or email at info@boat2puntagorda.org or Ron Jones at 239-839-9820 or email rcjones25@gmail.com.