Received this information from my younger brother on 1-27-15. Will also try and paste content below in case the link expires “someday” as too many do still…
Read this in entirety and you should understand…
I sent this to you previously. Let me know once you try the free service.
Attempt at content copy/paste from the above link:
I have seen several discussions on BPL about Spot vs. inReach vs. PLB. When comparing the Spot vs. the inReach, all these discussions focus on the 2 way abilities of the inReach that allow it to email/text back and forth with anyone on a computer, a cell phone or another inReach. The latter is rarely mentioned but really important for groups that separate in the wilderness and need to stay in contact.
One topic, I have never seen in those discussions, is the inReach’s ability to request and receive up-to-date local weather reports.
I assume most of us, who are in the US, have used the National Weather Service to get local weather reports like the following. You provide a coordinate – in this case for a random location in Alaska and you receive a detailed 7 day forecast.
With the inReach you can send a message to receive that weather information. There are two services I’m aware of – one is free and the other one charges a monthly fee of $6 (24 hour forecast), $7 (48 hour forecast), $8 (72 hour forecast).
Here is what it looks like if I send a request to the free service that provides me with the National Weather Forecast for the location I provide (or my current location if I don’t provide coordinates).
So I receive the basic information that you saw above in the 9 little graphics – for each 12 hour period (day/night) you get a description like (RnShw – Rain Showers), the chance of it to happen in %, and the temperature (high for the day, low for the night).
If I would like to get the additional information like wind speed and cloud cover that is described above in the “Detailed Forecast” I can use a paid service that sends me the following information.
This is a little harder to read, but provides more information and is more granular (6 hour periods).
Each weather report delivered contains four forecasts over a 24-hour period for your location. Each forecast provides a time stamp (converted to your local time zone) and forecasts of the following six weather factors:
• air temperature (F or C)
• total inches (or mm) of precipitation during each 6 hour period
• % cloud cover
• surface pressure in mb
• wind speed in knots
• wind direction (true)
For most of my trips the free service is totally sufficient – and I like that I can “look ahead” by providing my planned location for tomorrow or the day after to see what the weather will most likely be there at the time of my arrival.
For trips in remote areas that take several weeks, I like the added confidence of the commercial service, since the free service is provided by an individual as an experimental service that I use at my own risk and it could at any time be closed.
Here are links to more information about those weather services
To me these services are extremely valuable during my trips and are an important factor in the decision Spot vs. inReach.
Have fun out there and stay safe!