I received this email today from John Goff at the NOAA/NWS.
Please feel free to answer John' question via email, directly to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I must say I'm pleasanty surprised on the responses I've received so far from your (our) blog posting. Some nice information out there that has certainly been helpful. I did have one other quick question. In regard to weather forecasts, what parameter so to speak is most critical to you when you go out on the water in the cool season...waves, winds, temperatures/wind chill etc.? Just trying to figure out the importance of these elements among everyone. Any additional input you could provide would be helpful. Thanks again for your help.
NOAA/NWS Burlington, VT
This was my response:
We all are able to get the predicted temperature and wind chill from any media that forecasts the weather. Most important on the lake, at any time of the year, is waves which is a direct result of wind speed and direction. There are places to duck out of the waves (sometimes) if we know the wind speed and direction. It's also very important to know if the wind is going to switch around during an outing.
I would tend to believe most fisherman want to have an idea what the surface of the lake is going to be like. Most of the open water winter fishermen are wise enough to figure out surface conditions based on wind speed and direction, but the wave model is an awesome tool.
Wind and waves (surface conditions) go hand-in-hand as the number one priority when making a decision to determine if the lake is safely fishable.
I will pose your question on the forums with requests to direct the answer to you.