Some companies (not Tote) require a weather class for some deck officers. I took the heavy weather avoidance class when I first started sailing C/M
One of the takeaways was to save the surface analysis and forecast charts and compare, for example, the 48 hr forecast to the surface analysis for the same valid time. In other words when the surface analysis comes in compare it to the 48 hr forecast from 2 days earlier.
The forecasts are actually quite good but the comparison will give a sense of what conditions makes them less trustworthy. Any forecast that I don’t understand or have doubts about I read the dissusion,
The other takeaway and the main point of the class is learn to use the upper air charts. Professional weather routers for shipping start with upper air, then surface air and last sea.
The book I use is Heavy Weather Avoidance and Route Design by Ma-Li Chen and Lee S. Chesneau. Some of it is tough sledding but once some key concepts are understood looking at the upper-air charts sheds a lot of light on what is happening on the surface.
I make heavy use of the weather / routing software but I also make sure the watch always keeps the most current text weather from the SAT-C posted on the bridge.
Finally I have access anytime to the weather routers even if I am not using routing on that trip. I’ve emailed them several times with questions and called them on the phone a couple times as well when I didn’t like my route.