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January 13th

Is That a Cyclone Coming?

Posted by // January 13, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Cruising,

I opened my email this morning and found the unwelcome subject line: “Not liking the look of weather toward the end of this week.”  I put my head down on the table.  Erik had sent me the note from a land far away; apparently not even being up to his eyeballs in work could keep him from checking on the weather.  Sadly, when we “don´t like the look of the weather” around here, it doesn´t mean a little rain is going to ruin our picnic.  It doesn´t mean it will be too windy to hang out laundry.  It means something bad might be coming.  And something bad at this time of year means a cyclone.

Stop number one: the local marine forecast.  I called up meteo.nc.

Hmm.  Kind of gusty, a couple of days of 20 kt winds, heavy rain – nothing too terrible.  But I know perfectly well that I made this stop number one because I knew I wouldn´t have to believe a single thing I saw.  The local forecast is strangely inaccurate and incomplete.  This was a brief attempt to reassure myself that nothing was going to happen.  But I know better.  Cyclone Ian just flattened Tonga.  Thinking it can´t happen here a few days later is only a foolish wish.

Moving on to a source I have more faith in: Passage Weather.  Let´s look at the isobars today.

New Caledonia is that island that looks like a finger pointing to the NW.  And this is a happy set of isobars.  Nothing closed, nothing low.  Everyone is happy.  I started to hope that Erik was overreacting a bit.  So I clicked ahead through the week.

Ohhh.  Now this I like a little less.  A lot less.  Considerably less.  Let´s take a look at the winds for the same time and date.

You can´t hear it, but I am sighing heavily.  This might turn out to be nothing worse than a heavy rainstorm, but then again, it might not.  Five days is a lot of time for things to change, for systems to strengthen or fall apart.  It is time to start working our three-page cyclone prep list (now in handy Excel format).  Wish me luck, denizens of the interwebs.  I hope to report back soon that all of my preparations were for nothing.

But first, I´d better do a last load of laundry before it all blows away.

This article was syndicated from Sailing Papillon

2 Responses to “Is That a Cyclone Coming?”

  1. Amy Schaefer says:

    Once we neaten it up, I´ll post it. We´re trying to make a comprehensive list of everything we need to do when bad weather is coming – stowing the sails, lashing the boom to the gallows, turning off the battery bank, clearing up loose items below – everything. The idea is that, if and when bad weather shows up, we don´t need to worry that we will forget something major because we have already thought through it carefully ahead of time. Instead of wasting time, we can just work the list.

  2. Gavin says:

    whats in your cyclone prep list?

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