We all know how this goes: the very worst thing you can have on a boat–worse than women, bananas, or priests even–is a schedule. Yet most of us sail to a schedule, for various reasons, and sometimes suffer as a result. This fall has been particularly interesting, as the usual gamut of cruising rallies here in the U.S. and shorthanded ocean races over in Europe have sought to evade the clutches of the coming winter.
Exhibit A: the Caribbean 1500. For the second year in a row my SAILfeed compadre Andy Schell, who now wrangles the rally for the World Cruising Club, has had the cojones not to postpone the rally start, but to “prepone” it (so to speak) by setting his ducks loose upon the waters a day before the scheduled start (on November 2 instead of November 3) so as not to miss a promising weather window.…
Typhoon Haiyan ran a course of destruction through the Philippines this week, cutting through the middle of the country on a westbound track. It came with sustained winds of nearly 200 mph (320 km/h)- gusts were up to 235 mph. Can you even imagine what it feels like to be in that kind of wind? Not being able to stand, or walk; the smallest piece of airborne debris hitting with a painful sting. Imagine being in a car going that fast (as if)- you couldn’t hold your hand out the window.
Like this Super Typhoon, we are in Southeast Asia, but very far away from the bad weather.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 9, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Maybe you, too, have an opinion about how predicted currents should be overlaid on electronic charts? Well, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is developing an S-100 specification for “the delivery and presentation of navigationally significant surface currents” and right now they’re running an online survey of all interested parties. What waters do you care about (coastal for me)? What prediction frequency would you like? Are you willing to pay? How should the data look? And more…
Now maybe you’re thinking that current predictions are already pretty well displayed, and I wouldn’t argue, but what’s wonderful about the IHO’s interest is the prospect of a standard that might encourage the collection and distribution of better data.…
The west side of Borneo is giving us excellent squall-spotting and squall-dodging practice. Thunderstorms form most afternoons.
It starts innocently enough…just some pretty cumulus clouds giving texture to a beautiful day.
But at some point, that puff of fluffy cloud gets evil looking. Most of the time, the wind hits first, with rain starting only when the wind begins to diminish. Unless, of course, it’s an especially evil squall. Then all rules about wind and rain order are off.
We’re mostly able to appreciate the beauty they bring, but it always puts us on high alert, and it can be stressful.
It seems to safe to say that the 2012 North Atlantic tropical storm season has come to end, so I’ve been pawing through the sat pix I’ve collected trying to choose my favorite for the year. In terms of storm intensity, it was a rather poor season, so the pickings are a bit slim. Consequently, my number one choice isn’t actually a satellite image. What you see up top, a pictorial rendering of the locations and intensities of all reported tropical storms and hurricanes since 1851, was published by John Nelson of IDV Solutions on his UXBlog on August 20.
It is quite beautiful, but also a bit counter-intuitive in its presentation, as the map is Antarctic-centric.…
It ends today. So, how did it go?
Here's a review:
[I]t was an active one, with 19 named storms – tied for third most on record. But despite the large number of named storms, the total amount of storm energy (accumulated cyclone energy) was just somewhat above average as we had only one major hurricane and a number of weaker storms which stayed out in the open ocean.
“Based on the combined number, intensity, and duration of all tropical storms and hurricanes, NOAA classifies the season as above-normal. 2012 was an active year, but not exceptionally so as there were 10 busier years in the last three decades,” NOAA wrote in its seasonal recap released today.
The seasonal activity was more than predicted by NOAA thanks to the fact El Nino failed to develop as forecast.
Note: this is re-printed from the March/April 2012 issue of Yacht Essentials Magazine. Thanks to Chris Kennan and Brad Kovach for permission!
“This is complicated.” That is what scientists in the 1960s and 1970s decided a simple graph depicting a chaotic curve – the ‘Lorenz Attractor’ – was trying to say, without having to speak a word.
Fifty years ago, long-range weather forecasting was already a scientific impossibility, and Edward Lorenz proved it. In 1962, Lorenz published his definitive work on meteorology in Volume 20 of the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, a paper made public to little fanfare at the time, but which would soon become one of the most oft-cited works in the greater science community.
In 2011, the storied Chicago-Mackinac Race experienced its first weather-related fatalities when 2 sailors died after their sailboat, Wiingnuts, was capsized by a powerrful thunderstorm.
For the weather-geeks among you, the website LakeErieWx has released a highly detailed analysis of the explosive thunderstorm cells which swept the fleet.
It's an interesting report which emphasizes the fact that any offshore racing boat needs to be ready for pretty
The conclusion (full report is here):
The data from the base reflectivity and base velocity radar imagery suggests that the waters west of Charlevoix, MI were buffeted by a combination of strong winds from the bowing segment to the west-northwest and a strong downdraft from a supercell thunderstorm to the north.