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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

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Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.41.13 AMWhen last week we reported on NOAA’s new Geostationary Lightning Mapper and it’s potential for helping sailors, we ignored one of the great tools already out there for real-time lightning strike mapping.  Thanks to about a dozen Anarchists, here’s the link to Blitzortung.org, where you’ll find real-time worldwide lightning mapping, historical data, and all sorts of other cool tools for those looking to chase or avoid storms.

 

March 10th, 2017 by admin

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We’re not sure whether the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will ever be able to give boat owners real-time warnings when their masts are at risk, but as you can see in the NOAA video posted today, the capability ain’t far off. From the excellent NOAASatellites Youtube channel:

Lightning observed by the GLM illuminates the storms developing over southeast Texas on the morning of February 14, 2017, in this animation of GLM lightning events overlaid on Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) cloud imagery. Frequent lightning is occurring with the convective cells embedded in this severe weather system. The green cross indicates the location of Houston, and green dotted lines indicate the Texas coastline. This animation, rendered at 25 frames per second, simulates what your eye might see from above the clouds. GLM perceives the scene at 500 frames per second, and can distinguish the location, intensity and horizontal propagation of individual strokes within each lightning flash. Monitoring the flash rate from convective cells and their extent can help forecasters improve tornado and severe weather forecasts and warnings and their impending threat to the public. At the time of this animation, the storm cell in the center of the frame was reported by the NWS to have spawned one of a number of tornadoes and damaging winds spawned by the storm complex.

 

March 6th, 2017 by admin

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It’s been a relatively quiet summer for storms, but with the meat of the hurricane season upon us, things are starting to boil in the tropical Atlantic.  Tropical Storm “Gaston” is a long way off (and hopefully he won’t be as nasty as his namesake in the early days of the SA Forums), but TD 99L is already on the doorstep to the Caribbean, and poised to be named Hurricane Hermine soon.  From our own longtime severe Wx prognosticator Mark Michaelson:

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.49.13 PMSystem 99L isn’t well organized and it isn’t in a dynamic environment for rapid intensification…YET***. The dry air surrounding 99L will give way to a less stable and more dynamic environment on final approach to the Florida Peninsula. If the ridge builds back in this could look very much like a Hurricane Andrew or Hurricane Katrina event. Neither of those ended very well for the participants…If however the topography of Hispaniola keepS the lid on things and the ridge doesn’t build back in then it is likely to just be a small, nasty little storm with modest damage. Regardless, people living in the central and western Caribbean, Florida and all of the Gulf Coast should start to watch how this system is progressing over the next four days.  More later (HERE) as things get potentially more interesting.

August 24th, 2016 by admin

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There aren’t a whole lot of regattas that have their own video morning weather report, but then again Sperry Charleston Race Week isn’t like most regattas, though it does provide a blueprint for cool shit you can do at your own event.

Despite losing offshore circles yesterday (to conditions that ended up being perfectly sailable), the inshore fleets got 3-4 races in and the weather is only getting better in Chucktown.  Clean and Mer are blowing it up on CRW’s Facebook Page all day with videos and photos and more, so check out the country’s biggest regatta live today.

 

April 16th, 2016 by admin

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Quite possibly the best weather-related audio track in the history of weather-related audio tracks, it’s legendary Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan making the Beaufort Scale sound like a concerto.  Nice find from ‘blackjenner’.

 

February 9th, 2016 by admin

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12036673_873278652767872_5329785065186097861_nDespite the fun of pop-culture references to Hurricane Joaquin, the third big storm of the Atlantic season ain’t fucking around, and Joaquin will hit parts of the Bahamas today and tonight as a Cat 3 or 4 monster.  The storm may not stop her destruction there, either; some of the latest tracks still have it teeing off on a possibly wide swath of Mid or Northeast coast with winds well over 100 knots.  So get your dinghies stowed, triple all your lines, and make sure your premiums are paid up – and post video to SA Facebook if you’re brave and/or dumb enough to get some.

Good luck, especially to all the boys and girls setting up the US Sailboat Show in Naptown, and monitor the thread for the latest, including forecasts from SA’er DryArmour.

 

October 1st, 2015 by admin

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UPDATE:  This morning at 6:20AM the fabled Wedge in Newport Beach is checking in with 20-25 foot swells and occasionally, a 30-footer! Now go be safe, people. for those of you going in and out of channel entrances please pause and make certain you are between sets before you make the charge in or out in the impact zone. For a real-time camera feed of some major surfing wipeouts, go here. 

Hurricane and extreme weather boffin Mark Michaelsen continues to take time to report on severe weather events for Anarchists (This time, from SoCal) while his company DryUV is filling all those 60% off DryArmour orders.  Keep the orders coming: Long or short sleeve Pro-Tech for under $20, including your logo.

As BIG WEDNESDAY approaches (Major swell from previously Category 5 hurricane Marie) one has to wonder how many more seasons we here in SO CAL can go without at least a slap on the wrist from a major hurricane. This September 21st will mark the 75th anniversary of the 1939 Long Beach cyclone. As the winter storm fronts begin to influence the steering patterns of Eastern Pacific hurricanes as we wind toward fall, several factors are coming into alignment that may make this the year we finally get a system to come visit us.  Warmer than normal Sea Surface Temperatures from Santa Barbara to Cabo San Lucas are in theory making it the most likely year in decades for us to see a tropical cyclone or at least the remnants of one here in the normally arid Southwest. Above is the SST anomaly for the Eastern Pacific and you can see that the beltway between the formation area to the south of Baja and So Cal is wide open for storms at the moment.

Cyclone after cyclone is traveling by to the West the water temperatures are being driven up.  We may see a cool down between now and the weekend however as a low pressure system over the interior southwest will bring brisk 15-20 knot winds Wednesday through Thursday in the late afternoon and evening hours. This should make for some great sailing this week. For those of you sailing Wet Wednesday and Thirsty Thursdays entering and exiting the South or Southwestern facing channels may prove dangerous at times. Low tide in the area is around 5PM and this will represent the great chance of waves breaking at the harbor entrances.  Bring your GoPro or Camera Phone to capture the scene as it should be EPIC. Post the footage here please as there are sure to be lessons learned from this surf event and how mariners deal with it. Here is a shot from Oceanside Harbor which is one of the south facing harbor entrances that is likely to be affected by this swell. The Orange County Harbors will likely feel the greatest effects though.

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Other factors that may improve our chances to get a hurricane or what is left of one include but are not limited to:

  • -Reduced shear
    -Ample ACE (Accumulated cyclone energy) in the incubation area to our south
    -Plenty of start-up energy in the form of tropical wave after tropical wave entering the far southeast Pacific.
  • We haven’t had much in the way of natural disasters here lately (At least in So Cal) and after living here thirty years I know that trend cannot continue.
  • Several municipalities have seen fit to let the drainage system become silted up in many areas and have even turned a few areas in to parks (Yes, it has been that dry for years). We had less than 6” of rain in the last 12 months. A whopping total of 11 days of any rain during those same 12 months. The lack of maintenance to these critical drainage systems could prove literally fatal if not remedied before  even a tropical storm comes to visit. Murphy’s Law at work.

I for one look forward to a visit from a tropical cyclone as the weather here is far too mundane for my taste but the quality of the weather for the family and sports is hard to beat.

Unless you are an expert waterman, stay on the beach and watch as one of the more epic surf events in recent history unfolds and if you must go to sea, watch the channel entrances VERY* carefully and time your sets both going out and coming back in.

As always, drop me a note with any questions, and check the thread for the latest.

Mark Michaelsen

August 27th, 2014 by admin

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SA’s resident Wx expert ‘DryArmour’ checks in with a report on El Nino.  For more, check the thread, and if one of the hundreds of uninformed news reports on the weather phenomenon has you confused, read this primer on the state of the Pacific.

The Eastern and Central Pacific are as active as I can recall over the last 20 years. A generally moist environment is increasing the chance for tropical storm Boiling Pacific July 23, 2014development. Two areas are of particular interest at the moment. One 800 mi SSE of the Bog Island of Hawaii is marginally likely to turn into something that requires watching. The second area is just east 140 degrees west and is already showing some rotation and cloud tops near the center are cold to very cold. Some SW shear is slowing rapid development for the moment. Both systems are moving generally westward @10-15mph. If you live in the Hawaiian Islands or are traveling there in the next week pay attention to the weather and local notifications. The Sea Surface temperatures are also much warmer than the average over the last 20 years and getting warmer and spreading northward.

Read on.

 

July 28th, 2014 by admin

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Every sailor sees fog now and again, but we can’t recall ever seeing photos of a fog bank like this one rolling in so perfectly.  Gorgeous work from a salmon fisherman on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, with the full gallery here.  Thanks to MI Anarchist ‘Geff’ for the tip.

May 24th, 2014 by admin

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SA’er “DryArmour” checks in from his weather lab at the start of the normally docile NOSA 2014 Newport to Ensenada with this monster forecast.  Stay safe, people!

Wx N2E 033 25042014Good Friday morning to everyone from the WxRouting weather center. The 66th annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht race kicks off today around noon off the Balboa Pier off Newport Beach, CA. A late season storm is dropping southward and a GALE WARNING* has now been posted for the inner waters and includes part of the race course. This warning may be extended southward as winds and seas build. A 50% chance of rain is also in the forecast so the challenges will be many for the racers. For Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon there is a chance of thunderstorms over the coastal waters.

At 0300 PDT, winds in the coastal waters of the northern channel islands are in the 29 knot sustained range and gusting into the mid 30s. The wave heights are already 8.5 feet with a very short period of just 9 seconds. A southerly swell at four feel will add to the washing machine effect.

At this time I will make the recommendation that racers unprepared for these conditions or vessels not thoroughly outfitted consider your options carefully with regard to sailing the course. Safe ports of harbor along the way should also be thoroughly inspected and charts consulted in advance of departure so that you are familiar with fairways and range markers should seeking refuge from the potentially hazardous conditions become a good idea in the team’s estimation. Remember that it is the skipper and crew’s sole responsibility to determine whether it is safe to race at the start and at any time while on the race course.

As Dirty Harry told us, A good man (or woman) knows their limitations. But in a sport where we’ve seen far too many tragedies over the past few years, it applies in spades today. For race teams and vessels who are prepared, this may be an epic race – one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ heavy-air run that many of us cherish from our past, precisely because they are so few and far between…but the utmost care needs to be given with regard to safety. Jacklines run and tested.  Harnesses inspected and WORN with PFDs included.  MOB/COB drills.  Safety briefings and all crew given the chance to speak their mind prior to finding themselves in a  situation they are unprepared for.

The biggest challenge for the N2E could be returning home, so plan  accordingly. Winds and seas remain a big concern right through Sunday, and care and prudence should be used in abundance when choosing a day and time to return to port here in the states.

Be safe everyone and many thanks to those of you who have selected WxRouting race forecasting to make your voyage as fast and safe as possible. For those of you who have purchased the race forecast package the details will lag by about 15 minutes today as there is a lot of data coming in and I feel it more important to get the forecast right than to get it to you 15 minutes earlier.

DISCLAIMER- WEATHER FORECASTING IS AN INEXACT SCIENCE. CONDITIONS MAY NOT MATERIALIZE AS FORECAST BUT THE PRUDENT MARINER UNDERSTANDS THAT THE CONDITIONS MAY ALSO EXCEED THE PROJECTED WINDS AND SEAS BY AS MUCH AS 20-50%. BE SAFE, MAKE GOOD CHOICES PEOPLE.

 

April 25th, 2014 by admin

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