iMap

Posted by Grant Headifen on February 5, 2009 under weather | Be the First to Comment

You can get an iMap weather plugin for your website or blog. The map below is in real time.

Where is the storm center?

Posted by Grant Headifen on January 16, 2009 under Skipper, Storm Tactics, weather | Be the First to Comment

We’ve received a few questions on clarification of the mechanics of determining the direction of the center of a weather system either a high or a low. So we added it to Module 4 of the weather clinic and we’re also describing it here.

The graphic below shows a weather map in the northern pacific last week. You can see two systems, a giant low system at 173 degrees west and 45 degrees north and a giant high system to the east at 127 degrees west and 47 degrees north. You’ll also notice the large cold front heading east and a warm front heading north. If your vessel was located at 150 degrees west and 45 degrees north, you’ll notice that the wind will be directly out of the south. This direction is created from the rotation of both systems in the opposite direction. Thus if you face the wind, the low will be on your right and the high will be on your left. This is a general rule that you can use in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere it is opposite – with your face to the wind the low will be on your right and the high will be on your left. It’s always best to simply draw the circles in your mind or on paper. Then draw the direction of rotation. Then place yourself anywhere on the circle with your face to the wind. Extend your arms and viola!

Weather systems

Weather systems

Here then is an example of application of the rule of “put the wind on your starboard side in the northern hemisphere”. If your vessel was at 172 degrees west and 40 degrees north with the wind on your starboard side, you’d be heading away from the storm system (south), and towards Hawaii which wouldn’t be bad anyway.


First Weather Blog

Posted by Grant Headifen on December 10, 2008 under weather | Be the First to Comment

This is the first weather blog and fitting as it is – a cold front ripped through Austin Texas, NauticEd’s HQ,  last night dropping the temperature from 76 deg F yesterday to freezing rain overnight,  32 deg F and a sharp wind direction change from west to north. The cold front looked like this. This morning the sky is loaded with Cirrus, Alto stratus and Cirrocumulus and changing to an ultra clear day. Brrrrh!
Here is the map taken from http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/UA.shtml this morning. (Guitar added for effect to show Austin, Tx. Music Captial)

Cold front passing through austin Texas this morning

Cold front passing through Austin Texas this morning

I remember one time (not in band camp) we were sailing in Belize in 2004. It was near the end of the Hurricane season and had also heard of a strange and strong sudden wind that mysteriously appears in Belize so we were on the look out. We stopped on an island one afternoon. While lying under a tree with some nice cold drink in hand a local wondered by. We began talking about hurricanes and local weather etc, so I asked him if he knew anything about approaching weather. Thinking that perhaps he had been listening to the radio recently. He just looked up at the sky looked down at me and said “No Mon – weather is good for the next 3-4 days”. It was a sign to me to gain that skyward knowledge if I was to continue my sailing skills.

The Weather course was written by Jay Brosius a weather consultant and sailor. His knowledge imparted into the Weather Clinic is invaluable and were proud to have him as the Weather Faculty Member. Jay wrote the course while sailing across the pacific and the bulk of the course was transmitted by satellite email service.

Please enjoy the Weather Clinic – and as always please comment or contribute to the blog. Tell us your weather stories. Just register and start typing.