Where’s the Wind?

For those of you who live or travel along the Pacific NW coast you might be saying to yourself, there is plenty of wind here and you’re right. The coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California have seen their share of wind this winter. The same can be said for tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, which have experience fresh NE-E winds due to the strong cold air surges moving south of out the Arctic region in the upper to mid latitudes.

Nope, portions of the South China sea have had plenty of NE wind this winter season as the strong high cells over eastern China have been forcing alot of cold air southward and strong NE winds across the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean.

There is one area this season that really hasn’t experienced the seasonal increase in winds due to the cold air moving southward and that area is the Arabian Sea.

The Arabian Sea typically experiences increasing NE-ly winds during this time of the and it last as long as the cold air to the north pushes southward, but this year, the winds are NE-ly but there hasn’t been a real good, strong “seasonal NE Monsoon” in this region so far. Oh sure, there are pockets of increased winds if you believe the reports from every weather reporting ship. Satellite data shows the pattern has been fairly consistent at force 4-5 for the last few weeks and one has to wonder, how long will it take for this conditions to increase.

Pirate activity in this area is benefiting from the lack of strong NE winds. The strong NE winds that typically reach force 7-8 in this region will be strong enough that pirates won’t venture out in their smaller vessels. So far, with the winds closer to force 4-5 the pirate season continues. Now these winds will eventually get there and last for a period of time, maybe a few weeks, but before you know it the NE winds will ease and the gradual transition into the SW monsoon will take place.

Part of the reason for the lack of strong winds is the movement of storms further to the north. The cold air across Europe hasn’t really surged southward across the Med Sea toward Saudi Arabia. Most of the cold air has moved into Europe and then eastward into eastern Europe and western Russia. A pattern such as this will keep the wind NE-ly flow but with no cool/cold air and the high pressure patterns to the north moving southward across the eastern Med Sea toward Saudi Arabia, the stronger winds can’t and won’t develop.

Ah, but there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel. A series of low centers moving eastward across the Med Sea the next few days will allow for some cold air to spread across Europe and could reach as far south/east as the Red Sea and eventually the NW Arabian Sea. If the low centers and cold air move southward then the NE flow across the Arabian Sea should begin to increase.

Voyage of Egret

For those of you in the yachting world, especially Nordhavn owners, you probably have heard of the travels of Scott and Mary Flanders aboard M/Y EGRET. They have lived aboard their 46ft Nordhavn for at least the last 2 years and have traveled half way around the world (so far) and will continue to do so in 2009 and in 2010.

Their journey started upon departing Gibraltar in September 2006 and Ocean Marine Nav Inc has been with them every step of the way. They have enjoy the best of weather and experienced the worst weather since this 2 year adventure. The best part of the trip was making a very important trip around Cape Horn with Vice President of Pacific Asian Enterprises, Jim Leishman aboard and being able to forecast the “perfect weather window” for this region of the world.

It has been said that Cape Horn is the roughest spot in the world to sail around and in broad general terms, it is hard to disagree. However, Cape Horn and the southern tip of the South America does experience good weather for sailing and we were able to find that perfect window for the Scott and Mary in January 2007. Too bad the weather for every leg of the voyage to New Zealand wasn’t as good as the trip around Cape Horn, but you have to expect the worst weather along with the good weather. Keep in mind the worst weather won’t last forever no matter how it is. I’ve been told that it feels like time is standing still when the weather is at its worst…….I can’t argue with that.

Scott and Mary Flanders were referred to us by other Nordhavn owners prior to their departure from the Med Sea. Most of our business is referral and we even had the opportunity to meet Scott and Mary at the Nordhavn party at the 2006 Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Scott and Mary have been posting a greatly detailed blog on their voyage from start to present. Here is another place to visit if you were thinking of undertaking an around the world voyage or even considering retiring aboard your own craft. Scott and Mary have been doing it right for the last few years and are on the right track to continue on for at least the next several years.

If you interested, you can read the travels of Scott and Mary Flanders on the Nordhavn web site at www.nordhavn.com.


Pattern Shift?

For the last few weeks and the for next few days, the weather along the USWC, especially for the Pacific NW, has been less than favorable. Cold air surge after cold air surge from the north followed by a series of cold front approaching from the west. Well, it looks like the Pacific NW may be due for some relief from the nasty weather it has been experiencing as the cold air that has been at the forefront off the frequent occurrances of strong winds and rough sea should take a break later in the week and into the following week.

The reason for the change is that cold air will tend to move south across the central/US and then more eastward to the eastern/US, so the eastern half of the country will tend to be colder during the same time. As the cold air moves eastward the western/US will be under the influence of high pressure over the eastern Pacific. This should allow for a more favorable wind/sea pattern to develop along the coast from Neah Bay southward to southern California.

How long will the good weather last? It’s hard to say since it will depend on where the cold air across Alaska and NW Canada moves and as long as it moves across northern Plains and Great Lakes regions, the USWC will enjoy the more favorable wind/sea conditions. However, once the cold air finds its way southward across the northern Rockies and Pacific NW, the pattern of gale force to storm force winds and rough to very rough sea swells will develop once again.

And to think winter only officially started just before Christmas………… Bob/OMNI