Author: Ken Mckinley

Weather, October 2021

Sometimes we just need to laugh. Dealing with the global pandemic over the past year and a half has been tough on all of us. On top of this, the past two Atlantic hurricane seasons (this one is not quite…

Weather, August 2021

We are now well into the 2021 hurricane season and are watching the evolution of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and the Pacific. In the past I have used these newsletters to present some information about particularly memorable hurricanes,…

Weather: Keeping Score on Hurricane Names

In the last newsletter I speculated on the possible retirement of hurricane names over the past two Atlantic hurricane seasons. Recall that it is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that generates the lists of names that are used for tropical…

Weather, January 2021

The 2020 hurricane season was one for the history books. For just the second time in modern times, the list of Atlantic storm names was exhausted, requiring the use of the Greek alphabet. The last time this happened was in…

Weathering the pandemic

The global coronavirus pandemic has affected all of our lives in countless ways, and ocean voyagers are no exception.

Tropical cyclone graphics

Whenever a tropical cyclone (tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane) is present, there is a large amount of information available to help the public understand the outlook for the system or systems of interest, and also to help with decisions that need to be made and actions that need to be taken.

Hurricane Humberto

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season has been rather active so far, and the historic peak of the season, which is Sept. 10, is two weeks in the rear-view mirror at the time of this newsletter.

Heading north or south

As we have passed the summer solstice, many U.S. ocean voyagers may be heading north or south of the border.

Southern Indian Ocean hurricanes

At this time of year, tropical storms and hurricanes are not high in the consciousness of those of us in the Northern Hemisphere as the hurricane season has not yet begun.

Odds and ends

As we finish up 2018, I thought I would use this newsletter to talk briefly about a couple of topics rather than go into more detail about one topic.

A "Medicane"

The title of this newsletter sounds a bit like a medical device or a healthcare plan, but it actually refers to a weather system that can form in the Mediterranean Sea and cause strong winds, heavy rains and very rough seas.

Surface ridges

I recently spent a few days in Newport, R.I., briefing clients on weather and strategy for the Newport to Bermuda sailboat race.

Weather satellite to improve forecasts

Satellite observation of the atmosphere has been a powerful tool for meteorologists since the first weather satellite was placed into orbit in the late 1950s.

A little Pineapple Express

Weather conditions along the U.S. West Coast have made many headlines from last summer through this past winter and into the spring.

Changes in marine weather information

For those who rely on NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center products for their ocean voyaging pursuits — whether through their website, via FTPmail, via HF weatherfax or from other means — you have likely noticed several changes in the past year or so.

An active hurricane season

In late October, we are currently in the waning weeks of the 2017 hurricane season in the northern hemisphere, and in many ways it has been one for the ages.

Tides in the atmosphere

Mariners are quite familiar with tides in most parts of the world, and most probably have a tide table posted on the refrigerator door, in the truck or on board at the nav station.

Synoptic scale, mesoscale and the Marion Bermuda Race

The Marion Bermuda sailboat race took place a week earlier than normal this year due to the America’s Cup races going on in Bermuda, thus allowing the racers to become spectators for that event once they reached the island.

An early start to the tropical season

In a few months when the Atlantic tropical season gets underway, many folks might wonder why the first named storm at that time begins with “B” instead of “A.”

Weather graphics

The way that mariners acquire weather forecast information has changed dramatically in the past generation.

Hurricane-force lows

Low-pressure systems are the weather systems that produce most of the “bad” weather over the world’s oceans, meaning strongest winds and roughest seas.

Lightning over the ocean

Thunder and lightning while underway at sea can be rather unnerving and can also present some significant risks.