Author: Ken Mckinley

Lows and arrows

Many mariners are familiar with the surface weather charts from NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center and make regular use of these charts to help make their weather-related voyaging decisions.

The demise of hurricanes and tropical storms

As I write this newsletter in October, the hurricane season, while certainly not over, is on its inevitable downhill slide. So I thought it would be interesting to write about how tropical storms and hurricanes can weaken and dissipate. Frequently…

Higher profile ocean current data

The Ocean Prediction Center website (http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov) is an excellent first stop for ocean voyagers looking for weather information tailored toward their pursuits, and I have written frequently about the website and the products available there. Those who visit the site…

Some changes on tropical surface charts

Recently a couple of changes have been made to surface analysis charts and surface forecast charts generated by NOAA that cover the tropical latitudes in the Atlantic and Pacific. While these changes are subtle, they do include the use of…

The mother of all ocean waves

For ocean voyagers, one of the most important factors that impact travel on the sea is the sea state. There are waves of all sizes and shapes on the ocean, from small locally generated wind waves to larger, longer period…

Time to learn

Here we are at the beginning of March, and for most folks across the U.S. it has been a rather difficult winter. Snow amounts have been well above normal over many areas, and unusually cold temperatures have affected much of…

Meteorology & Marine Weather Class

This course is available to you through the Ocean Navigator School of Seamanship. Title: Understanding Meteorology and Marine WeatherInstructor: Ken McKinley, Professional MeteorologistDates: April 9 - 10, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm each dayLocation: Marine Systems Training Center, Thomaston, MECost:…

Ocean effect

Over the past couple of weeks, winter weather has made plenty of headlines in the central and eastern U.S. We have seen blizzard conditions affecting portions of the north central U.S., cold temperatures penetrating very far south into the southeastern…

Wind and current

Last time I talked about the meteorological effects on tides, and by extension, tidal currents. This time, I thought I would focus on a different aspect of this interaction, and talk about how wind and current affect the sea state.…

Weather and tides

Many mariners set their schedules based on the expected state of the tide. In some cases, this is necessary, and in other cases simply convenient. The forces that affect the tides are fairly well known, and this has allowed for…

Subtropical highs and hurricanes

In the last newsletter, I talked about oceanic high-pressure systems and the types of weather they can produce, and I promised to expand the discussion this time to include the role they play in determining the tracks of tropical storms…