Cooking up a cyclone

As the June to November hurricane season evolves, attention will gradually focus on certain conditions of…

Crossing the Doldrums

For centuries sailors dreaded the aptly named Doldrums. This band of windless, hot, and humid weather near the equator could stall sailing ships for weeks, driving the crew to distraction with the monotony and sometimes even leading to the…

Weather: Comma Cloud Systems (Low Pressure Systems)

From the Ocean Navigator School of Seamanship weather course A comma cloud system is really nothing more than a more descriptive name for a cyclone or low-pressure system. Learning to recognize the elements…

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, October 2020

Omega blocks Upper atmosphere winds, blowing across the earth from west to east at speeds from 50 to 150 knots, help create and influence surface weather. Viewed from above Earth, these winds move along paths resembling ocean waves in profile.…

The eye of the butterfly

June’s arrival marked two significant weather periods, the beginning of “summer” and the June-November hurricane season, both raising the possibility of stormy weather and the more important question: What kind of storm?

Weathering the pandemic

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

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.

Prediction says fewer hurricanes

Andrea, Barry and Chantal are just three of the names to be given to Atlantic hurricanes this year by NOAA, which in April released the full list of names that will be used in 2019.

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.

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.