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Old 06-06-2015, 17:35   #46
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

I was just out in the Sea of Cortez about 40km from San Carlos and I can tell you that water is VERY warm. Like bath water. 80 degrees or more. Good luck with what ever you decide.
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:49   #47
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

zeehag said today at about 2 PM PDT:
"right now the winds of blanca are 130 kts andf GROWING she is anticipated to hit pacific side, NORTH OF CABO SAN LUCAS as a cat 4 and mebbe 5, unless some very drastic weakening occurs, which has not been expected,as meteorologists are still talking cat5."

I sure do not see that from the NHC weather data published at 2 PM PDT Saturday. Hurricane monitoring aircraft found only 105 knot winds early on Saturday and the convection was diminishing. I know zeehag does not appreciate professional weather guys - BUT that was measured data!

The situation is serious enough without adding hyperbole.

That forecast shows the storm coming ashore at 24.38N 112.07W with 35 knots at 11 AM PDT Monday. That location is the entrance to Bahia Magdalena..

When Blanca is 40 NM South of Mag Bay it will be down to 55 knots at 11 PM PDT Sunday. At this time the 50 knot wind field extends only 60 NM North from the storm center and lessening. That means that Bahia Magdalena and Santa Maria will see SE and East winds of less than 50 knots, but the storm will take 12-hours to move to just north of Santa Maria which means the winds in those two bays will move to the south as the storm approaches and passes overhead. The winds are predicted to drop rapidly as the storm comes ashore.

The forecast is for Blanca to drop below 70 knots at about noon on Sunday while she is still west of Cabo San Lucas.

The same forecast puts the probability of Hurricane Force winds hitting anywhere on the Baja west coast at less than 20% and it gives only a 40% chance of Tropical Storm force winds hitting that west coast.

The detailed forecast for Cabo San Lucas is less than a 3% chance of seeing more than 64 knots and less than 14% chance of 50 knot winds.

"Late this morning, satellite imagery began to show some decrease in
the deep convection surrounding the eye, and the latest Dvorak
estimates suggest that the winds are probably down to 105 kt.
Limited data from the reconnaissance plane, which had to return to
base, also indicate that the initial intensity is 105 kt. A portion
of the circulation is already reaching cooler waters, and the NHC
forecast calls for weakening. This process should occur even faster
as the cyclone approaches the west coast of the southern Baja
California peninsula."
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:21   #48
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Exactly! Still something to be quite wary of, particularly those boats anchored in the Mag Bay area, but the environmental conditions, cooler water, wind shear and mountainous terrain will take their toll, as they often do. I continue to wish the best for those in Bianca's path, since even these winds can cause the loss of a boat or person, and damage, too, but it's not the apocalypse. The biggest problems are likely to be the surge in southeast facing anchorages such as at Cabo and the rest of the Cape area, but the marinas should be in pretty decent shape. The one on the left side of the entrance to the harbor in Cabo may take a whack, as it often does, but that should be about it. Also, whenever there is lots of rain, there is hell to pay in the way of washed out roads and vados so it can be hard to get around for a few days. But Baja fixes the Transpenninsular Highway from Cabo up to Tijuana remarkably quickly, much more so that in the US. Fewer regs!
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:44   #49
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Head deep into the mangrove lagoon in Mag. Bay,yes there are mangroves there,set anchors and tie off to anything you can find.That is safest place to be in your situation.Don't hesitate,do it now.It has proven to work.
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Old 06-06-2015, 19:25   #50
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

ok good news-- jon has found a good place to hide, and blanca is changing her path enough to accommodate him, and shouldnt be too horrible by the time our other friends become acquainted with her, as she will enjoy most of baja. however, there is still much debate over her actual intensity by the time of her landfall..
as the pacific is still cold, she should weaken considerably before hitting coast, but andres didnt when he got into colder water. he kinda hung around awhile before giving up. we see what she does.
ultimately, aridzona should hopefully get some rain, also.
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Old 06-06-2015, 20:17   #51
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

"Head deep into the mangrove lagoon in Mag. Bay,yes there are mangroves "

Bahia Santa Maria Mangroves ... and a victim of an earlier hurricane that I found 20' above the mangroves in the sand dunes
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Old 06-06-2015, 22:12   #52
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Photos taken at 5 pm San Jose del Cabo Marina. Photos by SV/La Volante Francis Jane
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Old 07-06-2015, 14:06   #53
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
"By the way, with regard to "professional" forecasters (and having spent many years helping do Ham weather for Mexico and managing a marina in Mexico) NOAA and the NHC has and pays for lots of 'em. Don't underestimate their forecasts, viewed over the long term, although individual private forecasters may get a particular storm more correctly. And the private forecasters usually bring a particular experience and perspective that is most helpful for similar folks and boats and locations. But they all base them on the official information, models, charts, etc, because it's the Government that has the money to make them, launch satellites, etc. etc. which is pretty obvious when you think about it!"

sorry i do no tpay attention to forecasters, but i do converse with scientists who ARE the weather writers. i porefer to attend to the sat fotos not used by noaa and nhc, and i prefer to follow the models used by the international scientists, and fly overs i read about when i read these scientists discussions and view th e pictures and graphics posted by them, as they are and have been mor eaccurate then those generaqted by usa organizations.
soc is all well and good. i have been around the place on land.
i refuse to take my boat up there.
to me it is still a boat trap.
having been into weather since i was 7 yrs old, same year i began sailing, i learned there are many more accurate sources of information found outside the usa than inside usa.
but, i do not listen nor watch the bubble headed baublehead spewing someone elses words on television. forecasters do nothing for me. i find them ignorant of reality and science.
Often, disagreements are born of misunderstanding, and I think this may have happened here. When I referred to professional forecasters, I meant exactly that: the meteorologists that work for the NHC, NOAA, and other organizations around the world, including private ones. I would call them scientists, in the truest sense of the world. Most of them do get some or all of their information from NOAA and its branches, simply because they have many of the satellites and most of the really big computers which are needed to produce the models. That is not to say that there aren't other countries with satellites and computers; in fact, of the two models that have historically been the most accurate with regard to hurricanes, one is the US based GFS, and the other is the Euro model. But, there are other good ones, and improvements are constantly being made, including some pretty significant ones made to the GFS, just this year. And while the Euro model has generally done a bit better than the GFS, it all depends on how each model initializes a given storm, and that varies from storm to storm. Real forecasting and analytical skill is involved in deciding which model is most appropriate for a given storm....that and actually flying into a hurricane, which, unfortunately, is necessary to truly determine the center and a number of other things upon which the best forecasts depend. And these flights are mostly done by the US, some by NOAA and some by the Military.

When I talk about private forecasters, I am referring to persons or organizations who produce a product (and sometimes charge for it) that applies mostly to a particular area or a particular need like shipping. Weather routers fall into this category, folks like Commander's Weather, for example, or Chris Parker. Years ago in Mexico, before the days of Don Anderson, there was a guy on the Chubasco Ham Net, who was very good considering the more limited weather sources and computing powers of the day. He was actually a teacher, and his vocation of teaching eventually pushed out his avocation of Mexican weather. But he was good, and he had very good real-time on-the-ground resources that were organized via the Sonrisa Net. For many years, Herb Hilgenberger did a terrific job for vessels in the Atlantic and beyond. It was a very intensive labor of love. Chris Parker is one of the folks who have slipped into the void left when Herb quit, and he does a good job too. Each of these private weather forecasting sources had or has its own biases and tendencies, and it sometimes took or takes quite awhile to become able to factor those into account when making an informed weather choice. But, for all these folks and organizations, the real nitty gritty weather sources and computer fire-power come from NOAA and its counterparts in a few other nations. They are the only ones with the resources required. So it's truly silly to dismiss NOAA, and it's also silly to dismiss similar sources from outside the US. And it's ironic when some of the private forecasters do so, perhaps for commercial purposes, since their raw data always comes from these very sources!

For what it is worth, when I was responsible for the safety of several hundred boats in a marina in Baja, for five years (we never lost one), I spent a good part of the day (in Hurricane Season) going through the stuff from NOAA/NHC, Dr. Jeff Masters (Weather Underground), and the Chubasco Net. Now, running a charter yacht in the Caribbean, I use NOAA/NHC, Dr. Jeff Masters (Weather Underground), Chris Parker, Windguru, and Crown Weather. I blend all of them, which usually works right back to the NHC. But I still prepare carefully, each time, using the lessons learned from multiple near misses and three direct hits. If you live in the hurricane zones year round, you can't always dodge the bullet. I must be crazy!!!

I think that when Zee fulminates about professional forecasters, she may be referring to the folks that crop up on TV and deliver very sensationalistic forecasts. Many of them are simply newscasters who are designated as the weather person for that show. Some are meteorologists, too, but I suspect they are all simply trying to drive up ratings. Even the Weather Channel is very guilty of that, although this used to be much less the case. And, sorry to say, in the cruising world, there is much second hand forecasting done that is of the same nature, and that has included very well known sources, in Mexico and other places. And, in blogs like this one.

For what it is worth, the pros at the NHC seem to have had a very good handle on Blanca, as they usually do. Blanca is rapidly weakening, for all the predictable reasons of water temperature, topography, sheer, and dry air, all of which the NHC has been pointing out for several days. The storm is blowing in Los Cabos, at this moment, and it will cause some problems up the coast. Hopefully, all the boats that folks are concerned about, not to mention those that have gone unmentioned, will make out OK. The swells will probably cause some damage in Los Cabos and similarly facing beaches, and be felt all the way up in SoCal. And the rain may knock out some roads in Baja for a relatively short period of time. All of this is unwelcome, but predictable and far from unusual.

For what it is worth, the Sea of Cortez is not a deathtrap for boats, although quite a number of boats have been trapped there, over the years. I have always said that, in order to live in a hurricane area, you have to have the discipline to adequately prepare for the eleventh storm, when the first ten either missed, dissipated, or did no damage. And, even if you prepare, you can get unlucky in the Sea, just like anywhere else. Probably the two most vulnerable categories of boats, over the years, have been those that have been left unattended for the summer (or longer), even in the "care" of someone (who will be desperately caring for his or her own boat if things really get chaotic), and those belonging to folks who have more or less stopped or taken a vacation from cruising and have "settled" into an area. This becomes a factor in their decision making and renders it far less objective than the thinking of folks who are truly cruising and moving about, and are willing to run, when necessary. La Paz certainly comes to mind, and, to a lesser extent, so do Puerto Escondido, Bahia Concepcion, and Santa Rosalia. But, they are all great spots for some storms, particularly PE, and there are many other nooks and crannies. Zee has chosen not to spend time there, for reasons that make sense to her, and so she may not be aware of the various spots. But, they are there, and the folks who move around become aware of them. And prepare.

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 07-06-2015, 14:21   #54
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

for what it is worth, when a storm cruises up middle of soc there is NOWHERE safe in the sea, hence my opinion that it truly is a boat trap. i did not say death:trap, that is your own idea.
i do not listen to the baubleheads and paid FORECASTERS and i learned very young that i did not NEED someone elses opinions and interpretations of the weather. i do just as well if not better in figgering it out for myself, thankyou, as i have since 1955 or 1956. i was a kid learning weather so i could sail intelligently, as taught by a REAL ships captain merchant marines rtw steam and tallships.
to each his own ... but y'all can keep the words of others. i prefer the tools over other folks' words.

funny how odile and blanca each and both proved my point as to trap status of soc and the potential for real damage that is contained within the gulf of california, which is only 90 miles wide, to the occasionally 400 mile diameter of a good storm.
anyone thinking othrrwise has not much foresight, i dont care how many years yada yada ....
i have yet to meet a true sailor who takes the word of others over his own intelligence.
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Old 07-06-2015, 14:40   #55
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Last email from about one hour ago. San Jose del Cabo Marina.

"winds are gusting to 25 kts in the marina, surf out at the breakwater is dramatic but very little is coming inside, still pretty calm, a few spits of rain"

I requested more photos. . . .
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Old 07-06-2015, 15:20   #56
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

The NHC has downgraded Blanca to a Tropical Storm as of their 3:00 pm MDT advisory based on airplane data. It is not yet at Cabo San Lucas' latitude. Their hurricane watch has been cancelled by the Mexican Gov't.

Here in La Paz in one of the marinas it is sunny with mid and low-level clouds zipping by up there. We have constant wind of 18-20 knots with gusts to 30-35 knots. The highest I've seen is 33 knots, but we had a higher one just before that. The boats in the marina are doing well. There are no sails free and I've seen nothing out of control. The large powerboats on the end ties have put out anchors in the marina to keep them off the docks. The boats have been prepped well. Even boats with absent owners were cared for, mostly by other boatowners on their docks. Genoas were tied, boatcovers were removed, docklines were added.

The strongest winds for our area are forecast to be less than 50 knots but unfortunately should be coming around 11:00 pm or midnight. I'll be sitting up tonight. My best wishes to everyone who may be affected by this storm.
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Old 07-06-2015, 15:21   #57
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Be well, everyone.

I hope we hear from Morgan soon, too.

Friends sheltered up a mangrove creek from a cyclone (in Fiji). We were in ham radio contact with them: 50 knots at the masthead, but calm at deck level. Great protection.
Didn't even scratch the gelcoat. Hoping cocokai has found such a spot.


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Old 07-06-2015, 15:37   #58
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
for what it is worth, when a storm cruises up middle of soc there is NOWHERE safe in the sea, hence my opinion that it truly is a boat trap. i did not say death:trap, that is your own idea.
i do not listen to the baubleheads and paid FORECASTERS and i learned very young that i did not NEED someone elses opinions and interpretations of the weather. i do just as well if not better in figgering it out for myself, thankyou, as i have since 1955 or 1956. i was a kid learning weather so i could sail intelligently, as taught by a REAL ships captain merchant marines rtw steam and tallships.
to each his own ... but y'all can keep the words of others. i prefer the tools over other folks' words.

funny how odile and blanca each and both proved my point as to trap status of soc and the potential for real damage that is contained within the gulf of california, which is only 90 miles wide, to the occasionally 400 mile diameter of a good storm.
anyone thinking othrrwise has not much foresight, i dont care how many years yada yada ....
i have yet to meet a true sailor who takes the word of others over his own intelligence.
I have no interest in an argument, and would respectfully suggest that if you were to actually spend some time in the Sea - which I believe you have said you haven't - you might form your own opinion differently.

For a storm that goes right up the middle of the Sea, I can rattle off ten bullet proof anchorages, as I imagine anyone else who has travelled the length of it can. But, they don't include most of La Paz. The storms around the edges of the Sea are tougher to handle, but they usually get beaten down quite quickly by the mountainous terrain and the fact that, by their very size, most of their circulation is not over water. For the same reason, the really large diameter storms rarely penetrate very far.

Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions, and responsible decisions factor in boat type, speed, and capability and the crew's abilities and inclinations, among other things, plus plain old intuition. But, Zee, you have an audience who enjoy reading your contributions so I don't think it's fair of you to so roundly condemn something that you have said you won't even try, when many others have done so with great success and enjoyment.

Name calling and insults don't sway discussions, nor do I believe, does "time of service" necessarily buttress an opinion. But, for what it's worth, I started sailing over 55 years ago, have lived aboard for 29 years, and have had boat(s) in hurricane zones, year round, for over 24 years, without loss. So, if you think years matter, which I really don't, there's that. Oh, and a lot of time in the Sea, some of it holed up in hurricane holes!
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Old 07-06-2015, 15:57   #59
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

Two minutes ago . . . .

"Yes, Blanca has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm and she's not even to our latitude yet. The winds are still picking up, however, now gusting to 41 kt in the marina. We are heeling a little in our slip. The photos taken several hours ago did not turn out very well. There was so much sea spray in the air that everything is hazy. I can't seem to get them to upload. I will try again later. Don't know if we are losing internet capability now. It keeps kicking out."
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Old 07-06-2015, 17:42   #60
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Re: Hurricane Blanca

CAELESTIS,

Thanks for the update. Let's hope it stays downgraded, and goes away fast.

Ann
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