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Old 03-03-2012, 12:58   #1
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Riding Out Thunderstorms

What are you supposed to do if you see a water spout spawned by tornados ?
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Old 03-03-2012, 13:23   #2
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

Put the kettle on....


Quote:
Originally Posted by svpattyd View Post
What are you supposed to do if you see a water spout spawned by tornados ?
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Old 03-03-2012, 13:49   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo55
Put the kettle on....
Ok done. Next?
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Old 03-03-2012, 13:51   #4
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

Not much you can do- because they uselly change direction often and are coming much faster than a sailboat can move- I have had some come with in a 1/4 mile before-
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Old 03-03-2012, 13:59   #5
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

At anchor, or sailing?

I tend to reduce/drop sails. Tie down everything unsecured.
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Old 03-03-2012, 14:07   #6
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

Had three chase me in toward St. George Island after crossing from Cedar Key all night.

Wind was slacking just after dawn, still 45 miles out, trying to get the last bit of mileage from the sails before having to start the engine. Only making 2.5 knots, trimming, trimming, popcorn thunderstorms all around but all moving east. Then the wind did a 180 and put me in irons.

Thought about a breakfast snack but then noticed the water spouts behind me moving west toward me. I was taking pictures until I noticed they were coming at me just as rain drops started to fall. Looked up to see the cloud they were coming from stretched to directly overhead.

I decided to blow the soot out of the exhaust elbow. And I've never dropped the sails so fast before or since.

Took about 15 minutes before I could tell they were falling back. Kept it at full power for another 15 just for peace of mind. My SPOT track had a couple of long segments in it there that friends commented on later.
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Old 03-03-2012, 14:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife
At anchor, or sailing?

I tend to reduce/drop sails. Tie down everything unsecured.
Mooring ball, north Florida.
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Old 03-03-2012, 14:22   #8
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

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Originally Posted by svpattyd View Post
What are you supposed to do if you see a water spout spawned by tornados ?
(just a technical correction: water spouts are not spawned by tornadoes per se but generally by other forms of severe weather like thunderstorms/squalls).

Not a lot you can do because their path is very erratic. Of course, try to maneuver away from them if you can. If you have the time, get sails and canvas down because you definitely can't sail in them and you want to reduce windage as much as possible.

Just had friends at anchor hit by one in Roatan. Got knocked down (monohull) with minor damage, but otherwise OK. They were preparing for a chilli contest -- which they won!

There is an area of Belize where, in the right weather conditions, water spouts form quite readily. Saw three at once one time. Pic attached which captured one of them.
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Old 03-03-2012, 14:47   #9
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

The one i've seen while on the water caused me to do three things:
1. stare at it slack-jawed
2. stare at the tachometer with jaw firmly set whilst doing hull speed/rpm math in my head
3. in between these extremes, take a brief moment to rethink my position as an atheist
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Old 03-03-2012, 15:02   #10
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

Weathering Katrina at home in New Orleans my brother had a similar response to number 3. And questioned his No Guns beliefs stranded with seven feet of water around his house afterwards for a while.

He said he got over it a few weeks later and went back to "normal".

But he was glad to see my other brother and I show up on a raft built from debris along the way, carrying a case of MREs and water dropped to us from a helo after we drowned the Jeep. Plus other food and beer we brought with us.

Took us more than a week to get out without turning to others for help. We knew he wouldn't leave his dog behind, so we went to get him.
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Old 03-03-2012, 15:16   #11
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

I guess you can see from this thread that it is important to take pictures (I did too). I don't think they area as dangerous as tornadoes, but still not something to fool with.

I think if you watch it, you can get a general idea of which direction it is moving (just a general sense since they do not go in a straight line). Once you know the direction it is going - go in a very different direction for awhile - they don't last long.
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Old 03-03-2012, 17:36   #12
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
I think if you watch it, you can get a general idea of which direction it is moving (just a general sense since they do not go in a straight line). Once you know the direction it is going - go in a very different direction for awhile - they don't last long.
But watch your back! When there is one, the conditions are ripe for more..
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Old 03-03-2012, 18:02   #13
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

Quick search on water spout wind speeds. Sounds like there is still more research to be done, but apparently most have wind speeds of 30 meters/second or less (about 58 knots) with some as high as 90 meters/second or about 174 knots.

Yeeha!
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Old 03-03-2012, 19:57   #14
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

The big problem is when they break up....they can dump thousands of gallons of water on you from very high up. They are very common on the Gulf coast of the US.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:24   #15
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

I was sitting in my boat near Texas City one day watching some spouts going into Galveston. About an hour later a fishing boat came toward us from the direction of where the spouts went inland. The boat passed quite near so we hailed them and asked about the spouts. They said they broke up just before getting to them and a few seconds later they had water, fish and shrimp dumped on them from out of the sky!. So now they had bait and were looking for a good spot to anchor. LOL

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