Originally Posted by jckb
Hi Polux, I know what you mean about summer variablity. Winter, this is less of an issue. It would be interesting to hear your opinion on a briefing . . .
The briefing below was created from 35 years of observations made when running commercial
sailing operations in the Mediterranean
, including many winter deliveries. It was honed and perfected from feedback by the many staff who set up charter
operations in Greece
in the late 1970's onwards. Many of them now run their own yacht support operations around the Ionian
, the Saronic, and SW Turkey
The key point is that settled weather
can reliably be predicted, also the probable onset of unsettled weather
(especially in winter, when diurnal heating
is less of an issue). The lazy man's predictor is to watch the the cloud cover animation for Europe
on the Poseidon web site
(select parameter "cloudiness", and "animation" at the bottom of the right hand box)
A more careful person will look for differences between the various available forecast
sources - differences are a good predictor of unsettled weather, when alll bets are off!
The specific winter case is also covered on that web page.
Of course, summer and winter, the unexpected can always arise in some areas. Especially in the Golfe de Lions, or through the Gibraltar
straits, when events
outside the Mediterrean drive the winds.
Being sailing on the med on the last 10 years with about 20 000 nm done there and I know it reasonably well. The last paragraph of your post says it all except that I don't agree that the areas where you have unpredictable winds are only the ones you mention. Sure there are, specially on the West Mediterranean
, Saronic Gulf and on the Eastern, near Turkey
plenty of areas where settled weather is very predictable, but others, on the Adriatic
, Tyrrenean and Aegean are very difficult to predict and subject to sudden variations, even with clear skies.
The several forecasts you mention even if given the same information on a macro scale, if looked at a local scale give many times contradicting and opposed information. This summer comparing Poseidon with the theoretically more detailed Marine
Greek weather report (Aegean and Dodecanese), on a local basis sometimes Poseidon gave a F2/3 and the Government
site F5/6. Sometimes one was right and the other wrong, but it changed and sometimes both were wrong.
It is a local joke among Italian sailors that their weather service
never get it right. That is surely an exaggeration but their service
is pretty inaccurate, having to do with a narrow country with sea on both sides and high mountains on the middle. Mountains is a common characterize on most Eastern med and they are responsible for the difficulty in predicting weather, not on a macro scale but at a localized scale. The difference between summer and winter is that in those places you can get a localized F7/8 not predicted and on the winter that can reach 9/10. Not a problem for me a not predicted F7/8 but I would not like to be caught on a F9/10 on the short steep med seas.
By the way, South of Crete this summer I was caught by a not predicted F9/10. They predicted 6/7 and even less away from the shore and that's what I have done, sailing offshore
well South of Crete. Well, they changed the prediction given a F10, but that was no prediction because when they changed it it was already happening
Lorenzo, tell us what you have decided. Surely you are already at sea. Tell us how is the weather you are having.