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Old 24-03-2012, 02:27   #1
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March N Atlantic Hurricane ?

Hurricane force winds for NA TWICE in about two weeks. Seems like there is some pretty extreme weather out there.

I was poking around on the NOAA site. I'm looking to go North in a few weeks, early May, and am trying to get a handle on the weather. I was looking at the NA surface analysis, took a peek at the 14 day loop. I'm a newbie to that site, it looks like a history, not a prediction.

Ocean Prediction Center - Atlantic

Gale force winds have been fairly constant, some storm force, and even a couple of hurricane force events.

I know the NA is rough and with a bad reputation, but this strikes me as pretty abnormal.

Any thoughts?



Quote:

NOAA>NWS>NCEP>OPC> N Atlantic High Seas Forecast

[ Printable version]
944 FZNT01 KWBC 240356 HSFAT1 HIGH SEAS FORECAST FOR METAREA IV NWS

OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER WASHINGTON DC 0430 UTC SAT MAR 24 2012

CCODE/1:31:04:01:00/AOW/NWS/CCODE SUPERSEDED BY NEXT ISSUANCE IN 6 HOURS

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT

SECURITE

NORTH ATLANTIC NORTH OF 31N TO 67N AND WEST OF 35W SYNOPSIS VALID 0000 UTC MAR 24. 24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC MAR 25. 48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC MAR 26.

.WARNINGS. ...STORM WARNING...
.LOW 53N44W 953 MB MOVING NE 10 KT WILL TURN N IN 12 HOURS. WITHIN 360 NM SW...480 NM W...AND BETWEEN 540 NM AND 660 NM N QUADRANTS WINDS 35 TO 50 KT. SEAS 16 TO 24 FT.
ELSEWHERE WITHIN 780 NM NW SEMICIRCLE AND 960 NM S QUADRANT WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 10 TO 20 FT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW AND CONDITIONS ABSORBED BY LOW 56N42W.

...STORM WARNING...
.LOW 49N35W 965 MB MOVING NW 20 KT. EXCEPT WHERE NOTED ABOVE...WITHIN 960 NM N AND 780 NM S QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 12 TO 22 FT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 56N42W 958 MB. WITHIN 240 NM N...420 NM SE...AND BETWEEN 300 NM AND 540 NM SW QUADRANTS WINDS 35 TO 50 KT. SEAS 18 TO 28 FT.
ELSEWHERE WITHIN 540 NM S...720 NM W...660 NM N...AND 480 NM E QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 10 TO 20 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW 57N45W 981 MB. WITHIN 420 NM SW AND W...360 NM N AND 240 NM E AND SE QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 12 TO 24 FT.
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Old 24-03-2012, 04:09   #2
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Surface analysis == what's happening now. XX-hour is a forecast XX hours ahead of the surface analysis time. The update schedule is every 6-12 hours as warranted by the weather. So not sure what you mean by "historical".

I haven't been watching Atlantic weather this winter, but based on previous years, this looks like a normal winter pattern is still happening (though in the middle of winter you get much stronger systems). It should subside in the next 1-1.5 months.

You can check out pilot charts that would show you "normal" patterns. This is one site I've used: Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World

Note that I am just fascinated by weather, but there are people on this site much more knowledgeable than I am. So it's just my 1.5 cents...
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Old 24-03-2012, 04:40   #3
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

pretty normal,as the azores high gets bigger they will move further north,as the summer progresses.
the stronger winds are normally associated with a frontal system,that tend to pass quickly.
even in june it can get windy from the west on your way to the azores!
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Old 24-03-2012, 05:11   #4
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Yes, indeed, you can get some very strong storms in the springtime, even into May. I've seen hurricane force winds on surface charts as far south as off the Virginia Capes, memorably in March, 2008. That one sent 15' breaking waves into some of our anchorages here on Nevis. A big storm off the SE US coast in May, 2002, sank a few sailboats with loss of life. You can expect some pretty challenging weather in the North Atlantic that time of year.
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Old 24-03-2012, 07:12   #5
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

In reality, not unusual at all. Our winter storms quite often get to hurricane (or near) about now.
e.g. we are presently in a glorious 10 day period, blue skies, 75F. Mon, Tues, back to 50 knots for a while.
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Old 24-03-2012, 07:24   #6
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Hurricane-force winds are known to occur in the North Atlantic nearly every winter, and sometimes even along the coast. Minots Light off Boston, at 85 feet high, has been topped by waves in winter storms. In any case, even though it's unusually warm, it is still really winter. By early May things will have calmed down a lot, but you'll still get some cold fronts with strong north winds, so choose your weather carefully.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:05   #7
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Hurricane-force winds are known to occur in the North Atlantic nearly every winter, and sometimes even along the coast. Minots Light off Boston, at 85 feet high, has been topped by waves in winter storms. In any case, even though it's unusually warm, it is still really winter. By early May things will have calmed down a lot, but you'll still get some cold fronts with strong north winds, so choose your weather carefully.
Take you cue from Cunards QM2. They don't do their first trans Atlantic crossing until May 4th. Also the cargo ships crossing the Atlantic that also take on passengers don't allow passengers onboard during winter crossings. That should tell you something. Though it would seem to me you should be able to coastal cruise up the east coast failrly easily as long as you don't have a schedule and are willing to wait out the weather. Head up along the coast to New York and then head into Long Island Sound lot's of anchorages there a few hours apart and you won't get as beat up as you will in the Atlantic.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:11   #8
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Where are you going north to? That might make a big difference. Chesapeake in May is beautiful, Maine is freezing.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:26   #9
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Greenland.

But it will be June when I get there.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:37   #10
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

I wouldn't think you'd want to be heading to Greenland before late June/early July. When I went to Labrador in July we were dodging ice when offshore.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:45   #11
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Greenland
ha ha! you won't need an icemaker then!

better get used to gale force winds even in the summer!
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:04   #12
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Im crossing the Atlantic this winter- I think in Early Dec - what would be your ideal time to come from the Med to Florida?
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:42   #13
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

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ha ha! you won't need an icemaker then!

better get used to gale force winds even in the summer!
That's not right. I've spend 10 summers on the coast of Greenland and usually there is no wind at all. the local fishermen consider 20 knots a hurricane!


However, this is on the west coast, pretty much from Nuuk, capital, to Siorapaluk. South of nuuk is in the band of lowpressure systems that are born above the US and are on their way to northern europe. North of Nuuk is seldomly a weather system that gives more than 30 knots of wind.

Once you cross to Canada, the winds will be up, Sometimes extremely violent winds falling of the icy mountains of Baffin (in 2004 we encountered gusts of 80 knots).

Basically you will find lots of wind on your way to Greenland, that is pretty much guaranteed, but once you're there, it is not to bad.
On your way back home you will have to battle against those winds, take in account that it will take at least 50% more time to come home than to get there.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:48   #14
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Quote:
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Im crossing the Atlantic this winter- I think in Early Dec - what would be your ideal time to come from the Med to Florida?
ideally you want to be out the med by mid october,in mid dec crossing the atlantic you should have missed most of the troughs that bring sw winds with the e-ne trades firmly established.

closing the eastern seaboard in jan feb would expect n and s winds with an easterly slant depending on the pressure over the continent.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:50   #15
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Re: March N Atlantic Hurricane?

Yeah, been thinking about that.
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