Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-10-2009, 14:38   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: Cal 35 Pilothouse
Posts: 7
LA to Hawaii Weather for January 2010

Planing on crossing the pacific to Hawaii from LA in the middle of Jan. 2010 I am trying to find what kind of conditions I will be dealing with. Is it safe to cross at that time? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Blaster120763 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 15:01   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 211
The Pacific Crossing Guide (Michael Pocock) says you'll be well outside the hurricane season (typically runs from June to Oct/Nov). Historically, for LA > Hawaii, the prevailing winds for January have been north-easterly, not that history seems to have much bearing on weather patterns lately...
__________________

__________________
ColdFusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 15:14   #3
Registered User
 
henkmeuzelaar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rocky Mountains & Vanuatu
Boat: Zodiac Ribster 17' "HAV"
Posts: 40
Half a dozen years ago, someone planned the same type of passage (i.e. in January under El Nino conditions) in a Hunter 450. I advised him against it, partially on the basis of prevailing and/or predictiable weather conditions and partially because of his lack of preparation. He went anyhow and ended up losing his vessel.

Here are the links to two HOW forum discussion threads, one just before the trip and one right after it became known that the vessel had been abandoned.

I think you will find quite a bit of interesting information in these two threads.

Flying Dutchman
__________________
henkmeuzelaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 15:20   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 211
A Hunter 450, in the Pacific, in January...

I seem to recall reading about a similar sized Hunter that was lost in the Atlantic due to rudder failure. Spade rudders and ocean passages...
__________________
ColdFusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 15:42   #5
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,864
Images: 4
This may be more information than you care to look at, but I have been archiving a subset of the daily NOAA north pacific weather charts and forecasts since April, 2006: The Wx1 Archives
Sorry, the chart filenames don't include the date, but you can pretty easily figure it out.

For a longer timeframe, look at the Pilot Charts (download here: Maritime Safety Information), or look at Cornell's "World Cruising Routes'
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 16:38   #6
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,762
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
in jan the typical west coast el nino wild storms start---might be advise-able to wait until may or april when they slow down--they make the seas 30+ ft in height and isnt fun----check out the weather windows---the storms are generally 2 days apart---not enough time to get from point a to point b in the hawaii trip-------goood luck.....you DO know this is an el nino year, dont you???? and ypou DO realize that el nino conditions last until mid june, dont you??????
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 17:00   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
The north Pacific Pilot Charts are not available for some reason. I just looked through my Pilot Charts for January/February and this is what they say. The weather in the winter is more unpredictable than in the Summer. The Pacific High can be poorly organized so chances of light winds and/or lack of trade winds are greater. Still, there is only 1% chance of calms with the overwhelming prevailing winds force 4 from the North through East. There is a very small chance of winds from other directions though mid passage has a small possibility of force 6 westerly winds. There is also the possiblity of large ocean swells from the North Pacific Lows. Not a big thing as these will be just be big rollers until you get close, very close, to land.

Of course, you have to get South of the effects of the Pacific Lows that March across the Pacific at that time of year. Starting from San Diego, you've pretty much gotten south of that.

Wind/Water temps are 70s so comfortable but not really warm. You'll need to wear cloths though not a whole bunch of them.
__________________
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 17:51   #8
Registered User
 
henkmeuzelaar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rocky Mountains & Vanuatu
Boat: Zodiac Ribster 17' "HAV"
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Of course, you have to get South of the effects of the Pacific Lows that March across the Pacific at that time of year. Starting from San Diego, you've pretty much gotten south of that.
Unfortunately, that is not true in an El Nino year. The Pacific High is then often not only poorly organized but likely to be completely absent or even replaced by a big, more or less stationary low, as we experienced on our 1997 Hawaii passage. This allows the lows spinning off from the polar regions to penetrate much farther South.

Since you live in Hawaii, you are probably familiar with the situation where the Molokai Express starts roaring in and even the wind direction in the Alenuihaha Channel is reversed (we were greeted by violent williwaws off Maui in 97).

A friend of us who approached the Alenuihaha channel from the North during an El Nino season a few years earlier -- after a long and tiresome single-handed passage from Cabo San Lucas -- was greeted by such a violent blast that he tore all his sails and had to motor into Kona. In 1997 his vessel was still on the hard there since, unable to replace all his sails, he had given up on his Pacific dreams.

The pilot charts for the North Pacific are unfortunately pretty much useless in strong El Nino or La Nina years since the data average over El Nino, La Nino and ENSO-neutral years.....


Flying Dutchman
__________________
henkmeuzelaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2009, 19:20   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: British Columbia, Mexico
Boat: S&S Hughes 38
Posts: 837
Images: 23
I would follow the proven traditional track from Cabo San Lucas,or Puerto Vallarta in mid April where trades are steady,temps. warmer and weather more stable.
__________________
highseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2009, 08:37   #10
Registered User
 
Jmolan's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mexico/Alaska/Oregon
Boat: 34' Searunner Tri
Posts: 712
I find this discussion very interesting. Is there a thread or another site where the Pacific (for me) weather is discussed over time? I picture it as on going discussions about El Nino, or anything related to ocean passages in small boats? Stories are always appreciated, as well as current anomaly's or strange pattern's away from the norm?
__________________
Jmolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2009, 20:06   #11
Registered User
 
henkmeuzelaar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rocky Mountains & Vanuatu
Boat: Zodiac Ribster 17' "HAV"
Posts: 40
Here are two Google search profiles that do a good job for me when I want to tease out some of the weather discussion groups around the Pacific or more specifically study the effects of el nino and la nina on pacific weather patterns.

Have fun!

Flying Dutchman
__________________
henkmeuzelaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 13:30   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1
I did Mexico to HI in Feb 2008 Nice trip 15-20kt trades just push you along nicely.

Didn't have to touch the sails for a week at a tme
__________________
FlyingSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 15:48   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: M&M 52, Kiapa
Posts: 59
we'd second highseas input... during winter, sail south to at least cabo, then push across to hawaii. we sailed pv to hilo in april '01. it was the nicest ocean passage we've ever had. never too hot. never too cold. 15-25 knot trades from day 2 on... and the nighttime squalls weren't overly boistrous.
__________________
kiapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 18:49   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: British Columbia, Mexico
Boat: S&S Hughes 38
Posts: 837
Images: 23
Although my crossing was 30 years ago in April,kiapi describes the exact same experience that we encountered,nicest trade sailing ever.
__________________
highseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2009, 19:11   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
I've been trying to find a weather forcasting/charting service that I can understand. This is the best one I've found: PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers

It gives you pressure, winds, and wave forecasts for 7-10 days. About as much of a advanced weather warning as you are going to get for the sail to Hawaii.

FWIW, the El Nino years tend to be wet on the Kona Coast. Doesn't seem to be much of an increase in bad weather, just more rainfall on the leeward side of the Big Island. This year has been marked by poorly formed Pacific High which has meant a more weak or non existant tradewind days. No bad weather, not that many Kona winds (southerlies) just not the dependable 15-25mph ENE winds that you can usually count on. Winds have still been mostly from the ENE but lower strength. Looking at the mid ocean weather, winds seem to be consistantly ENE but varying from force 2 to force 4 depending on the day. The high is there but not well organized which is effecting the velocity of the wind but not the direction.

As far as local winds in the Islands. We've sailed both coasts and to Tahiti and Back. The strongest winds and nastiest sea conditions we encountered were in the channels between the Islands here. The Alenuihaha has a reputation for being nasty and it's well deserved. It's not that it's survival conditions but gusty 30+mph winds and very steep sided waves are more the rule than the exception. It doesn't take El Nino to make things interesting, in fact El Nino may not really have all that much effect. Winds in the channel can go from flat calm to putting you on your ear instantly when leaving the lee of an island and gusts in the channel can be fearsome. Reef early and be ready to reef further at the drop of a hat. Coming down the Alenuihaha between Maui and the Big Island is all about the wind and waves from 1,000s of miles of ocean being squeezed through a small area. They are passing between a 10,000'+ mountain on Maui and a 13,000'+ mountain here so don't have any place to go. It's the classic Bernoulli Principle and wind velocity has to increase to get that air through the pass. When I checked the other day, winds in the 'A' channel were 5 mph greater than the open ocean winds. Haven't really studied it but that is probably typical of the wind increase. It's an invigorating sail if you are going west, a slog going west. Made one crossing of the Molokai channel where we played submarine going through, not over, about every 3rd wave. That was my first passage across the channel and thought that was the norm, It's not. It's going to be close hauled in 20+ mph winds and steep 5' or so seas at most other times. Have also crossed in a flat calm, motoring the whole way, but that's very rare. In any case the sun is almost always out which makes it hard to get down on the conditions.


Every winter, we get a couple of storms that pass through from East to West. They are few and far between but could make for some uncomfortable conditions if you are approaching the islands when one of those fronts pass. It's more a case of being unlucky if you run into those conditions, however. These are not the epic storms that make for lurid press. They are probably going to be 30 mph winds with higher gusts that will last for a day or two. These storms have stalled over the Islands extending the bad weather period but that's rare and hasn't lasted much more than 3-4 days when that happens. In the 40 years I've lived on the Kona Coast, we have never had rain/overcast last for more than 3 days in a row and that has happened only 2-3 times.

I wouldn't be all that concerned about making the Passage to Hawaii in the winter. Your biggest challenge will be getting south of the low pressure systems off the Left Coast. If the Pacific High disappears completely because of El Nino, you might want to postpone your passage till it reestablishes itself. Probably won't mean more than a couple days delay. Of course, if you are out there when the High disappears, could make for some interesting conditions but doubt that they would be more than just uncomfortable.
__________________

__________________
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cuba Cruising - Winter 2010 Cruise-along Atlantic & the Caribbean 15 06-10-2009 12:58
Orlando Weather in January? MikeinLA Off Topic Forum 6 03-10-2009 15:19
garmin 2010? how to add radar? svDragonfly Marine Electronics 12 25-07-2008 11:46
weather patterns baja/hawaii? eldiente Pacific & South China Sea 8 10-01-2008 17:50
“Ohm’s Law & You” ~and~ “Weather Basics - Reading Weather Maps” GordMay The Library 0 16-12-2005 06:54



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:13.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.