I am interested in finding out what others have done to set up a personal weather
station on their boats, in particular plotting barometric pressure.
On a recent trip (100 miles offshore
, in the Gulf Stream) I ran in a major storm. It wasn't without warning. I watched on Nexrad radar
updates on Sirius Weather
as a long line of thunderstorms from Florida
coalesced into a single
mass, over 80 miles wide and 50 miles deep. Nexrad gave no speed or direction for the new storm. During the day, other storms had dissipated about 50 miles offshore
. This one grew dramatically in intensity and speed. In 55 years of sailing I've never seen anything like it.
It quickly dominated the horizon as two layers, the upper like a 'white hook', the lower layer uniformly grey. There were no indications of high winds in the cloud formation, however, the rapid approach said otherwise. I had time to completely furl the jib
and put two reefs
in the mainsail
. A third reef would've been nice. There wasn't time given that my third reef uses a messenger line on the leech.
FYI, the initial gusts were 78 knots, dropping to 40-60 knots. Waves were low (4-6 feet), but often breaking. My boat
handled the conditions so well I did not need to heave to.
Checking the barometer in the cabin
might've been helpful is determining the intensity, but not possible given the rate of change in the conditions. Having a barometer at the helm
showing the rate of change, that would be ideal.