Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
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Re: Sailing outside on the East Coast
The November departure is probably a good rule of thumb but, as Auspicious has noted, there are GREAT variations in when the seasons change. That is really what you are looking for, the change from summer to autumn, when the predominant weather-maker is the cold Canadian Maritime upper level low. It bumps lower level pressure systems south and keeps tropical storm systems from running up the flow of the Azores high which predominates in summer. It eventually controls the winter weather pattern. While November almost always marks the complete onset of this pattern, the tropical storm season varies very widely and I think there are a lot of other factors like El Nino, La Nina years and stuff that no one understands yet that go into TS formation.
I can remember from commercial fishing (out of LI) that at some point in November the howling wind always cut the number of days I could work down drastically to maybe 2 days a week for about a month until winter settled in. The trick to sailing south may be to AVOID locking in November if possible if this pattern looks like it's starting early. Watching the weatherfax 500mb charts is really interesting. It would be nice to see these presented in a historical comparison related to the actual onset of winter.
I plan on heading south this year via Bermuda/Bahamas/FL, weather permitting, and will set my depart target according to how I interpret this pattern, not using some arbitrary date.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Last edited by smurphny; 08-07-2012 at 05:25 PM.