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  #1  
Old 06-24-2013
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Question Would this forecast keep you in port?

We appear to have a whole week of between 30% and 60% chance of thunderstorms, some severe. NOAA forecast as follows:

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY.

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME MORE VIGOROUS ON TUESDAY. THERE IS A THREAT OF DAMAGING WINDS AND POSSIBLY LARGE HAIL OVER MUCH OF WESTERN MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS. VERY HEAVY RAINFALL IS ALSO POSSIBLE IN AREAS THAT RECEIVE PERSISTENT THUNDERSTORMS.

After a micro-burst dropped a 60' tree on the side of our house last week we are feeling a bit leery but I would be interested to know if this forecast would keep you in port or not.

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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

I think I might look to get an early start to my sailing day and be anchored or tied up by early afternoon.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

If I'm planning a week of sailing away from my home port, that forecast wouldn't keep me in port, but I'd make darn sure I kept an eye on the updated forecast many times throughout each day as well as keep aware of where to duck into a sheltering anchorage along the way. For the day that has the most chance of storms, I'd more than likely try to plan to be in a marina ahead of the worse storm.

Given that hot summer days have the potential to bring pop up storms, it's how I usually plan an overnight trip or we'd never leave the dock. (Listening to thunder in the distance and feeling flashes of cooler air as I type)

Part of being safe is knowing your limitations and comfort level. If you don't feel comfortable you're more liable to make potentially tragic mistakes. Don't base your go/no go decision on what others feel comfortable doing.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

That's the forecast for the entire Chesapeake Bay from mid-June to September. I think that the Weather Service takes off and just repeats the same forecast every day.

Around here, the rule of thumb is to be in port by 3PM when the thunderstorms develop. If you don't already know how, learn to complete a reef in less than 5 minutes.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

I agree, go out but try to be back in by late afternoon. Saturday was 50% chance here but no storms at all. Sunday was 40% but nothing except a strong sea breeze. Today, 40% and by 1:40 pm already three thunderstorms here at work.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

Scattered thunderstorms? That is our forecast for a good portion of the summer. So, no, it doesn't keep us from heading out, but I may keep a closer eye on the western horizon and plan where to head if I see weather moving in. More often than not, I find, a forecast of scattered thunderstorms ends up being a beautiful, warm, sunny, breezy day.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

Yes, I would prefer to go during a week with better weather. Who wouldn't?

As far as your particular situation, I would need to know the following:

1. Do you have flexibility in your sailing schedule?
2. Are you going nonstop and/or coastal/offshore, or do you plan to anchor each night?
3. How well prepared are you for the conditions?

Personally, I don't like to sit out in the rain, although I have had to do it at times. I will also try to avoid a forecast of regular daily thunderstorms, or other violent weather.

It is important to distinguish between regular seasonal characteristics and periods of particularly bad or dangerous weather. Spring this year and in 2011 spawned a tremendous number of tornados, more than usual, so I did not take a desired trip. Fortunately, I have the flexibility to go during a different period. We are also supposed to have more major tropical storms/hurricanes this year. Why tempt fate?

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-24-2013 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

No. If it would I would take few summer trips. I might complain about it.

However, I would take some prudent precautions:
* Leave early each day. The storms are almost certainly afternoon. Just be certain you are anchored down by then.
* Stay in a few marinas when prudent. Much better than a bad anchorage and as safe as your home slip. Lightening risk is also bette rshared with your slipmates!
* Avoid open anchorages and plan for the most likely TS dirrection, knowing that the down burst wind can vary 90 degres from the direction of the storm and 180 degrees from the prevailing wind.
* If you get caught in the open make sure you have searoom, get all the sails down early if it looks like a bad one, and mark time until it passes. But getting into harbor early is better.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

it is summer--there is no better weather----go when you can see the sky.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Would this forecast keep you in port?

I sail out of Portsmouth, NH that was our forecast for Sat & Sun. I went out both days.

We bought WiFi hotspot so we can get a new weather map even 3-4 miles out.

I can't let 30% chance of T-storms keep me in port; I'd never sail!

60%? Maybe I should putter around the house!

Ken
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