Informal Sailing Weather Survey - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-17-2019 Thread Starter
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Informal Sailing Weather Survey

This is a thread for SNers to post their impressions on how the weather has been where they sail this past season from Spring launch until end of August which is approaching. Does it seem better or worse... wetter or windier... than years past?

Perhaps my memory is distorted but it seems like the weather in years gone by was more conducive to sailing than what we are working with these days?

Have you noticed a change and if so when did this change take hold?

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-17-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

Now you have gone and done it

Record high water levels on the St Lawrence, again, have had a frustrating effect on the Thousand Islands. Both Canadian and US park docks have been mangled by flood waters and I would say about half are still unusable.

The result being that competition for the remaining docks is cut throat. 30 and 40 foot power boats are bombing around like vultures waiting to scoop up any available dock space, leaving us somewhat slower folks out of luck. Normally I would deal with this ussue by simply beaching, but, the natural sand beaches are still flooded out leaving only granite and trees to beach on.

We decided to leave the area yesterday which was 4 dats earlier than planned and have shufted back to our local wetlands which for what ever reason escaped flooding this year.

The down side is wind was fantastic on lake Ontario, but is always much lighter around home.
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

These analysis always get difficult. What period of time are we comparing. Average for a decade to average for a previous decade? Someone will eventually destroy the conversation with politics and blame. Hope not.

To do the best I can, here are my observations over the last decade. The spring has been wetter the past few years. The summers have been about the same, maybe drier. Wind patterns feel the same too. More wind in Spring and Fall, less in height of summer. A decade ago we had a real stretch of near miss tropical activity (I recall hauling something like 3 out of 4 years in a row), but I can't recall one since Sandy in 2012.

Painfully, RI is long overdue for a landfall cyclonic storm. No doubt, when it happens, as it has many times before, many will now consider it a new phenomenon.

The other thing that I believe makes these subjective observations difficult is that I think people's perspective changes as they experience something over decades. What I recall from my 20s may not be how I would perceive it today. No doubt, most get more risk adverse as we age.

When we sailed up to Potters Cover a couple of weekends back, dropped the hook, put a shrimp, chorizo, corn and potato boil on the grill and watched the sunset, it was just as good as I remember as a kid.


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post #4 of 11 Old 08-17-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

I find there old reliable Sou'westers don't show up much... only late in the afternoon on a hot day in LIS.
Lots of very low to no wind days. NW seems to be more common and less SE in summer.

I used to count on decent SW for days on end to sail from LIS to RI and the points East. Not these days.

Fall remains gusty with NW and SE and lots of wet weather.

My sailing grounds have shifted to the center of the sound from the East end... so maybe the old patterns are evident out east.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-17-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

What about those of us who sail primarily Nov-July? I lived and sailed out of mystic CT from 1990-2008, and I only remember very light wind summers with afternoon seabreeze. A strong front would occasionally bring N wind.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-17-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

I was trying to get to Greenland this year, didn’t happen because “stuff” did. In the run up I was watching the weather enroute very closely. Also there were some folks around looking to make a transatlantic. Supposedly the normal high pressure zones were displaced South, that sent a bunch of lows across the North Atlantic.

The run from Newfoundland to Greenland was Interesting with the central region between Greenland and Labrador being in very light and variable winds most of the time. The winds were hugging either coasts with strong winds when the fronts came through. This made for periods of big swells and no wind.

I got about 3 days along the route, was still stuck with light winds, disturbed seas, in fog with frequent ice bergs when the engine over heated. So I turned back. Had I kept to it another 24-30 hours I would have been in far better conditions, but would have had to motor for a long time.

Normal conditions would have had somewhat stronger winds and more evenly distributed around the clock. As it was there was almost no wind with a Southerly component.

I’ve not been following conditions recently but we have had light SW winds here on the E coast of NL for a couple of weeks, more typical.

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

Tampa Bay:

This summer the during mid-day wind has seemed better than the last few years. Typically we could expect to be becalmed for an hour or more between 1100-1400 but this season not so much. We'll see much lighter winds during this time period, but still enough to keep it lively. It has also seemed a lot wetter, both humidity and rain. All anecdotal of course.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

We sail Southwest Florida, also out of the Tampa Bay area, and I generally agree with Phil's comments , above, although, at least for us, we've found it much hotter and rainier than in past years. In past during this time of year we would depart the the early morning and have fairly good sailing tho' with rather light airs. Then, in later afternoon, something between 3:00 to 4:00 we'd see a few squalls develop and it would rain like heck for an hour or so. As long as we were moored up or anchored by that time, or if off shore, reefed down, we were generally good. This year the rains seem to start very early and last most of the day and often through the night. The wind's either non-existant or gusting like heck which makes my much better half very uncomfortable, whether under way or on the hook. Because of the run-off, we have also found the water rather nasty in places where is past we enjoyed swimming and "beaching" and toxic from too many micro-organisms in the water for safe exposure, e.g. Vibrio. So, we and the yacht sit, waiting for fall...

FWIW...
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

New York Harbor:

We've had more races cancelled due to storms, high winds, or no wind this year than any other before.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: Informal Sailing Weather Survey

Minneapolis


Very wet. Second rainiest year on record; the old record was set in 1892.

Warm too, and obviously humid with all that rain.

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