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Old 06-03-2017, 06:29 AM   #21
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Because of my jobs and training.... there really isn't anything as unforecast weather in most of the US. The intensity might be off some...but not general weather.

Especially not in the Eastern part of the US.

There are days when thunderstorm activity is not likely, likely and probable.

You can see them form on your phone these days....the weather apps tell you the time of day they are likely.

You can watch the approach of frontal weather where tornados are most likely to form and all along the Eastern seaboard, you often get hours of approaching warnings.

Sure you have to be vigilant ....storms can form in very short periods of time...but you usually tell from the overall weather patterns that it is going to be one of those days.

All I can say is.... like everything in life.....if it can really affect your life....a little study is required.

You usually have to study investment strategy to keep from losing your savings, or really trust a broker.... the same is true about weather. You need to know more than the little umbrella or sunglasses you see on the morning news....or buy into a passage weather service
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:54 AM   #22
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Once you are caught in it, you just do what you have to do.


You do what you have to do. You are given a few choices and often they answer is obvious.

I was lucky that it was only extreme wind I had to deal with. The waves were quite minimal. Just lots of spray, so it was like getting hit by a pressure washer when going foreward on on the deck. (bad choice)

I briefly made an attempt to drop the sails, (bad choice) but quickly realised it was too dangerous, even with harness and tether. (good choice)
That was probably a waterspout.

Waterspouts are NOT tornadoes, they are more like dust devils.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:14 AM   #23
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I don't think it's quite so simple.
Forecast areas of significant weather can be quite large. Especially with convective activity, the forecast area can extend over water areas, but over water convective activity loses the number one reason for convection, hot land areas.
Now the number two reason is cold upper air advection and that can happen anywhere and is the reason fro convective activity over large water areas.

In general, forecasts are very accurate in terms of conditions. But the devil is in the details and that's where forecasts lose much of their usefulness for many boaters.

Forecasts are usually correct in terms of conditions, but in terms of time and place, it's a whole other story.

PS, for you, as an Aviator, having t fly a hundred + miles the route forecast and overall conditions are going to be very good.
But a spot forecast, is totally different. As you are really given a forecast for a wide area and time frame and trying to apply it to a specific location and more precise time frame.
Thus the forecast can be correct, but you sitting on your boat or in your home never see the forecast conditions.

Clearly in the Southeast there are many days convective activity is forecast, but does not take place over the entire area.




Actually I think the bigger issue for TF'ers is that while the forcaast for whatever
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:26 AM   #24
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My point wasn't to be a weather forecaster, as I am not one either.....but to be on low, medium or high alert for significant weather change. Knowing how to take weather forecasts and apply them to your needs is key.

Most coastal cruising between New England and Texas, unless out of cel phone range (then but satellite radio with radar if still available), you can see either pop up storms or frontal storms in enough time to plan. You most likely know whether you can make some distance or need to sit.

Now I am not saying that if leaving for the Bahamas or doing the Gulf loop crossing that takes 10 hrs or so that something may not pop up while you are underway....but you should have an idea whether it is likely or not....and then when it forms, which direction it may move.

As far as severe weather goes....it has gotten a lot easier to follow than when fog will definitely form or not....
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:41 AM   #25
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Remember, it is better to be on the dock wishing to be out on the water than to be out on the water wishing you were at the dock!
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:46 AM   #26
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Getting back to the first question, avoid it when you can and batten down the hatches when you can't.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:50 AM   #27
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Unfortunately sitting at the dock paralyzes some boaters to the point of not moving while the can and should, only to feel pressed at some point and making mistakes then.

Weather forcasting is a demanding profession....learning as a user of it to safely boat or fly is a lot of work too.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:52 AM   #28
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Getting back to the first question, avoid it when you can and batten down the hatches when you can't.
Spoken like a true ocean crosser....
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:16 AM   #29
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What to do when you run into bad weather?

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Getting back to the first question, avoid it when you can and batten down the hatches when you can't.


Thanks to everyone for all for the advice.

With lightening storms, should I take any special precautions. I've heard of folks putting electronics in the oven? Should I put on my rubber soled running shoes?
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:44 AM   #30
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Thanks to everyone for all for the advice.

With lightening storms, should I take any special precautions. I've heard of folks putting electronics in the oven? Should I put on my rubber soled running shoes?
You mean you don't always wear rubber soled shoes aboard boat??
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #31
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Thanks to everyone for all for the advice.

With lightening storms, should I take any special precautions. I've heard of folks putting electronics in the oven? Should I put on my rubber soled running shoes?
Phones, laptops, pads, Epirb/PLB maybe....one can get carried away and the oven usually isnt that big. More because you dont want the hassel of losing info or emergency equipment.

Radios and other nav equipment, disconnecting wiring and antennas from them is often recommended.

As far as rubber shoes, just stay inside and away from conducting surfaces and you should be OK if your heart doest stop if the boat is struck.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:06 AM   #32
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A 30% chance of thunderstorms, winds SE 10-15kts, seas 2-3ft. This forecast starts from June through Sept. in our area of the Gulf from Texas to Florida. When cruising in open bays or right offshore you can sometimes see those thunderheads building and the direction they're moving, slow down and hold course until they move off. The worse weather I've been in are those pop-up thunderstorms; lightning, winds over 60kts, blinding rain. Traveling at 8kts they can build up and overtake you very quickly, sometimes you just can't avoid them traveling in open water. When I'm caught with nowhere to hide I batten down everything I can, point the bow into the weather (heave to) and keep a very slow forward speed until conditions improve about all you can do. My biggest fear is lightning. Several times in these storms we have lost electronics because of close by strikes...I touch nothing metal and wear shoes with lightning in the area. Antennas are placed down and any fishing poles are brought in. I hate thunderstorms!
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:35 AM   #33
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Compared to the miles of air insulation the lightning has to cross, jumping an inch of rubber is not a problem.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:37 AM   #34
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Maybe my new shoes will help.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:45 AM   #35
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Phones, laptops, pads, Epirb/PLB maybe....one can get carried away and the oven usually isnt that big. More because you dont want the hassel of losing info or emergency equipment.



Radios and other nav equipment, disconnecting wiring and antennas from them is often recommended.



As far as rubber shoes, just stay inside and away from conducting surfaces and you should be OK if your heart doest stop if the boat is struck.


What about those faraday bags you can buy? Do they really protect?
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:22 AM   #36
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On my crossing just a few days ago, I encountered a water spout. Forecast weather on many different sites had no mention of any kind of weather but clear calm conditions. I took a picture which I would love to post. It was approx. 5 miles away to my north and never touched down. I watched it closely, stayed on course and ran at about 9 knots, up from about 8 knots. It never produced any rain, rough seas, wind, etc. I passed it quickly. Never once was I nervous about it but respected it.

No matter what conditions are forecasted, staying vigil is key and changing course if necessary. It is easy to become complacent when on autopilot. Eyes wide open!
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:41 AM   #37
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Never have seen faraday bags....was wondering if just wrapping in grounded aluminum foil would work....have to make notevto self to investigate.

Flying USCG helos out of Miami, we would see dozens of surface disturbances that looked like the water dirt Devils WXX3 described ....all the time. They were below the most vertical of the puffy clouds you always see down there over the warm waters and right conditions.

Most of tbe time we would see and avoid them...but every once and awhile, we would fly though them and get jostled around a bit, but not severe. Definitely not of the same class as a true water spout.

In all my years on or over the water, I can't say I have seen more than a dozen or so water spouts of the magnitude of a destructive tornado.
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:17 PM   #38
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. "... just wrapping in grounded aluminum foil would work...". I'd give a dollar to see that.

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Old 06-03-2017, 01:01 PM   #39
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RTF.....We need more than a few of those hats for the SE forum get together this winter.

For some, I bet in the mornings, they could use one for a jump start.

I am sure Irv (Bigfish) would gladly fire up his genset if dockpower couldn't handle the amps.
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Old 06-03-2017, 01:08 PM   #40
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"PS, for you, as an Aviator, having t fly a hundred + miles the route forecast and overall conditions are going to be very good."

The motto at airline dispatch for most commercial folks is,

"Why check the weather , were going anyway".

Not the best procedure for a small boat operator.
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