FORE­CASTS

A life­line for Cruis­ers

Yachting Monthly - - THE LEARNING CURVE -

The Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NOAA) hur­ri­cane cen­tre mon­i­tors cy­clones and dis­tur­bances in the At­lantic to pre­dict if a de­pres­sion will form into a storm. As soon as one de­vel­ops, it’s trailed by planes, an­a­lysed from space, ex­am­ined from the ocean and pen­e­trated by drones and ‘drop­son­des’ (weather re­con­nais­sance de­vices). The data is put into mod­els that pre­dict the track and in­ten­sity of the storm, which can be days or weeks in ad­vance of it pro­gress­ing to a hur­ri­cane.

The Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter web­site, run by NOAA, is a vi­tal source of in­for­ma­tion to cruis­ers re­main­ing in the Caribbean over hur­ri­cane sea­son. It’s up­dated ev­ery six hours and is­sues a trop­i­cal storm or hur­ri­cane ‘watch’ 48 hours in ad­vance, chang­ing to a ‘warn­ing’ 36 hours in ad­vance of trop­i­cal-storm­force con­di­tions. www.nhc.noaa.gov

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