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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weather

Chris Parker of the Caribbean Weather center is very popular for boats cruising the Caribbean. Daily he provides voice weather forecasts via SSB radio. If you are a "sponsoring vessel" (i.e. you pay) you can speak with Chris directly about specific weather for your planned passage. For an additional fee you can also subscribe to daily weather forecasts via email. We find these services highly valuable.

Here is a typical forecast that we would receive via email:

Wx Update, W Caribbean, Fri17, 3p
8am graphical QuickScat: NW Caribbean ENE-E@10-15, except 15-22k S of
18N / no data SW Corner. SW Caribbean ENE@20-27, stronger E of 79W / W
Panama ENE@10-15 / E Panama NE@10-18 / widespread minimal GALEs off
Colombia, N of Cartagena to 13N.
IMAGERY:
NW Caribbean earlier clouds & showers & possible squalls dissipated. SW
Caribbean squalls S of 10N thru Panama into Pacific, and also within
120mi of CostaRica & Nicaragua S of 13N.
SYNOPSIS:
NW Caribbean...moderate ENE Trades become lighter gradually thru Tue21,
as RIDGE lifts N beginning today & TropicalWAVE #1 passes N of area
Sun19 onward. WAVE #2 approaches Thu23, but not certain how it may
impact area. Models disagree on evolution of RIDGE late next week as
well...so lots of questions Thu23 onward.
* *
N of W Cuba...moderate ENE Trades thru Sun19, then lighter but with a
few squalls as WAVE#1 passes.
* *
C Caribbean & Colombia...very strong Trades thru tomorrow morning, then
sub-GALE & decreasing each day thru Tue21, as WAVEs pass N of area. C
Caribbean may see MUCH stronger Trades (25-30k) & higher in squalls
Wed22 onward with WAVE#2, but Colombia may not increase much till Thu23,
E of WAVE#2.
* *
SW Caribbean...similar, but Trades fail to increase till Thu23, E of WAVE#2.
F'cst:
Precip:
Mexico: mostly dry with only a few isolated squalls Tue21.
Belize/Honduras: random, isolated showers & mild-moderate squalls to
35k, but not much coverage.
Nicaragua: a few squalls to 40k today; drier tonight & tomorrow;
scattered squalls Sun19 afternoon thru Mon20, drier Tue21.
W Panama: plenty of scattered squalls thru Sun19 or Mon20, then only
isolated later Mon20 & Tue21.
E Panama: only random, isolated showers & squalls.
WIND:
Mexico: 070@13 today; 060@10 tomorrow & Sun19, 050-deg Mon20, 7-10k Tue21.
Belize/Honduras, offshore: 080@15-20 today; 090@14 tomorrow; 060@13
Sun19; 050@10 Mon20 & Tue21.
SW Corner of NW Caribbean: mostly NE-E@15 thru tomorrow, then 10k.
Nicaragua: 060@25 today, 23k tomorrow; 045@20 Sun19; 050@16 Mon20, 15k
Mon21.
W Panama: mostly ENE@12-15 thru Sun19 morning; N-ENE@10 Sun19 onward.
E Panama: mostly NE@20 & gusty today, 15-20k tomorrow; NNE@15 Sun19,
12-15k thereafter.
Colombia, max wind near 12N/75W: 35k today, 31k tomorrow afternoon, 27k
late Sun19, 25k thereafter.
Just SW of Cartagena: mostly NE@15-20 thru tomorrow; W-NE@10-15 thereafter.
E of 74W: 25-30k thru tomorrow, 20k thereafter.
SEAS:
NW Caribbean: swells 4-6' (highest S of 18N)/8-9 sec from E-ESE thru
Sun19 then deceasing...while wind-chop runs 3-6' today, 2-4' tomorrow &
Sun19, 2-3' thereafter...highest S of 18N / lowest N of 20N.
SW Caribbean: 13'/9-sec from ENE thru tomorrow; 10' decreasing to
9'/8-sec Sun19; 7-8'/7-8 sec Mon20; 6-7'/7-sec Tue21. Coastal E Panama
subtract 2-3'. Near max wind 15-18' today, decreasing to 13' tomorrow,
10' Sun19, 8' thereafter. W of 81W: 11'/9-sec from ENE-E thru tomorrow,
9' Sun19; 7'/8-sec Mon20; 5'/7-sec Tue21.

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