Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Navigator's Nightmares

So ABN AMRO ONE goes from first to last to first. Where will it go next? That depends upon the weather. But where will the wind blow?

The forecasts have been the stuff that makes navigators wake up screaming - if they get any sleep, searching GRIB files for clues about where to head next. Take the two predictions below, both from and both for the same time, 12Z on Thursday 23rd February.

The first was from yesterday:
The second is today:
The boats are around 51 - 53S, 152 - 157W, where the forecast is so different. It's all changed - the low meant to come up from the south and the one predict to come down from the north have both fizzled out, leaving fluky weather, winds that could come from any direction. Getting the routing right can be a matter of pot-luck, or some inspired reading of the isobars.

Further ahead there are the lows behind with awesome 40 foot waves. But the storm should weaken mid Pacific by which point the fleet should be safely further east.

As to what to do now? Just get to that ice gate before the wind runs out and you grind to a halt like ABN AMRO TWO and Brazil.

No comments: