Weather resources

  • Gulf Harbour Radio. Who we are and what we do.
  • The following are some ideas for Chameleon to consider when planning our passage. These are based on averages only - plus experience. Reality may be vastly different because the speeds and shapes of travelling surface features change and can defeat the following concepts of averages.
  • Leave Tonga as a High Center is at longitude of NZ. If averages prevail the next Low should arrive in NZ when we arrive at about 28S. Arriving at about 28S as a Low crosses Northland we may have 4 days before the next one. Leaving Tonga as a cold front crosses Northland may look good for winds at the start but may also allow us to unforgettably greet the next front as we’re closing with NZ.
  • A one page summary of the various radio and fax frequencies and timetables for weather information. Actually there is a second page for those closing on NZ. You will not hear Gulf Harbour Radio below about 30S due to the skip on the MHz frequency so tune into the Maritime Radio broadcasts. Brett for Opua. Colville for Whangarei and Auckland. Plenty for Tauranga
  • 1. Customary departure from NZ is after a cold front clearance. 2. Consider waiting day or two for sea/swell to subside. Examine sea state models. 3. Be wary of secondary Low development on tail of departing front. 4. Carefully examine 500 hPa progs for shortwave development....
  • Leaving the Islands on a strong stationary High means there might be a squash on one of its flanks depending on the High’s location. Leaving the Islands just as a front passes means that she may not make it to New Zealand before the next sequence takes place; thus she may encounter the next Low just as she’s near New Zealand unless she goes like blazes.
  • The MJO or Madden- Julien Oscillation is a wave oscillation travelling eastward around the globe on an average of 40 days. When the wave is over the western tropical Pacific heavy convective activity is initiated.
  • When a strong high pressure cell forms to your south it produces very strong winds called a trade wind surge.This paper describes why.
  • The following is a summary of some significant tropical synoptics and events which can influence the weather encountered by yachts in the South Pacific. An overriding influence in the tropics and subtropics is the Subtropical Jet (SJT). It’s a semi-permanent feature near the poleward margin of the tropics and its strong baroclinic field, especially in winter, can and does supply energy for weather disturbances in low latitudes.
  • A Tropical Cyclone in the SW Pacific is a cyclonic warm core system with winds of 34 knots or greater, whereas a Hurricane or Typhoon has winds of 64 knots or greater. BoM rates tropical cyclones (TC) by a scale of 1 to 5. This scale was established for local conditions and is similar to the Saffir Simpson Scale used in much of the world.
  • The following is a series of lectures I have given to yachties with the aim to provide a bit of information on weather terminology, definitions, rules of thumb and the use of Grib files for forecasting. These papers are not technical and are designed to help the user wade through the sometimes confusing terminology from various forecasting sources and also to provide some hints as to how to best use data obtained from the Gribs.
  • This is the list of wx fax products that SV Chameleon used when on passage and in the Islands. It includes NZ, Australia and Hawaii products.