Boaters’ Weather

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Everyone should be stuffed full of turkey on the day after Thanksgiving, and change in the weather has the feel of the holiday with the cool, crisp air outside and the sunny clear skies.  What a change from the beginning of the week with the rain showers in the harbor and snow below 5,000-foot elevation in the local mountains.

Do not let this picturesque weather fool you, as there is a chance of rain late Saturday night and into Sunday.  You will notice the clouds starting to return on Saturday and clearing Monday or Tuesday.  Sailors will like the wind condition today and through the weekend as we can expect 10 knot offshore breezes shifting to onshore and offshore on Sunday with some strong gusts.

The nighttime lows are going to be chilly in the low 40s, with the clear skies, and then warming up slightly with the returning cloud cover to the high 40s.

At night, clouds actually act like a blanket or an insulation layer that helps to keep the earth’s warmth from escaping into outer space.  However, clouds will produce just the opposite effect during the day.  Daytime cloud cover will reduce the air temperatures as the clouds block the sun’s radiation from reaching the earth.  Of course, how much radiation is blocked depends on the clouds’ thickness and moisture content.

But I digress.

Daytime air temperatures along the coast will be in the low 60s today, so dress in layers if you are going to cruise the harbor or head out on the high seas.  Except, the high seas, which is the Pacific Ocean off our coast for you landlubbers – and yes, I have been asked many times, and I quote, “What is that body of water out there?” – will be low seas this weekend.  You can expect 1-foot seas along the coast and 2-foot swells mid-channel between the Harbor entrance and Santa Catalina Island.  The shifting and gusting winds will create 1- to 2-foot wind waves but, as I mentioned, ragboaters will especially enjoy the ocean conditions.

As always, with an eye to the north, Point Conception swells have dropped from just under 15 feet for today and the weekend.  Swells will be 3 to 4 feet, hence our smaller local swells, but Conception’s winds will be howling between 10 to 15 knots creating 2- to 3-foot wind waves.

Remember, to always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock, and check your mooring lines during and after the winds, and check your bilges after any rain.

Safe Voyages,

Mike Whitehead, Capt.

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