Boaters’ Weather

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Beautiful weather this week as we cruise into the weekend with slightly cooler air temperatures, but nothing compared to the weather systems that are causing flooding along the East Coast – and tornadoes.  The Great Lakes region just dug out from a winter storm this week, and after a slight sunny break today, the chance of snow increases for Saturday.

However, I digress. Back to our local weather, which is one of the primary incentives for the influx of snowbirds this time of year.  However, I am referring to the human snowbirds – mostly retirees who travel to warmer climates during the winter to escape the cold.

I digress again. Our weekend weather will be sunny with some clouds drifting across the skies and daytime air temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s, with the nights dipping to the low 50s.  We will have patchy coastal fog in the late evenings and early mornings, so be careful if you plan on sailing seaward of the jetty entrance.

However, it might be a little lumpy mid channel this weekend as the flat seas this week are building to probably 5 feet from the westerly on Saturday, then dropping a foot on Sunday.  You should plan on cruising along our coast where the seas will be at least a foot or so lower than the mid-San Pedro Channel conditions.  We may see a little push from the south that could build to 3 feet on Saturday.

The winds will be under 10 knots from the west, which will create only 1-foot wind waves and not steepen the swell’s faces.

Looks like lumpy conditions to me with the light winds and swells from the south bumping into the westerly larger swells.

So, as always, with an eye to the north, we look to the waters off Point Conception where the seas are building slightly from 9 feet today to 11 feet on Saturday, with winds in the low 20s and gusting to up to 25 knots.  Ouch. This weekend will not be the weather window for small craft to round the point.  The gusting winds will cause 4-foot wind waves that will engulf any boat as it falls off the top of the swells into the trough.  On Sunday, the winds will drop to under to 15 knots, and the swells drop below 10 feet.

Boaters should use caution and remember your boating skill level if you plan to cruise in the ocean, yet a nice harbor cruise is a great option.

Remember, to always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock, and give a safely briefing to your guests onboard before you leave your dock.  Lastly, remember your guests’ comfort level, because taking someone out in lumpy conditions can cause seasickness and a mess to clean up on your boat.

Safe Voyages,

Mike Whitehead, Capt.

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