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Old 18 August 2007, 09:51   #11
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Looks pretty bad on the news - glad you escaped the worst of it. How long does the hurricane season last in your neck of the woods?

We aren't total strangers to such weather on the West Coast of Britain either. Highest winds recorded in Swansea were 144mph. Although we don't get hurricanes very often we get force 10s often enough through the winter - at least your rain is warm!!!
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Old 18 August 2007, 11:14   #12
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I ear you!

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Looks pretty bad on the news - glad you escaped the worst of it. How long does the hurricane season last in your neck of the woods?

We aren't total strangers to such weather on the West Coast of Britain either. Highest winds recorded in Swansea were 144mph. Although we don't get hurricanes very often we get force 10s often enough through the winter - at least your rain is warm!!!
The official season runs June to November but Aug/Sept/Oct are the trouble months. The storms are simply huge heat exchangers, they feed off hot ocean surface water and purge the atmosphere of excess moisture while cooling the ocean surface with torrential rains. The worst of them come off the coast of Africa and form up around the Cape Verde Islands, as did Dean.

Recovery from a bad hit takes months if not years in this region. The governments and power providers are all broke and stockpile very little in terms of materials to get the grid back up. Haiti, on the Western half of Hispanola has the very worst problem, they have denuded all the forests on the very high mountains to make charcoal to cook so flash floods and mudslides can kill thousands.

If I am correct your winter storms can be even worse than a Hurricane because they cover so much more area, whether over water or on shore. Usually the worst winds in these tropical systems extend no more than 60 miles from the center with storm foce winds out to about 200. One thing I will say though, I don't give a damn what temperature the raindrop is, when it hits you square in the forehead at 150 miles per hour it stings.

Honey, want to go for a swim in the tranquil caribbean sea? This morning at Ha'penny bay. The big break is on the reef which is a quarter mile offshore. This probably looks like a normal beach day where you guys play!!!!

Tomas
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Old 18 August 2007, 11:35   #13
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Yes it does actually - waves get pretty big when they cross 3.000 miles of Atlantic and get funnelled between Cornwall and Ireland. It doesn't help we have very shallow waters either - it's like a giant beach. You have to go out over 300 miles from Swansea to get into water over 500' - mostly its only about 100' until you are miles out.

It's true what you say about the area covered - close up there's nothing worse than a Tornado - and yet they only have a tiny fraction of the power of a big storm.

We tend not to get much storm damage - we get this weather all the time so have to build in accordance - the West Coast is a bit like the Falklands - not a tree in site in exposed areas.
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Old 18 August 2007, 16:33   #14
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You have to go out over 300 miles from Swansea to get into water over 500' - mostly its only about 100' until you are miles out
.\
Well, we're a seamount. North shore the cliff is less than 300 yards off the beach and it drops to 5000 ft. right away and at 9 miles out it's 20,000 ft. deep. The South shore fades less abruptly but two to three miles out it's 5 to 10 thousand feet deep.

I got caught in the Chesapeake Bay, one of the larger Estuarys in the world, read "mud puddle" bringing a boat up from Norfolk, Virginia to Maryland. 30kts of wind out of the NE who cares until the seas rapidly built to ten feet tall and ten feet apart. This dock queen had deck lockers which flooded and the drains clogged with sea grass until even me, in my relative unconcerned mode noted zero freeboard. WTF...time to go to work!

Today we got a blob on the back end of the circulation and have had five inches of rain in squalls. I'm looking for a break to light some local charcoal up on my grill and burn a pig tenderloin.

Tomas
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Old 18 August 2007, 16:54   #15
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Not much chance of anchoring where you are then!!!

I wonder how many of the vast hordes of British tourists who go to places like the Carribean or the Canaries know that the water under them is so deep - I suspect they would be horrified.

I used to do a lot of diving in the Red Sea and there was one area where the depth dropped from about 20' to 3000' - it was a vertical cliff and the sense of Vertigo going over the edge is amazing. I suspect it's the same where you are?
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Old 19 August 2007, 01:09   #16
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Deep is deep

I never thought about it that way. One is very aware that anchoring is not an option but other than that deep is deep. You want to do all you can to keep your engine operable and have good communication tools in case of failure or you're in for a long float down range.

I worked a research vessel and we had a deep moor in 19,000 feet of water. One of the tasks was to clear anything hung on the top 100 feet, which was cable attached to the very large bouy. We dove the cable and I admit that kind of gave me the willies.

A guy was on a charter boat, out of sight from land and the weather turned very ugly. The guy starts to get nervous and asks the captain, "How far are we from land captain?". The captain replies, "oh, about a mile." The guy looks all around and seeing nothing says, "a mile, which way?" "Straight down", says the captain.
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Old 21 August 2007, 06:33   #17
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Last Dean Post

A PEAK FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND OF 165 KT WAS MEASURED JUST
NORTH OF THE EYE. A GPS DROPSONDE IN THE NORTHERN EYEWALL MEASURED A WIND SPEED OF 178 KT AVERAGED OVER THE LOWEST 150 METERS OF THE SOUNDING. A DROPSOND IN THE EYE MEASURED A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 906 MB JUST PRIOR TO LANDFALL. SOME HISTORIC NOTES ARE IN ORDER HERE. THE 906 MB CENTRAL PRESSURE IS THE NINTH LOWEST ON RECORD FOR AN ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE...AND THE THIRD LOWEST AT LANDFALL BEHIND THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND HURRICANE GILBERT OF 1988 IN CANCUN MEXICO.

That 178 KT reading translates to 213 mph!

Landfall was in a rural area of Mexico on the Yucutan Pennesula so the impact on large population centers was avoided.

Our eyes turn back to the EAST!
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