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Old 10 October 2009, 15:53   #1
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Weather Question

Just a quick question as I often find reading the weather confusing!!

Can you have a high wind with a slight sea state - so for example I've felt that until we are confident and used to the new toy then a F3/4 is more than enough to play in - however tomorrow we have F5 forecast for later in the day but with a slight sea state - hence my confusion as you can also have a slight sea state on a F3

I appreciate that once there if it looks too grim you don't go but how do you decide before leaving home??

Confused as ever

J
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Old 10 October 2009, 16:07   #2
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Quick answer - yes, its possible to get strongish winds say F5 with surprisingly small waves.
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Old 10 October 2009, 16:57   #3
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So when using the RIB 1st priority should be sea state or wind ?

Thanks Polwart

J
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Old 10 October 2009, 17:31   #4
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Air pressure will play a big part, at the moment high pressure will help keep the sea state down,
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Old 10 October 2009, 17:51   #5
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If its flat and windy you'll be fine. I may be unpleasent but you'll get used to it.
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Old 10 October 2009, 18:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot Yet View Post
Just a quick question as I often find reading the weather confusing!!

Can you have a high wind with a slight sea state - so for example I've felt that until we are confident and used to the new toy then a F3/4 is more than enough to play in - however tomorrow we have F5 forecast for later in the day but with a slight sea state - hence my confusion as you can also have a slight sea state on a F3
While sea state is primarily cause by wind there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Direction, changes, consistency, landmasses, duration and tide/current.

I am not sure from your profile where you are from so will use Brighton as an example. You could have a strong Northerly wind but as the beach is in the lee of the land the inshore waters would be reasonably calm compared with the more common South Westerly where the waves have had some distance (fetch) to build up.

Changing wind directions cause confused seas, i.e. if it has been blowing steady from one direction and set up a regular wave pattern the seas will become confused if it starts blowing hard from another direction.

Be aware that in offshore winds it can be flat inshore but as you go further offshore the sea state builds. As you are looking downwind you don't appreciate the full effect until you turn back into the wind and as you have to go upwind to get back its harder work on you and the boat to get home.

When wind strengthens quickly there is a delay before the sea state builds up, likewise if it has been blowing hard and constant from 1 direction there is a delay from when the wind eases to when the sea state calms down again.

As you are no doubt aware wind vs. tide increases sea state and wind with current/tide reduces it. It therefore figures that spring tides against wind can increase sea state considerably.

Where about's are you ribbing and launching from?
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Old 11 October 2009, 03:23   #7
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In addition to Doug's thorough explanation, it is also worth pointing out that the 'Douglas Scale' used for describing 'wind sea' state (as opposed to 'swell') says that a 'slight sea' will have 'significant wave heights' of up to 1.25 meters. That's a pretty big wave!, not necessarily dangerous but will certainly slow you down a bit.

As Doug suggested, the trick is interpreting the forecasts effect on the bit of water that your are going to be using.

Happy boating
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Old 11 October 2009, 05:53   #8
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Good explanation from Doug. What I would say is... of course it makes sense to check the forecast but (as an example) in Scotland for this years holiday of sibbing (and grping) we were always ready to go when the visible local weather looked OK but had we relied 100% on the grim forecast we'd probably hardly have ventured out. As it was, apart from a days torrential rain, we got out every day we wanted to... but always with a very alert lookout to changing conditions in the distance.

The long range on the Friday before we left for Scotland was terrible and sugested we'd be lucky to get out at all in 3-4m craft and I did consider if it was worth the trouble of trailing/packing the boats for the 1000 mile round trip.

The reality...

Start of the week... bit grey but calm.



Middle period very nice.



End of the week... dull but calm again.



The only day we didn't go out due to rain but the sea state was easily ribbable.




It depends really how much effort it takes you to get to the waters edge as to whether you take a chance when it forecasts a bit more wind than ideal.

David
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Old 11 October 2009, 05:57   #9
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If its flat and windy you'll be fine. I may be unpleasent but you'll get used to it.

yus. yor a narsty likkul yawksher fkker an i downt fink weel evver gett yewsed too itt

garF
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Old 11 October 2009, 06:07   #10
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yus. yor a narsty likkul yawksher fkker an i downt fink weel evver gett yewsed too itt

garF


Thoroughly agree with everything Doug says above. you may find the following website useful for the inshore forecast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/inshore/
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