Issued 7 Feb 2010
Bob McDavitt's ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.
Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas come from
the patterned world of weather maps, so please fine-tune to your place.
Dates are in UTC unless otherwise stated.
The remains of TC OLI have crept off to the south of French Polynesia FP
now. During the coming week the South Pacific Convergence Zone SPCZ is
strong along 5 to 10S - with westerly winds on its northern side. Lows
are expected to be winding-up near Tokelau and Northern Cooks.
This coming weekend one of these systems mare deepen and widen a lot and
move WSW towards Samoa/Tonga /Fiji, and, next week, may be able to get
to New Caledonia area before heading south. There is still plenty of
time for this system to take another path, but basically if you do
intend sailing anywhere around the South Pacific between 10 and 20 Feb
check out this system first.
How strange the subtropics are in their extremes. We are at the extreme
high point of summer now, and this weekend last year we had Black
Saturday and the tragic bushfires of Victoria; well: in the peak of
summer 2010, we are having extreme rain near Coffs Harbour - easing off
by Tuesday. One of causative factors is a sustained trade wind flow
along 25S all the way from south of FP top the NSW/QLD border -- I
remember a similar pattern in the South Pacific in Feb 1988, after I
returned to bench forecasting after the Americas Cup in Perth - and that
culminated in Cyclone BOLA - well this time is seems Coffs is copping it
rather than Gisborne, and there are no cyclones involved--- yet.
The High that is moving onto the South Island on Monday marks the South
Pacific subtropical ridge SPSR. This has been deflected to a latitude
south of its normal position over past few weeks by blocks in the upper
air - rather out-of-keeping with the current El Nino. High's path to
the east is blocked, and so this week it will drift north instead,
getting back to its normal position between Lord Howe and Raoul Islands
by Friday 12 Feb --- allowing El-Nino like NW to westerly winds to rage
and return to Southern NZ.
The next HIGH will build well south of the Aussie Bight, so stand by for
a cold southerly change over South Australia/Victoria/Tasmania on
Thursday/Friday /Saturday 11-13 Feb.