Bob McDavitt's ideas for sailing weather around the South pacific

24 September 2017

Bob Blog 24 Sep 2017



Compiled Sun 24 September 2017


Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.


The equinox was Friday 22 Sep at 22:02 UTC and so several nations around the South Pacific are switching from ST/ Standard Time to DT/ Daylight time over the next few weeks as follows:


Sep 24 (today)


NZST (UTC +12) switches to NZDT (UTC +13)


Samoa (UTC+13) switches to Samoa DT (UTC+14)




1 October (next Sunday)


AEST = UTC+10 switches to AEDT= UTC+11


Lord Howe ST = UTC+11 switches to Lord Howe DT = UTC +12




5 November


Fiji ST = UTC+12 switches to Fiji DT = UTC+13


Tonga ST = UTC+13 switches to Tonga DT = UTC +14




When calculating your departure from the Islands to Australia /NZ be mindful of the public holidays:



Tonga: Monday Nov 6 Constitution.




Fiji: Tues Oct 10 = Fiji Day, Thursday Oct 19 = Diwali




New Caledonia:


National Day : Sep 24th, All saints Day 1 November, Armistice Day 11 November




New Zealand: Labour Day Monday 23 October.




Australia: On Mon 2 October Queensland observes Queens Birthday  (NSW/ACT/Sa observe Labour day the same day).





TC MARIA has done its dash in the Caribbean, and is expected to stay offshore from now on, but may sideswipe Bermuda.

LEE is also still going but further east

PILAR is affecting Mexican west coast

And there are a couple of tropical depressions in the NW Pacific.


Rainfall for the past week   as seen at, shows the path of the Atlantic cyclones, with a peak over Puerto Rica.




SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

The SPCZ starts this week from Solomon Islands to Tuvalu/Tokelau area.

A weak upper trough is fading between Tonga and Niue on Monday UTC.

Another trough is expected to travel east across Tonga and Niue on Thurs/Fri UTC reaching the Rarotonga area on Sun/Mon 1/2 Oct UTC, preceded by NE/N winds, accompanied by variable winds and showers, and followed by SW/S/SE winds.



Subtropical ridge (STR)

HIGH moving off to east of NE New Zealand on Monday is expected to intensify to over 1032 near 35S 150W by Friday, and this may increase the trade winds between French Polynesia and the Cook Islands to around 20 gusting 30 knots. This is a slow-moving High, so the winds on its western side—over NZ are expected to be intensified on Monday and Tuesday.

Another HIGH is expected to move off eastern Australia on Tuesday and slowly move to between NZ and New Caledonia/Fiji by Thursday and then linger there until early next week..


French Polynesia to the west:

The main obstacle this week is that travelling trough over Tonga/Niue on Thursday/Friday UTC, but it may Ok to sail thru this trough. It is looking to be a fading feature after it travels east past Niue.


Between NZ and the tropics:

Very strong NW winds over the North island on Monday and Tuesday, and then a passing trough on Wednesday. Thursday, with a passing ridge, is the best day of the week for arrival/departure. Then there is likely to be another trough on Friday followed by another on late Saturday and decreasing SW winds on Sunday.

Best date to depart/arrive is either Wednesday 27 or Monday/Tuesday 2/3 Oct.

With that High lingering between New Zealand and New Caledonia/Fiji from Thursday, the voyage is likely to face a few days of light winds.


Between New Caledonia and Australia

This week the wind between New Caledonia and the Brisbane area are likely to be mainly northerly. A southerly change is likely for Sun 1 to Tuesday 3 October.

Further South, in the central Tasman sea, a trough is expected to be travelling east on Monday and Tuesday, followed by light winds with a passing ridge on Wednesday and the another trough with NW winds on Thursday and variable/southwest winds on Friday/Saturday.



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1 comment:

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