Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tampa Bay Weather Forecast Feb 20

Here's the data and expectation for day 1 at J24 Midwinters.  We sail in the area to the north of the Thistle MWE course area, so the geographic and current effects are a bit different.

February 20

  • Air temp: high 59
  • Water temp: 64 degrees
  • Wind type: Breeze (10-15)
  • Breeze Type: Gradient
  • Pressure System: High Pressure

The result is High Pressure (3), Gradient (1), Air Cooler than Water (1), which is a score of 5. That score says:
  • If air colder than water expect modest & unpredictable changes in direction & speed

Our takeaway from this is to sail for pressure, but take advantage of shifts of 15 degrees or more. We will always be within 2 miles of shore so if sunny, gusts will be harsher and more irregular. This could create situations where tacking more often, even in a slow-tacking boat like a J24, is more advantageous. Here's our bullet points of expectations to go with the matrix output:
  • Expect unsteadiness in wind speed
  • Expect local differences in speed across the course
  • Little predictability in oscillations
  • Boats who sail for more pressure typically win 
  • Continuous short-term unsteadiness in direction superimposed on long term oscillations
  • Look for changes in wind speed - this is where the advantage is
  • Do not believe if a shift seems persistent over an entire leg...likely just too long of an oscillation to go back on that leg
  • Can recover from a gamble gone bad by using short term shifts
I'll update tomorrow evening to see how it actually played out.

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