Monday, December 24, 2007

Forecast analysis

Marine Forecast issued for West Coast Vancouver Island North.
Issued: 4 PM PST Monday 24 December 2007

Synopsis: A ridge of high pressure over the British Columbia coast this afternoon will move into the British Columbia interior tonight.A frontal system approaching the West Coast Charlottes region this afternoon will cross the north coast tonight and approach the south coast on Tuesday morning.Over northern and central waters gale to storm force southeast winds will develop as the front approaches and will ease to strong to gale force northwesterly in the wake of the front.Over southern waters light to moderate northwest winds will rise to gale to storm force southeasterly as the front approaches tonight and Tuesday morning.

Forecast: Storm warning continued. Wind northwest 10 to 20 knots rising to southerly 30 this evening then to southerly gales 45 to storm force 55 overnight. Winds becoming westerly 25 to gales 35 Tuesday morning then northwesterly 25 to gales 35 Tuesday afternoon. Rain developing near midnight. Seas 7 to 8 metres subsiding to near 5 this evening then building to 5 to 6 overnight. Outlook. Strong to gale force northwesterlies.

I will confess to experiencing a wee bit of trepidation as I read the forecast for some of the areas I am planning on passing through. Any apprehension I have, however, is tempered by my almost total ignorance of the metric system. "7 to 8 metre seas" do sound rather large, but I don't neccesarily translate their hugeness internally, at least not very well. Another failure of American public education, no doubt, but it makes me feel better.

For those of you who may find yourselves in the same predicament, allow me to decode the above report into language that will be more informative:

Synopsis: Clear skies will pass through to the British Columbia interior tonight, pulling truly horrible conditions behind them that will begin bashing coastal areas severely by Tuesday morning. Over northern and central waters, the wind will vary between gusts that would transport Dorothy back to Oz and other blasts that will force you to your knees, so you may as well start praying. Over southern waters, the somewhat reasonable breezes that may have been present for 20 minutes or so will soon be a memory, and any chance of sleeping in your pathetic little nylon tent will require earplugs and a shot of rum before turning in. Wind velocities will range from vicious to horrific throughout the next few days, after which they are just as likely to get worse as they are to get better.

Forecast: Storm warning continued, which is another way of saying you better hope your kayak is lashed to a tree above the surge line or it is likely to become airborne at some point. Wind northwest (pretty breezy) rising to southerly (nasty) this evening then to southerly gales that will shake your fillings loose to storm force winds that will actually penetrate unprotected skin, causing extreme physical and psychological distress. Massive walls of water on the open seas will subside to basically sucky levels before becoming worse again. Outlook. Good luck. You are seriously going to need it.