Gulf Stream and Weather Resources

March 25, 2022

By Frank Bohlen

With three months to go to the start of the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race, it’s time for many navigators and tacticians to begin evaluations of the probable weather to be encountered during Race, and on return, and studies of Gulf Stream location and patterns.

To assist in these efforts, we have provided a list of useful links (with comments) on the Race website under the Resources tab. Early individual study using these and other personally favored sites is recommended whether or not commercial services are contracted. The understanding gained often results in more insightful questioning of the service provider.

We have scheduled a Zoom webinar on April 27, 2022 at 7pm and encourage you to register here to receive an invitation link.

To further assist in early study, a series of Gulf Stream Notes will be posted to the Race website starting in early May. These notes will, to the extent possible, describe existing conditions, past history, and probable evolution in plain language understandable by all. In particular, these Notes will provide a basis for the comparison of observed conditions to those predicted by the computer models commonly used in advanced routing programs such as Expedition. This allows the navigator to better estimate the accuracy of model predictions and the routes based on them.

In addition to the above, Gulf Stream and weather conditions will be discussed in detail at the Skipper’s Meeting to be held on June 16th or 24hrs before the start of the Race. Following the start there will be twice daily weather analyses and forecasts broadcast to the fleet. These progressively cover particular segments of the course defined by boat speeds recognizing that the faster boats might well be encountering different conditions than the slower ones.

Finally, in Bermuda, the conditions encountered and how they were managed by the winning boats will be discussed at the Navigator’s Forum to be held on Thursday June 23rd at the RBYC. This is always an interesting and informative gathering of friends.  Departing boats will also be provided weather briefings provided by Bermuda Weather beginning daily on June 23rd. These will include a discussion of Gulf Stream conditions. It is expected that a special weather session will be held on June 25th for those participating in the Double-Handed return race.

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