Weather awareness

Being on a boat means being aware of weather under way and at a moorage. Each morning and evening I listen to the weather radio for the forecast and observations.

Summer weather is very consistent in the Salish Sea (Gulf and San Juan Islands and Puget Sound). If there is wind, and usually from the north, it is in the early morning and then again mid-to-late-afternoon till dark. Overnight and noon are usually calm.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca sees strong westerly winds, small craft advisory strength, in the afternoon and evening. Strait of Georgia usually has strong winds from the northwest in the evening till the early morning.

It is now Fall and the pattern is a southern wind event every few days. These comes from the highs and lows spinning through the area now that the Summer’s Pacific High has moved away. These systems are unstable bringing rain and puffy and gusty winds.

Specific wind forecasts are always sketchy, all year, as the Salish Sea is made up of many channels, passes and straits and forecasts are for a large area (100+ miles for Puget Sound. Wind may or may not be present around each bend. With local knowledge, reviewing the topography and knowing the dominant wind direction the ‘nasty spots’ can usually be avoided.

Mt Rainier as seen from Oro Bay, Anderson Island, South Puget Sound.

This past week it has been calm and chilly weather in southern Puget Sound. A series of windy and rainy systems came through last weekend and week. When this current quite spell will end isn’t predicted in the medium term forecast. When the next systems come through it is again a waiting game for making a move to another Puget Sound location.

Mt Rainier sunrise makes staying at Oro Bay a pleasure.

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