SailFlow has installed two new weather stations to serve the Annapolis area. In addition, a separate experiment in conjunction with NOAA and WeatherFlow has resulted in a floating buoy inside the Annapolis Bay. These three data collection points should provide precise weather information for the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD. To access SailFlow’s Annapolis weather site, click here.
Weather Predictions for 2007 Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD
As winter draws to an end, the waters of the Chesapeake begin to warm and the jet stream starts to move north of the mid-Atlantic region, taking much of the synoptic variability with it. However, synoptic forcing is still the dominant cause of late April weather. May is the wettest month of the year, with mostly convective precipitation and the possibility of severe thunderstorms along frontal boundaries. May also sees a substantial increase in temperatures, to an average daily high of 75 degrees from 65 degrees in April.
So far in 2007 weather has been dominated by frontal passages. Just last week we saw a day of record warmth as strong southerly flow brought in an unseasonably warm air mass. One of the most frustrating parts of spring wind forecasting is the fact that warm wind events often result in patchy, fragile winds due to the cold water that still resides in the bay. Water temperatures currently are holding at 54 degrees at Thomas Point; this provides a strong inversion cap over the water, and when the air temperatures push into the 80s, the wind has trouble reaching the cold water. The result is unstable, patchy wind.
SailFlow| |SailFlow’s 2KM WRAMS model generated this Annapolis wind forecast on April 25|
Looking towards this weekend’s racing, a frontal boundary north of the region should result in a southerly wind direction. It is not uncommon to see most computer models and weather forecasters predicting strong winds that never materialize. As a rule of thumb, you’ll find stronger gusts and averages wind speeds near shore and headlands and more lulls and dead patches towards the middle of the bay. SailFlow’s WRAMS model is quite good at detecting the intricacies of this setup; the model is now running at 2km high resolution for the Annapolis area.
With so many variables dictating the strength and direction of the breezes in the Chesapeake, real time data and short-range forecasts can help you gain an edge on the competition. SailFlow is your source for real time information with free services to NOOD racers as well as exclusive coastal sensors and proprietary model forecasts. This information is complimentary through the racing period at www.sailflow.com/annapolis
Sailing Weather Services is another excellent source for local and offshore racing forecasts. In cooperation with North Sails, Sailing Weather Service is offering free precision race forecasts for this event. Sign up here.