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World ARC weather 26 February

World ARC Weather 26 February 2009
26 February 2009

Prepared by: Bruce Buckley (Weather Australia)

Weather situation

The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is currently centred along the latitude band from the equator to 2S. It is relatively subdued at the moment. However the thunderstorm activity is expected to increase markedly on Saturday as trade wind surges from both hemispheres meet. This means the region affected by heavy rain and thunderstorms is likely to expand both northwards and southwards. The northern limit of the heavy rain and thunderstorms looks likely to hover along around 2N from Saturday through Monday. In the region south of Cape Sao Roque there should be passing squally shower activity but there does not appear to be thunderstorms over the ocean until you get to and north or the Cape. There are also very active thunderstorms over the mainland area of Brazil and these should continue. For those sailing close to the north coast of Brazil this is likely to be an issue but it should not be for the remainder of the fleet.



Scattered squally showers are likely up to Cape Sao Roque. After this scattered thunderstorms are likely with areas of heavy rain until 2N is reached. Squally weather can also be expected with the thunderstorm activity, primarily on the western side of the thunderstorm clusters. Then passing trade wind showers are to be expected once north of 2N.


Winds (Initially for the region from Recife to Cape Sao Roque but moving towards Grenada at a mean speed of around 150nm per day).


Thursday 26th

SE winds 8/13 knots shifting more ESE as you head northwards towards Joao Pessoa. A gradual increase in the wind speeds is also likely into the 10/15 knot range during the afternoon but the winds should drop back into the 7/12 knot range during the evening.


Friday 27th

Winds are likely to hold ESE but with more of a tendency to turn to the east near Cape Sao Roque. Speeds generally in the 10/15 knot range although patches of 15/18 knot winds can be expected near and north of the Cape. Squalls in passing showers and thunderstorms to around 30 knots are possible, primarily north of the Cape.


Saturday 28th

A significant increase in shower and thunderstorm activity is expected with gusty winds. The direction should be mostly easterly although there will most likely be periods of ESE as well. Winds are likely to be mostly in the 13/18 knot range when not in the squalls. Lighter pockets of wind should follow the passage of the squalls. Winds are likely to gradually increase to 16/20 knots during the afternoon and evening with more periods close to 20 knots in the evening.


Sunday 1st

Continuing quite showery with scattered squally thunderstorms still moving through. Squalls to 35 knots or so are possible. Winds should be mostly east to ESE although leading yachts could experience periods of ENE winds. Speeds are likely to be mainly in the 13/18 knot range although there are likely to be bands of lighter winds, in the order of 10 knots, on the northern side of the lines of thunderstorms.


Monday 2nd

Still showery, locally heavy, with scattered thunderstorms for most yachts. Winds are likely to shift to a north easterly, particularly for the front of the fleet. The rear of the fleet could hold more of an easterly to ESE wind. Speeds should be mostly in the 15/20 knot range. Those in the pure NE trade winds may see some pulses to 22 or 23 knots. Softer patches are likely between the thunderstorm clusters for those further back in the fleet.


Longer range outlook

The NE trade winds are likely to become established at a good 15/20 knots across the fleet with patches of 20/25 knot winds blowing through. The ITCZ is likely to continue to be quite active for those at the rear of the fleet.