1400 hours. If you are a David Lettermen fan, like we are, you will no doubt recall his occasional “stupid human tricks”. We’ve seen all sorts of bizarre demonstrations. We’d like to nominate our decision to bypass Acapulco as the “Stupid Human Trick of the Year”.
Prior to the excitement mentioned in the previous message we sent the following inquiry to Commander’s:
As of 1230Z we are at 16’36″N – 100’27″W – Winds have been around 100T all night – but in last half hour have clocked to 130T. Wind speed varies from 15 to 36 knots. Have followed (or been followed by) one large squall for most of the night (if we were racing this would be great!). Looks like the bar has dropped to a mean of around 1015 – down 2mb from yesterday.
I would like to get an update from you ASAP as I have a bail-out point about four hours away. And then a second update end of your day as my next decision point will be 0800Z. Here are some specific questions:
1-With E to ESE winds is it correct to assume the low center is to our SW now?2-What is the prognosis for something spinning up and when?3-If this occurs, what is the fastest it will go from tropical depression to tropical storm to hurricane?4-What do the steering currents look like and what is the most probable track?5-What are the chances the track will take the system towards land – either mainland Mexico or the tip of Baja CA?
Regards – Steve Dashew
The answer, below, is enough to make anyone pause and consider:
To: Steve Dashew – “BEOWULF” Fm: CWC Dt: 1600UTC Sat, 6/08/02 Posn: 16 36n 100 27w1230utc 6/8/02
Summary: Strongly suggest pulling into bail out point and waiting out this storm unless you want to deal with stronger winds, squalls, and higher seas.
1) National Hurricane Center at 10utc this morning has issued a special statement about the low pressure located near you a) The low is now a tropical disturbance with its 1005mb low pressure center located at about 15n 102w at 10utc this morning b) There is a good possibility that this low will be a tropical depression with the next statement that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues and may become a Tropical Storm in 24-48hours 2) Currently, satellite imagery has numerous showers and t-storms associated with this low 3) There were banding features associated with the storm and this is usually indicative of further strengthening 4) The storm does look fairly well organized as it continues to slowly moves off the NW 5) Suggest pulling into your bail out point and letting the storm move off the NW over the 48-72hours 6) Don’t think you want to deal with a tropical depression or Tropical Storm over the next 48hours if you continue on a) If you do continue and the storm continues to deepen, you can expected very heavy squalls with wind gusts up to 50kts possible, seas building to 7-12ft, and sustained winds steady increasing.Answering you questions:1) “with E to ESE winds is it correct to assume the low center is to our SW now?” -Yes, the low’s center is SW of you 2) ” Prognosis for something spinning up and when” – Think a tropical depression is likely over the next 12-24hours 3) “How fast will it go from TD to TS to H” – All this depends on how favorable the atmosphere is around the storm and how warm the ocean water is. Right now, the storm looks well organized and think that it could become a Tropical Storm in the next 24-48hours. 4) “Steering current and the most probably track” – Steering currents in the upper atmosphere are very light at this time as a large upper level ridge is over the Gulf of Mexico, the track is very uncertain, but the storm is likely to continue off the NW of the next 24hours 5) “Chances the track will take the system towards land – either mainland Mexico or Baja, CA” – there is a 40% possibility right now of the storm turning more N and NE. The track is very hard to say as it is just developing. That is why, we suggest you bail out now and let the storm do its thing without you having to worry about it 6) “wind strength/direction look like on a track between present location to Cabo over the next 72 hours” – as mentioned above in the discussion, if you continue on and the storm does strengthen some wind gusts up to 60kts will be possible with sustained winds increasing to possibly as high as 40kts and maybe higher if it storm develops quickly
Will give you a brief update on any new developments before departure from the office today.
Best Regards, Michael Gilchrist
The only problem is that between the time we sent our e-mail, and downloaded this reply, we had passed Ixtapa where we had thoughts of stopping.
To say Michael’s e-mail raised the stress level is to put it mildly. When we plotted the location for the low center is was 120 miles from our position.
Now, we know that these storms are small in diameter, but that sucker is way to close for comfort. The only good news is that the odds are we will move faster than it does.
We confirmed with Michael what to watch for in wind data as a signal of good or bad news. Good news: Same or moderating wind strength,a decrease in squall intensity, and a steady direction or clockwise wind shift. Odds are the barometer will drop some, but not precipitously.
We have proceeded to clear as much stuff from the decks, remove our lose shade awnings, put extra ties on main and mizzen, and extra lashings on the dinghies.
1530 – 133 miles from Manzanillo
Another conversation with Commanders for an update before they leave for the night. National Hurricane Center has designated our system as a Tropical Depression, with central pressure of 1004mb and a position of 16’06″N – 103″03W – about 85 miles SW from our present position. Movement is WSW at 7 MPH They expect to upgrade to Tropical Storm status in the next 12 to 24 hours. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that on BEOWULF there is a slight trend in dropping wind velocity. While true wind direction is holding steady around 100 degrees true.
We’ll talk with Commanders first thing in the AM (0400 ship time) when they come into work.
If our progress continues as at present (i.e. no glitches) we are ETAing Manzanillo about 0500 – at which time it is dark. Assuming no intensification of local conditions, we’ll slow down the last few hours to arrive at first light.
Here’s the advisory which the HPC sent out:
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-E DISCUSSION NUMBER 2 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL 2 PM PDT SAT JUN 08 2002
..DEPRESSION PARALLELING THE COAST…TROPICAL STORM WATCH ISSUED…
AT 2 PM PDT…2100Z…THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FROM PUNTA SAN TELMO TO CABO CORRIENTES. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WATCH AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 36 HOURS.
AT 2 PM PDT…2100Z…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-E WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.6 NORTH… LONGITUDE 103.3 WEST OR ABOUT 180 MILES…295 KM…SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF MANZANILLO MEXICO.
THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH ..11 KM/HR…AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH… 55 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THE DEPRESSION COULD BECOME A TROPICAL STORM DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1004 MB…29.65 INCHES.
HEAVY RAINS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEPRESSION ARE CURRENTLY LOCATED JUST OFFSHORE. SHOULD THESE RAINS MOVE ONSHORE…THEY COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
- INITIAL 08/2100Z 16.6N 103.3W 30 KTS
- 12HR VT 09/0600Z 17.0N 104.0W 35 KTS
- 24HR VT 09/1800Z 17.6N 104.8W 40 KTS
- 36HR VT 10/0600Z 18.3N 105.8W 45 KTS
- 48HR VT 10/1800Z 19.0N 106.8W 45 KTS
- 72HR VT 11/1800Z 19.5N 108.5W 35 KTS
This doesn’t sound too bad at all, except that as we’ve seen already, these storms can develop faster and with more intensity than forecast!
2300 – 73 miles from Manzanillo
Barometer is up one mb at 1015. The SetSail-MaxSea Data Trend Center has wind with slight bias towards a decrease. Wind direction is holding steady after backing as we closed with the coast. Large squall area moving off the coast behind us eight miles on radar. On 48 mile range we have some rain squall “bands” off to the WSW about 24 miles – in the right spot for the outer edges of the tropical depression.
Have phoned Tucson and asked Sarah to get on SetSail, use the weather links to go to the National Hurricane Center , and then e-mail me the 2000 PDT update.
June 9 – 0000 – 62 miles from Manzanillo
Wind down, seas moderating, barometer climbing slightly. All good signs. Received the 2000 PDT update from the NHC as follows:
TROPICAL STORM BORISDISCUSSION NUMBER 3 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL 8 PM PDT SAT JUN 08 2002
SATELLITE IMAGES DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS INDICATE THAT THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED. THE CYCLONE HAS DEVELOPED BANDING FEATURES AND VERY DEEP CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER. THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW IS ALSO ESTABLISHED. BASED ON DVORAK T-NUMBERS FROM TAFB AND SAB…WHICH ARE 2.5 PLUS…THE DEPRESSION HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO TROPICAL STORM BORIS… INITIAL INTENSITY IS 35 KNOTS AND GIVEN THAT BORIS IS HEADING TOWARD AN AREA OF STABLE AIR AND HIGHER SHEAR…ONLY A SMALL INCREASE IN STRENGTH IS INDICATED IN THE FORECAST. MOST OF THE GLOBAL MODELS AS WELL AS THE GFDL KEEP THE SYSTEM RATHER WEAK.
DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS…WHILE ORGANIZING…THE TROPICAL CYCLONE HAS BEEN MOVING WEST-NORTHWEST BETWEEN 8 AND 10 KNOTS. HOWEVER… BORIS SHOULD DECREASE ITS FORWARD SPEED AS THE STEERING CURRENTS WEAKEN. IT SHOULD CONTINUE ON THE SAME GENERAL WEST-NORTHWEST TRACK AROUND A MID-LEVEL RIDGE. THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PREVIOUS OFFICIAL FORECAST…BAM MODELS AND CLIMATOLOGY. ON THIS TRACK…BORIS AND ITS AREA OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS SHOULD BE PARALLELING THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO. HOWEVER…ANY DEVIATION TO THE RIGHT OF THE TRACK COULD BRING STRONGER WINDS TO THE COAST.
IT IS INTERESTING TO POINT OUT THAT THE GLOBAL MODELS AND THE GFDL KEEP BORIS WITH LITTLE MOTION AND PRACTICALLY DISSIPATE THE CYCLONE IN SITU. AT THIS TIME…THE OFFICIAL FORECAST MAINTAINS CONTINUITY BY SHOWING A WEST-NORTHWEST TRACK BUT IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO IGNORE THE GLOBAL MODELS.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
- INITIAL 09/0300Z 16.9N 104.5W 35 KTS
- 12HR VT 09/1200Z 17.3N 105.0W 40 KTS
- 24HR VT 10/0000Z 18.0N 106.0W 45 KTS
- 36HR VT 10/1200Z 18.5N 107.0W 45 KTS
- 48HR VT 11/0000Z 19.0N 108.0W 45 KTS
- 72HR VT 12/0000Z 19.5N 109.5W 35 KT
June 9 – 0500 hrs – Off entrance to Bahia de Manzanillo
Just off the entrance to Manzanillo Bay. Wind down to almost calm last three hours. Few squalls coming off the land, with light rain and virtually no wind. Sea just about calm as well. We are starting to relax a little bit.
Have decided to continue on to Barra de Navidad, 20 miles further down the coast. Will be there at first light, and they have good protection, without a lot of commercial traffic about which we would have to worry if it commences to really blow. Besides, friends have told us that it is a great place to leave the boat in the winter.
0730 – Bahia de Navidad
Easy, well marked entrance between breakwaters. There’s even a set of range lights for the channel. BEOWULF is securely tied to the dock in the marina. So ends this voyage.