September 21, 2010

Dodging Georgette

"Mum, can I have a sleep over?"
There are lots of reasons to turn down Maia's sleepover requests: She's still tired from the last one; her dad and I want a quiet night; just because… But the current reason-that a tropical cyclone has popped up out of nowhere and is supposed to show up within our area tomorrow morning-is one of the better ones. There are moments when cruising life and family life intersect in slightly surreal ways. Saying no to a sleepover because we're going to have a tropical storm, is just one example.

Most of us in the Northern Sea have grown complacent this year. It's been such a strong La Nina year (which cools tropical waters to the degree that very few hurricanes can form) that several cruising boats recently declared hurricane season over and headed back south. I'm betting they are regretting it. Just. About. Now.

Hurricane season isn't over until all the conditions that make hurricanes possible are gone:

-80 degree, or warmer, water tempature.
-A low pressure area with wind disturbance.
-A lack of stability in the air, which allows clouds to develop.
-A centrifugal force, known as a Coriolis Force, stemming from the earth's rotation.
-Moist air, i.e., a thunderstorm, in the lower portion of the atmosphere.

As it stands those conditions are weakened, but not gone. And as much as we'd love to pronounce hurricane season over and get on with the next stage of cruising, as the saying goes, it ain't over 'til it's over…

Georgette's current forecasted track have her crossing the Baja Peninsula from Cabo and coming out near Santa Rosalia-a prediction that doesn't put us in danger of much more than a good boat wash. But tropical storms and hurricanes are unpredictable things. So as we watch the full moon disappear behind Goergette's leading clouds and wait for the wind to veer, we're preparing the boat for a blow and cancelling all sleepovers until the weather report is benign again.

So in answer to Maia's inevitable, "Why not?" the answer is, "Because Georgette might be coming for a visit instead…"

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1 comment:

Ramsay said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

If you are going to wait for the Coriolis force to die down before you head south again, I think you'll be up there for a very long time.