by Kenn Batt
It is a beautiful day in Airlie Beach for day 1 of Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week. The breeze building and the flags flying.
Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012, Airlie Beach (AUS).
Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week - Day 1 forecast: Nil Warnings current at time of writing for this area.
Synoptic Discussion: A trough of low pressure is expected to move through the area this morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to quickly develop in the wake of the trough.
At 0600hr Hamilton Island was reporting the following conditions: Wind 300deg at 9kn (ave) gusting to 11kn, Temp 18C, Pressure 1017hPa).
Forecast Winds for Middle of Pioneer Bay (Read Discussion below)
1000:MD190 DR(210-170) MS17 SR14-27kn, 3-5kn stronger offshore
1200:MD180 DR(200-160) MS17 SR14-27kn, 3-5kn stronger offshore
1400:MD160 DR(180-140) MS16 SR13-26kn, 3-5kn stronger offshore
1600:MD150 DR(170-130) MS15 SR12-24kn, 3-5kn stronger offshore
1800:MD140 DR(160-120) MS14 SR10-22kn, 3-5kn stronger offshore
Note: First column is mean wind direction in deg Magnetic (MD). It is the 10min average (mean) value at a height of 10m above the water leading up to the hour quoted. The second column is the directional range (DR) of the wind direction in deg Mag. This takes into account the natural oscillation of the wind and is a function of the atmospheric stability, etc. The third column is the mean speed (MS) in knots (kn) and is the average 10min value leading up to the hour quoted at a height of 10m above the water. The last column is the wind speed range (SR) in knots and is the lowest wind speed to highest wind speed in the 10min leading up to forecast hour.
Forecast chart for 1600 hr today - Telcoinaback Airlie Beach Race Week 2012
Latest Analysis - Telcoinaback Airlie Beach Race Week 2012
Discussion: A trough of low pressure is expected to pass through the area between 0700 and 0830hr this morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to quickly build behind the trough. Wind NW ahead of trough shifting SW-S behind the trough.
In a situation like today, we normally experience stronger winds offshore (which includes the Cones and Armit Isles). The sea state should also be higher further offshore than closer to the coast due to increased fetch.
Note: Wind will be lighter in the lee of any landmass and stronger and more gusty between islands (in channels and passages) and around some headlands.
Natural oscillations today around 15 to 25 deg away from effects of topography, tending 30 to 50 deg closer to the effects of any land mass (including islands and headlands).
Weather: Cooler though dry and sunny. Maximum land temperature at Airlie Beach: about 21 degrees.
Wind Waves: 0.8 to 2.2metres, less in lee of land, more when wind wave opposes tidal current and further offshore.
(Wave heights quoted are significant wave heights).
Tide at Shute Harbour: Low of 1.05m at 1121hr and High of 2.76m at 1819hr.
Tidal Stream: A good flood this afternoon. Be very careful particularly in passages, channels, close to islands, etc.
Remember: Tidal currents generally flood to the south and ebb to the north in the Whitsundays (with a multitude of local effects and eddies. So be prepared!).
Sea Temperature: about 20 degrees.
Saturday: Dry and cool. SW to SE 14 to 18 kn (ave), reaching 18 to 24 kn (ave) at times during the morning, especially offshore. Winds easing to 12 to 16 kn (ave) in the afternoon.
Wind speeds are expected to be 3-5kn stronger at times further offshore in the Whitsunday and Molle Passages.
Airlie Beach Race Week website