sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Clipper Round the World - Simon Rowell loves weird weather phenomena
Clipper Round the World - Simon Rowell loves weird weather phenomena

'Simon Rowell'    Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race meteorologist Simon Rowell (as opposed to Cowell) is a self-confessed geek and loves weird weather phenomena and always starts his day by checking his favourite websites, the Met Office’s Storm Tracker and then the US Navy’s weather site.

Simon has had a long association with the Clipper Race through his sailing career. He was the winning skipper of Jersey in the 2002-3 Clipper Race, led training for the Clipper 68s and was Assistant Race Director from 2004 until 2007.

As his sailing career progressed, Simon became increasingly interested in the elements and went back to university in 2009 to study meteorology, getting a Master’s degree from the University of Reading.

Now, he provides the daily weather information to the 12 race skippers sending data and weather plots by email while studying for a PhD on how hurricanes form in the North Atlantic.

With the Clipper Race fleet starting its third and final Atlantic crossing, the man who plays an important role behind the scenes describes his job.

'The race allows me to study the elements in places where I would normally never get to look, such as the north coast of Papua New Guinea.

'I love observing weird weather such as water spouts off Papua New Guinea that the fleet experienced on Leg five. There is so much energy as it is that much hotter there which is why they occur. Henri Lloyd’s skipper (who was a meteorologist for the Canadian Olympic sailing team in the 2012 London Olympics) Eric Holden had a lot of excellent questions so I researched and asked colleagues at the University of Reading and learned from what they experienced.

'The 2013-14 skippers might not be professional meteorologists (apart from Eric) but they have seen a lot of weather and are good at interpreting it. The Southern Ocean gave the fleet a kicking on Leg three, but the North Pacific was not as bad as it has been in previous editions. The fleet suffered the longest ever Doldrums crossing on Leg one, Qingdao was struck by lightning in the Pacific Ocean and Great Britain endured a sea spout off Singapore.

'The skippers report back to me on what weather they get and if that doesn’t match with the forecast I have given, then I need to try and work out why.'

Simon adds that with modern forecasting techniques and equipment, you can have a much better idea of what’s going on round the world, and is one of the reasons why the Clipper Race can run safely as the fleet can be diverted away from potential hurricanes with around two to three days warning in order to get away from the worst of the weather. This has been particularly important on Legs five and seven.

Simon’s PhD studies have allowed him to indulge his geekiness. He has realised, for example, why the North Atlantic High is where it is and learnt more about the jet stream and the physics behind it.

Simon explains that North Atlantic hurricanes often develop from tropical waves, which are mid-level disturbances coming off the Sahara and West Africa about two to three miles up. This mid-level activity has a direct effect on surface weather.

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami has a vast database of hurricane data that Simon studies to increase his knowledge.

Simon provides the skippers with the day’s weather information but as he is also on the Clipper Race Committee it’s very important that he doesn’t give advice on what to do. The skippers can email questions and he can then give everyone the answer.

Simon’s favourite kind of weather to sail in is the Trade Winds, found on either side the Doldrums on the way to Brazil.

'It is good tropical weather in favourable winds - not too strong but warm and steady.

'When things go right and the hard work by the crew on the boat combines with a decent weather choice things can go really well - we got into New York about 24 hours ahead of everyone else in the 2003 Clipper Race because of that. Mind you, the flip side of that can really hurt, and when I managed to put us in the middle of the South Atlantic High after leaving Cape Town that really wasn't much good. From a meteorological point of view though that's quite difficult to do, so I take a certain perverse pride in that!'
A snapshot of Simon’s day.

6am Check the Met Office satellite images, including satellite photos and synopsis charts for the UK.

6.30am Check for tropical storms round the world on Storm Tracker.

7-8.30am Look at data, read reports and then create reports with the next day’s weather forecast.

8.30am Send reports to skippers.

9.00 Walk the dogs and look at the weather – often while being rained on.

Clipper Round the World


by Clipper Ventures


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123130

12:27 PM Tue 10 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

09 Jun 2014  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustration grows
08 Jun 2014  Clipper Race – Race 14, day 1: Teams leave New York on 2,850 mile race
08 Jun 2014  The Clipper Race - Homecoming leg sets off in style in NYC
07 Jun 2014  Henri Lloyd Clipper 2013-14 Race Seamanship award - Voting opens
02 Jun 2014  Clipper Round The World Yacht Race - Henri Lloyd extends lead
01 Jun 2014  Clipper Race - Race 13, day 8: Old Pulteney throws down the gauntlet
01 Jun 2014  Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd extends lead with triple points in Race 13
31 May 2014  Clipper Round the World Race - Henri Lloyd looks set to claim Race 13
31 May 2014  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Henri Lloyd sets time to beat
31 May 2014  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: Course shortened due to conditions
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here by Dan Ibsen, Sail-World Europe & UK editor,
























470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position by 470 International Association Class,




ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,






































470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video
18ft skiffs: Carnage compilation from the glory days of the Grand Prix
ISAF Worlds: Video from the British Sailing Team
Bart's Bash expected to set new records this weekend
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Marcilio Browne wins Super Session
470 Men and Women World Championships - Racing abandoned on day 2
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious   
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4   
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories   
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate   
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing   
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com   
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo   
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos   
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature   
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds   
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen   
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT