Wind Forecast Translations

We are now 150 miles from our predicted landfall, and within range of the marine weather radio for Southern California. We now are blessed (?) with accurate (?) local weather forecasts. All the planning and arranging we did to avoid hurricanes on the way to Hawai’i, and we are most impacted right here off Southern California. Ok, it’s not a REAL hurricane any more, but the tattered remnants of hurricane Karen are bringing us scattered rain showers, and ironically, light winds as what’s left of the storm system suck the life out of the normal pressure gradients along the coast.

In the interests of public service, I have developed the following translation for the official National Weather Service wind strengths.

35 to 45 knots: Can we stay home today, Please?

25 to 35 knots: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

15 to 25 knots: A beautiful day for sailing, and there won’t be any of those pesky fishing boats in our way.

10 to 20 knots: Perfect for lessons!

5 to 15 knots: Could be fun, could be frustrating, and the weather guy gets to be right either way.

10 knots: A special wind forecast. No other forecast gets a single number. You think this means the forecast is for between 9 and 11 knots. Wrong! It means somewhere out there today, at sometime, the wind will peak at ten knots. The rest of the day you’ll struggle to get your boat moving.

Less than 10 knots: See above…

Variable: They don’t know, and don’t feel like guessing today, but it will likely vary between too little and none.

Calm: Gentlemen, start your engines!

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