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Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 1 February 2000

Issue # 138

January Weather In Muskegon

Just this morning the wall calendar rolled over to the 2nd month of 2000.  Regardless of weather February will be a rare 29 day month.

The 31 days of January brought a wide variety of weather to Muskegon.  We saw temperatures as high as 53 and as low as -7.  By months end the average reading was 25.3 which is 1.5 above norm.  The first 12 days of January were above normal in temperature.  It was during these 12 days that the months high temperature occurred 53 on Sunday the 2nd, a nice bonus for a holiday weekend.  Monday the 10th saw the warmest low of the month, 39.  

Once again the average wind speed reading rose.  January's average was 10.4 knots up. 1 from December.

The most common wind directions were from the westerly quadrant (10 days) and from the south (9 days).  Below is a table of wind directions and temperature differences.

Direction Total + Norm Temp. - Norm Temp.
North 7 4 3
East 4 1 3
West 10 5 5
South 10 9 1

The prevailing south and west winds were warm as the temperature was above norm more days than not when they blew.  It was the abnormal east and north winds that blew on the cold days.

Precipitation wise January was a below normal month.  1.07" of precip fell well below the January norm of 2.3".

Snowfall was also well off in January.  16.7" fell with 38" being the norm.  Muskegon received only 44% of the normal snowfall.

January was another warm and dry month.  This lends further credence to the idea that 2000 will be a low water year for Great Lakes Sailors.

 


New Zealand Weather Buoy Damaged

Weather prediction has proved a crucial factor throughout the America' Cup regatta.  A recent incident may hurt America One's weather predicting system.

Last year America One paid $ 200,000 for exclusive right to data produced by New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospherics weather buoy on the America's Cup course.  At the time there was great controversy about an American team being the exclusive beneficiary of this data.

It appears as though some the feelings lingered.  Sometime the nite of 31 January in New Zealand, water going vandal damaged the buoy.  Wires were slashed and the buoys insides left exposed. " There were lots of wires cut and solar panels smashed. It looks like sabotage to us," said AmericaOne spokesperson Gina von Esmarch. 

Police found tools on the buoy.  They are taking fingerprints and investigating the incident.

Paul Cayard spoke of the benefits of this instrument, "First it was a design tool. More recently, of course, it's one of our data gathering points out there in the morning."  Cayard also does not think that the loss is major saying, "It's one-sixth or -seventh of the data that we get from different locations on the Hauraki Gulf every morning. So it's not really going to wipe us out at all. It's just one of our data points."

Who knows, America One is 1-0 since the vandalism incident.  Maybe it's a strange new age of sailing good luck incident.