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Sailing North East West South

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 3 November 2000 Issue # 282

By Ike Stephenson

 Today's Sailing News 

Vendee Globe: 2 days to start

At two days to the off the Vendee Globe skippers are still facing a challenging weather forecast for their start.  West/South West winds of 25-30 knots are expected.  This will make the crossing of the Bay of Biscay an upwind battle.  

Before the start some final reflections from Kingfisher skipper Ellen Macarthur on her goals fro the race, amusement during the race and her identity:

"My aim is to make the finishing line, but I will certainly be pushing for a good position but firstly, I want to finish"

"Onboard I have a small DVD from Comet, a lot of music CDs (of all styles), and some books principally Swallows and Amazons."

I am not an English person that comes here to beat the French, I am a European sailor, in a French race."

Winter Weather Outlook

US government agency, NOAA has issued the long term outlook for this winter.  As there is no La Nina or El Nino to influence the weather this winter has a chance to be normal as defined by the period from 1961-1990.

The Midwest is expected to experience a normal weather.

The Grand Rapids National Weather Service Office forecasts slightly above normal temperatures, with normal precipitation and above normal snowfall.

According to the Grand Rapids office: "The reason for above normal temperatures is that the entire United States has been in a general warming trend for the past 10 years.  That means the 1961 to 1990 normals that are currently in use are on the cool side, given the long term trend in our climate.  So, a warmer than normal winter is expected, although nothing like the warmth of the previous three winters."

For Muskegon a normal winter is measured by parameters such as 26 average temperature, 56 days below freezing, 114 inches of snow.  

BT Challenge Update

Leader: LG Flatron by 61 miles.

Location: 1 north, 35 west

Best 24 hour run: Olympic Group 174 miles

Current Conditions: East @ 14 knots.

Forecast: SE Force 3 to 4

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Thanks and
Links to: 

BT Challenge
Times Clipper 2000
Vendee Globe 2000
NWS Grand Rapids

Weekly Water Level Update

Reference Point Inches
Chart Datum -4
October 3 2000 -5
November 3 1999 -6
Long Term Avg. -20
Record High -57
Record Low + 11
Forecast for December 3 2000 -3

Data Courtesy Detroit District Corps of Engineers

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 Today's Sailing News 

October Weather in Muskegon

With a monthly high of 79 on the 1st, October was a warm month from its beginning.  By months end temperatures were + 3.7 from the normal.

The variety show that is autumn weather produced a monthly low of 28 on Sunday the 24th.

While warmth was above normal, precipitation wasn't.  Muskegon received 1.84 inches of wet stuff opposed to a norm of 2.8 inches.

Winds averaged 8.3 knots, down from 9.8 in 1999.  Windiest day was the 1st (17.3), lowest average winds speed was 2.1 on Tuesday the 17th.

Dir + = Total
North 4   3 7
East 4   1 5
South 10 1 1 12
West 2   5 7

A further look at wind direction shows that winds from the compass' cardinal points were up.  In October there was a north wind 19.4% ( normal 5.3%) East Wind 16.1% (normal 6.4%), South wind 19.4% (normal 7.4%), West wind 12.9% (normal 5.9). 

Normally in October there are frequent east winds.  There were few of these in October including no South Easterly winds.

 The increase in Southerly winds and the weather they bring were a prime factor in Muskegon's October warmth.

As the table above shows, the Lake Michigan Water level is down in all facets.  The extra warmth combined with less than normal precipitation will not help the levels increase.

Times Clipper Update

Leader: Portsmouth Clipper 

Location: 25 North, 23 west. Off Morocco

Best 24 hour run: Portsmouth Clipper 108 miles

Current Conditions: In the midst of high pressure light southerly winds.

Forecast: Moderate southerly winds





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