September 8, 2006, Newsletter Issue #30: No Wind=Smooth Sailing?

Tip of the Week

You're all packed for a day on the ocean. There's no wind, but you're not windsurfing. You may even be cruising on an outboard motor. Suddenly you receive a weather alert on your laptop. A Small Craft Advisory Warning. Your home weather station wind direction sensor tells you there is no wind where you are, and you live so close to the ocean you could actually windsurf down the street.

Your weather station instrument may be excellent. Your rain gauge history may tell you that it hasn't rained in weeks except for the occasional shower, And your wireless thermometer tells you the temperature remains warm. No cooling winds here! So why are you in the equivalent of dry dock?

Your best weather station instrument usually won't match the hours of data culled by the National Weather Service and the Coast Guard. It's data provided by people like you with PCs and weather station instruments. You see a day without wind in your area but the National Weather Service has detected an approaching storm further up the coast.

Trust your weather station instrument, but leave storm chasing to the experts. You can stay home and rent "The Perfect Storm" while you monitor weather reports for your next high-seas adventure.

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Mary White