Weather for Yachtsmen
This is a full one day course which aims to explain the background for the different weather systems and phenomena you will encounter on a global, regional and local scale.
Previous training up to the level of RYA Day Skipper Theory is advisable, but if you have a keen interest in outdoor activities and can look at a weather chart with a basic level of practical understanding, then that will also suffice. There is an element of revision in this course, but it’s done by going back to first principles to help deeper understanding of the subject during the day.
This course aims to unravel the many myths associated with basic weather forecasting. It is designed to enable sailors and power boaters to understand what is happening around them and begin to recognise the signs of what is coming next, with regards to the weather. This knowledge will then enable them to make more informed passage planning decisions.
This is a 1 day course, run from 0930 to 1700 at our Southampton training centre.
Before taking this course, it is useful if you have:
- Basic (RYA Day Skipper) knowledge of UK tides and navigation, with some experience of putting this knowledge into practice
- Familiarity with the sources of forecast and the terms commonly used in UK marine forecasting i.e. veering, beaufort scale, imminent, gale, later, moderate etc. (These terms can be emailed out in advance so they can be refreshed if required)
- Global Weather Patterns: exploring why we have weather and seasons, the Jet Streams and their importance, the Coriolis Effect and the general surface distribution of the major pressure systems
- Weather Charts and Forecasts: studying synoptic and surface forecast charts, geopotential height and thickness charts, GRIB data, ensemble forecasts and weather sources in general in the GMDSS system and beyond
- Mid-Latitude Weather: depressions, mid-level troughs and ridges, frontal systems, heat lows, rain/sleet/snow/hail, high pressure systems and the ominously named “storm track”
- Boundary Layer Weather: this is the bit we go sailing in, and covered in this section are sea and land breezes, gusts and fog
- Topographic Effects: wind coming on to and off land, surface convergence and divergence, acceleration zones, katabatic winds and Chinook winds
- Tropical Weather: a definition, the Hadley Cell, trade winds, the ITCZ, diurnal variation, tropical waves, tropical revolving storms, monsoons and squalls
- One day of shorebased instruction
- 100 page PDF of course notes
- Use of plotter and dividers during the course
- Tea/coffee throughout the day
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