- Hurricane-Force Storm NW of Ireland
- Capsizing and Sinking of Barge Dredge200 and Loss of Workboat R.E. Pierson 2 Pushed by Tugboat Big Jake
- Intense Hurricane-Force Storm developing east of Japan
- Typhoon Forecast to impact Philippines on Christmas
- Hurricane Force storms over North Atlantic Shipping Lanes
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Capsizing and Sinking of Barge Dredge200 and Loss of Workboat R.E. Pierson 2 Pushed by Tugboat Big Jake
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the probable cause of the capsizing and sinking of the Dredge200 and the R.E. Pierson 2 in December 2, 2018 was the decision by the tow captain and owner to attempt a transit in forecasted wind and waves that exceeded their original plan for the voyage. A workboat and barge sank, resulting in nearly $2 million in losses.
Although the captain and owner had a discussion regarding a plan for the tow configuration and set a limit of 4-foot seas for the voyage, they proceeded through the canal and into Cape Cod Bay despite knowing that the weather forecast called for seas that exceeded the limits they established for the voyage.
Read the entire NTSB report “Capsizing and Sinking of Barge Dredge200 and Loss of Workboat R.E. Pierson 2 Pushed by Tugboat Big Jake”
A rapidly deepening storm low over the western North Pacific east of Japan is forecast to reach 944 mb with winds of 55-75 knots and seas building to 58 feet (17.7 meters) over the next 12-24 hours.
Tropical Storm Phanfone over the western North Pacific east of the Philippines is tracking westward at 14 knots with max winds about 55 knots.
Conditions favor additional strengthening with max winds reaching near 70 knots within the next 12 hours with landfall over the Philippines expected within 18-24 hours.
A strong 500 mb jet is setting up west to east across the North Atlantic over the next couple of days near 40N latitude. This will favor strong storm development across the main North Atlantic shipping lanes.
Expecting storm to hurricane-force winds and significant wave heights to 16 meters (52 feet) moving eastward from the central North Atlantic towards the Bay of Biscay which will present problems routing ships between North Europe and Mediterranean ports to US East Coast and Gulf ports.
NOAA OPC 72 hour Surface Forecast
72 hour Wave Height
The 500mb forecast chart is an excellent tool for mariners to estimate where to anticipate the heaviest sea and swell conditions as well as a guide to the expected surface storm tracks and intensities. The closer the height contours on the 500mb chart, the faster the upper level wind flow, the stronger the temperature contrasts and the more active is the surface weather below. The development and strengthening of surface lows and the associated bad weather most often occurs on the eastern side of 500mb troughs while surface high pressure and good weather is associated with the western side of these troughs. Without even looking at the surface pressure charts, a mariner can estimate what areas might be best to avoid.
Today’s 500 mb chart of the North Pacific is a good example.
Earlier today a hurricane-force storm system west and north of of Ireland was producing storm to hurricane force winds and seas to 15 meters (49 ft).
This system will trigger gale to storm force winds over the Gulf of Lion Monday into Tuesday.
A rapidly deepening storm low over the central North Pacific near 40 N Latitude will result in winds of 50-65 knots and seas building to 45 feet (nearly 14 meters) south and southwest of the center over the next 24-48 hours. This system will create high winds and waves in the main North Pacific shipping lanes.
Tropical Cyclone Belna over the South Indian Ocean NNE of Europa Island has been moving SSW at 5 knots with max winds currently estimated at 90 knots. Belna is expected to make landfall along the west coast of Madagascar thenl turn more southward over western Madagascar and weaken rapidly.
First Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone (02S) has formed over the South Indian Ocean NNW of St Denis, Reunion and is moving WSW at about 4 knots with max winds of 40 knots. This system is moving through an area of low vertical wind shear and warm ocean temperatures so deepening to hurricane strength is expected within 36-48 hours. A more S-SW track is expected bring the system near the northwest coast of Madagascar in 4-5 days.
Second Tropical Cyclone
A second Tropical Cyclone (Ambali) has formed WSW of Diego Garcia over the southern Indian Ocean and was moving SW at 8 knots with max winds already at 70 knots. Ambali has been rapidly deepening over warm ocean water with low vertical wind shear. Ambali could reach a max intensity of 100 knots or more over the next 12-24 hours. Gradual weakening is expected after 24-36 hours as Ambali continues on a SW track.