Author Archives: Fred Pickhardt

About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.

Case Study: Marine Weather Reconstruction, Arabian Sea

I was asked to review a marine weather analysis report of conditions in the northern Arabian Sea, east of Socotra Island during July of 2008 that was presented by a weather consulting company on behalf of cargo interests. Continue reading

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Ship and Yacht Weather Routing Services

Ocean weather routing (Optimum ship routing) provides for a “best route” for ocean transits based on the existing weather forecasts, ship characteristics, ocean currents and special cargo requirements. Continue reading

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Florida West Coast Hurricanes 

September and October are the two months when the Florida West Coast is most at risk of encountering a landfalling hurricane.  Continue reading

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Gulf of Tehuantepec Gales

The onset of winter brings frequent cold outbreaks across the central and eastern US that can often result in sudden gale to storm force winds over the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The northerly winds that funnel through gaps in the Sierra Madre Mountains and spill out over the Gulf of Tehuantepec and out over the eastern North Pacific. Continue reading

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Does global climate change have an influence on tropical cyclone activity?

Does global climate change have an influence on tropical cyclone activity and can these influences be detected?  This question is important given the high risk to populations along coastal regions. This question was tackled in a recent assessment published in The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Continue reading

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Tampa Bay Hurricane Storm Surge Scenarios

While no storm scenario is a good one for the Tampa Bay area, the worst case is when the hurricane center is located north of the Tampa Bay entrance such that the maximum winds associated with the eye wall occur at the mouth of the bay with storms making landfall farther north result in lower surges. Continue reading

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What is a Storm Surge?

Storm Surge is the abnormal sea level elevations (or depressions) caused by winds and atmospheric pressure. The components are: 1. Coastal set up (down) by the along shore wind stress.  In deep water, the Earth’s rotation causes a water to … Continue reading

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Tropical Cyclone Wind Speed probability graphic

In addition to the familiar National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) hurricane track forecast with it’s iconic cone, the NHC also produces a wind speed probabilities graphic. Continue reading

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2020 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook issued by Colorado State University

The Department of Atmospheric Science Colorado State University has issued its “Extended Range Forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.   The outlook anticipates that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity. The report points to the current … Continue reading

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Hurricane Storm Surges in Tampa Bay

The highest storm surges in Tampa Bay are usually associated with hurricanes, with the three highest tides occurring during Cat 3 storms in 1848, 1921 and 1985. Hurricane Elena in late August of 1985 caused the highest storm surge recorded … Continue reading

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