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.

What is the weather like cruising the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico during August?

The weather during August is a very warm in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and this is also the month when tropical cyclones become active. Gale force winds are rare, however,  but can occur in the vicinity of tropical storms and hurricanes.  Continue reading

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Elsa less than forecast for Tampa Bay

As Tropical Storm Elsa was moving north off the west coast of Florida on July 6th, the National Hurricane Center in Miami upgraded Elsa to a hurricane at 1:45pm on the 6th based on an Air Force Recon report that … Continue reading

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2021 North Atlantic Hurricane forecasts

Each spring there are numerous government and private organizations that undertake the task of predicting the North Atlantic Hurricane season.  This year, the 2021 North Atlantic hurricane forecasts are calling for another above-normal hurricane season with between 12 and 20 … Continue reading

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Monster North Pacific Storm Sets Record

As 2020 transitioned into 2021, a rapidly deepening and intense hurricane-force storm over the western North Pacific has set an all-time record low central pressure of 921 mb breaking the previous record of 924 mb recorded on Nov 8th, 2014 … Continue reading

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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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