In my yachtmaster trainings recently, I learned about synoptic weather charts and how predictions play out in the sky and on the water. During Leg 7, I have been watching the skies, trying to make predictions based on cloud patterns. Now I am seeng a tropical depression play out in classic fashion. Usually the skies have looked much like this, with localized convection clouds forming.
But yesterday, during very pleasant sailng conditions, very high cirrus clouds slowly formed over the midday, portending a coming cold front in the next day or so.
It took about 9 hours for the sun to become obscured by thick cloud cover, at about 6pm. This meant in would be roughly another 9 or so hours before the warm front arrived, with its characteristic strong winds and rain.
Sure enough, during our 2am - 6am watch, the wind gradually picked up and we began a series of sail changes.
Now, at 8 am, the warm front has passed and we are in the warm sector, preceding the cold front. As expected, there is steady rain and the wind has dropped somewhat, meaning more sail changes.
The cold front looms. Will it bring the high winds that Matt told us about?