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Weather & Routing for a 2016 Pacific Ocean Passage - East to West – March to June 2016

By Ocean-Pro Weather & Routing — last modified Mar 14, 2016 12:38 PM

Published: 2016-03-14 00:00:00
Topics: Pacific Crossing
Countries: French Polynesia , Galapagos , Mexico , Panama , USA

By www.Ocean-Pro.com
Ocean-Pro Weather offer weather & routing services for yachts globally. They are one of the official sponsors for the Latitude 38 “Pacific Puddle Jump, PPJ” rallies.

Routes:

1. Panama to Galapagos to Marquesas, French Polynesia, 4000 nms

2. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Marquesas, French Polynesia, 2700 nms

3. Southern California, USA to Marquesas, French Polynesia, 2800 nms

El Nino:

As of the latest NOAA CPC update (March 10, 2016), we are still in an ENSO positive mode. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Central and Eastern North Pacific, are still very warm, (2 degrees above normal). However CPC climate prediction models are forecasting that Pacific SSTs are expected to finally begin cooling to more normal during the first six months of 2016 and are likely to approach near historical average temperatures by about June of 2016.

That change, if it happens, may bring us to an ENSO neutral situation and possibly to the end of the present, very long, multi-year El Nino.

Accordingly, El Nino conditions in the eastern and central tropical Pacific, including the “Pacific Puddle Jump” route to the Marquesas (from March 2016 to June 2016), are expected to gradually change from weak SE trade winds, warm sea surface temperatures and an active ITCZ region in the central North Pacific, to stronger SE trade winds, less warm sea surface temperatures and a less active ITCZ in the Central North Pacific.

From June onwards, if the climate model forecasts hold true, we will see a less active early tropical storm season in the Eastern Pacific in 2016. However the models show a 40% chance of El Nino conditions returning late in the 2016 tropical storm season, August through to October.

Latest NOAA/CPC El Nino/ENSO update - https://www.climate.gov/enso

Latest NOAA SST image, Eastern Pacific - http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/contour/equatpac.cf.gif

Eastern tropical Pacific conditions, 20N to 20S and 80W to 130W

SST:

Sea temperatures 10N to 10S and 80W to 130W remain warmer than normal by about 2 degrees, especially from Western Panama and Costa Rica WSW to the equator at 100W and then within 03N to 03S from 95W to 130W. SSTs west of 130W 15N to 15S are normal to cooler than normal.

Winds:

Winds 10N to10S and 80W to 100W are, and have been, light and variable for many weeks. North of the Equator NE trades have been light and mostly west of 100W-110W. South of the Equator, SE trades have been light and on average have extended north to about 05S.

The Doldrum region (winds light & variable) is wide, on average from about 10N to about 5S. West of 100-110W the SE trades, (SE to ESE to East further west) have been more normal, ESE to East at 15-20 kts.

ITCZ/Doldrums:

The Eastern Pacific ITCZ region from 80W to 120W, 00N to 10N, is - and has for many months - been fairly inactive with minimal rain and thunderstorms and significant clear areas.

The ITCZ from 120W to 130E, 10N to 10S, is and has been more active than normal with numerous clouds, rain, squalls and thunderstorms.

Currents:

The axis of the Equatorial Current flowing west from 85W to 130W at 1.0 to 1.5 kts is generally between 03N and 03S. The axis at present is at, or just north of, the Equator, from 01N to 03N, 85W to 130W.

This useful weather and routing advice was provided by Ocean-Pro Weather & Routing.

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