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Secrets of the St. Lawrence
Sailors take warning - The sky above us
- "Hey, Mom, look at that enormous black cloud headed our way! What should we do?
- Quick, help me tie everything down and shorten the sail. It's sure to hit us in a couple of minutes. Don't be afraid!"
A huge, black, anvil cloud is approaching. At its base, a roll cloud is moving very quickly above a choppy sea. Spray is blowing. The wind picks up speed quickly and shifts. Get ready for a good blow.
A squall is a sudden gust of wind that literally sweeps the sea. The wind rages and often thunder, lightning and heavy showers make for a dramatic scene. Squalls are so violent that they can tear the rigging and keel a sailboat over on its side.
If the squall is produced by an isolated thunderstorm moving out from the shore, it should disperse as it moves offshore. It is often possible to avoid these storms by altering course.
This phenomenon, which normally lasts 10 to 20 minutes, may go on for several hours if it accompanies a cold front, but won't necessarily continue with the same intensity as it hit with.
You can often see a cold front approaching - there will be storm cells along much of the horizon. As the cold front passes, the gust of wind will create a cross sea that will make for difficult sailing.
An anvil-shaped cumulonimbus cloud approaching generally means that you are in for a squall.
- 1. Fore to aft
- 2. What Cartier missed out on
- 3. Conversion
- 4. The Secrets of the St Lawrence
- 5. The wind in your sails - Hard a-port!
- 6. The wind in your sails - Fast or slow?
- 7. The wind in your sails - The wind's paths
- 8. The wind in your sails - Against the wall
- 9. The wind in your sails - Solar energy
- 10. The wind in your sails - Under the stars
- 11. The wind and the waves - The windway
- 12. The wind and the waves - Wave wars
- 13. The wind and the waves - Graveyards
- 14. The wind and the waves - Conflicting seas
- 15. Symbols
- 16. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... - Legend
- 17. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... - Calling all sailors
- 18. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... Hot spots
- 19. Local listings - Québec - Pointe-des-Monts
- 20. Local listings - Pointe-des-Monts - Cap Whittle
- 21. Local listings - Cap Whittle - Blanc-Sablon
- 22. Local listings - Gaspésie - Baie des Chaleurs
- 23. Local listings - Îles de la Madeleine
- 24. Sailors take warning - White-outs
- 25. Sailors take warning - The sky above us
- 26. Sailors take warning - Keeping a weather eye
- 27. Sailors take warning - Fair weather and foul
- 28. Sailors take warning - The unexpected
- 29. The four seasons - Wind aplenty
- 30. The four seasons - Vessel icing
- 31. The four seasons - Ice cycle
- 32. Extra - Beaufort
- 33. Extra - Handy references
- 34. Extra - Old Salts and Sea-dogs
- 35. Extra - The crew
- 36. Extra - A to Z
- 37. Extra - Stations
- 38. Extra - Areas
- 39. Credits
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