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Secrets of the St. Lawrence
Sailors take warning - The unexpected
Baie de Gaspé
- "I had just sailed in from the Îles de la Madeleine. I anchored on the West side of the wharf at Anse au Sauvage for shelter from the light waves coming from the East. The next morning, about 08:30, the wind shifted, picking up into a breeze from the
- "I checked my lines and went below to finish my breakfast. I had barely touched my coffee when the wind came gusting out of the West.
- "I just barely had time to get up on deck before the storm struck. I couldn't get away. I jumped onto the wharf and prayed to God that the wind would stop beating my boat against the side. What a storm!"
Such storms blow up so suddenly that no one can see them coming.
This was the case at about 08:00 on the morning of September 3, 1980, when a low reached the western tip of Anticosti, at 983 millibars. This low pressure system marked the end of the explosive development of a rather insignificant low, observed at 22:00 the previous evening, at 1006 millibars, over Lac Saint-Jean. This development would have been difficult to predict.
The abrupt and steep drop in barometric pressure was the only obvious indication that such a violent phenomenon was about to occur. This example illustrates the importance of keeping a barometer or barograph where you can see it at all times.
If the pressure is falling at a rate of 1 millibar an hour and the wind is freshening, you should consult the latest forecast. If the pressure continues to fall or starts falling even more quickly, the weather is about to change drastically for the worse. DANGER!
September 3, 1980. 3-hour pressure tendency and wind observation at Gaspé Airport, the day of the incident.
- 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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