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Secrets of the St. Lawrence
The four seasons - Wind aplenty
The four seasons (PDF; 1.12 MB)
On the St Lawrence, as the weather becomes cooler, it also becomes more threatening.
The summer months are obviously the best time for pleasure boaters and water sports. Just look at the statistics!
There is plenty of wind for sailors, both on the River and in the Gulf. You may even encounter some squalls or gale force winds, but not very often.
The troublesome lows generally pass to the North of the St Lawrence valley. The bad weather they bring affects us less in the summer than at other times of the year.
The other three seasons
As the days shorten, the wind gains strength. From early autumn to late spring, peaking in the winter, the wind speed picks up, reaches its maximum and falls off again as with each passing low.
In fact, the closer one is to the low pressure centre, the more unpleasant the weather is apt to be. Since the St Lawrence is on the winter track of low pressure systems, these months will naturally offer the worst weather.
From mid-autumn onward, lows unleash violent storms in the estuary and the Gulf.
At these times, navigation becomes so dangerous that vessels are sometimes lost with all hands in the Gulf, even though the meteorologists get their weather warnings out as quickly as possible.
0 to 12
13 to 19
20 to 33
34 to 47
48 to 63
*Monthly averages of hourly data gathered at Pointe Heath, at the Eastern tip of Anticosti, from 1985 to 1989. Table does not include gusts, which may be 20 to 25 % stronger than the winds shown.
The Pointe Heath reporting station is part of the Québec network of Environment Canada.
- 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
- Date modified: