Ocean Currents & Weather: Interactions and Effects
In planning an ocean voyage it’s important to realize that the conditions encountered are the result of the close coupling between the ocean and the overlying atmosphere. The ocean affects the atmosphere and the atmosphere affects the ocean. The result is a dynamic and variable regime of winds and currents on a variety of space and time scales. We will explore the factors affecting ocean circulation including tides, water column density and winds and the resulting currents around the world followed by a discussion of how these currents can affect local weather. An understanding of these relationships allows evaluation of why existing forecast models may be less than accurate on the small spatial scales of interest to cruisers and racers and determination of the extent and character of the resulting inaccuracy. Recommended readings will be provided prior to the class.