Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Location: rio grande y rio dulce
|Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:52 am Post subject: Coastal sea/wind info for Belize
|this is from a post on the belize forums by a local sailor in belize. it's the best description of the local wind conditions and sea currents for belize that i've read. good enough to print it out and stick it in yer freya rauscher's guide.
Re: Looking for coastal sea/wind info
A bit late for this topic maybe, but a couple of comments on Belize Weather that might be useful.
Forecast Winds. The local winds in Belize often vary signficantly from forecast winds. Especially in terms of direction (velocity is generally as predicted). As you move from offshore (the atolls for example) to inland the winds tend to pick up a westerly component that is typically not reflected in the forecast winds. For example, if the forecast calls for NE it is not unusual to get N winds along the coast.
Land/Seabreeze Effect. From just inside the reef to the coast we get a pronounced land/sea breeze effect. In the very earl AM (like 3-4 AM) a light land breeze typically develops from the W-NW. If you want to sail (paddle) N then the very early AM is the best time to do it. The land breeze tends to die off by about 9AM. The local winds remain relatively calm till about noon and the seabreeze starts to build. Near the coast this can easily reach 15-20 knots by late afternoon. We tend to get a slight spike in this wind speed around sunset and then it begins to die down.
The afternoon seabreeze can kickup a nasty chop in the inner channel (between the coast and the inner cayes).This is especially pronounced around Punta Negra.
As you move away from the coast the land/sea breeze effect diminishes. From the reef (about 20 miles from the coast) and further offshore you will typically get just the NE trade winds.
Prevailing winds shift from NE to SE seasonally.
Currents: As mentioned there is a roughly southerly flowing current in the inner channel. You can also pickup counter currents (south) just outside the reef, but still to the west of the Yucatan current.