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What Is with the Southerly Winds?

As this weather animation shot from Windyty shows, this is not the best time to try to sail south from Oregon and Washington. 

© Windyty

As the Grand Poobah, we’ve been closely watching the weather along the West Coast of the United States from early to late October for the last 23 years. We can’t remember a time when there has been so much wind out of the south — even south of San Francisco.

One result is that Craig Shaw, a veteran of numerous Baja Ha-Ha’s with his Portland-based Columbia 43 Adios, who has been working all year getting his boat ready for Mexico, has decided he can’t make it to the Ha-Ha start. In fact, it was days ago that he decided that despite getting his boat all ready, he’s going to have to wait until next year’s Ha-Ha. We’ll miss you Craig.

As bad as the situation is trying to get south from Portland, it’s even worse from the Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria areas. And it’s not even going to be that easy from San Francisco south, where sailors can normally count on northwesterlies. It’s only south of Point Conception that is free of wind on the nose.

So be safe out there. And if you get to San Diego late and don’t catch the fleet until Turtle Bay or Mag Bay; don’t worry, we’ve got your swag bag and we’ll keep the light on for you.

The October 31 — Halloween — Ha-Ha start is too far away to say anything definitive about the weather, but long-range forecasts call for San Diego to be sunny with temps in the mid-70s, and normal weather along the Baja coast. The water temps from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo are in the mid-80s, which is warm, but it’s certainly cooler than it was last year along the Baja Coast. Pretty much back to normal.

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