This photo was taken of a summer thunder storm over Levkas with George Catchpole's Verdi (Halberg Rassey 42) coming into the CYS mole in Levkas harbour. Mavis Woods took the photo and has allowed me to reproduce it here. This is not a retouched photo - this is what it was like!
Mediterranean weather forecasts on the internet
General forecasts for the Mediterranean
UGRIB Grib files from http://www.grib.us/ where you download the UGRIB viewer and can then select areas for up to a 5 day forecast. Easy to use and frighteningly accurate for computer only generated data.
JCOMM GMDSS (Meteo
Windfinder http://www.windfinder.com/ Originally a windsurfing forecast site that has expanded. 7 day forecasts.Wind Guru www.windguru.cz/int/ Another windsurfing forecast site. Remember forecasts are for spots close to the land.
Meteosail http://www.meteosail.com/ Uses various other sites with links to get there.
Passage Weather http://www.passageweather.com/ Gives weather world-wide.
Poseidon www.poseidon.ncmr.gr/weather.html Easy to use 5 day forecast.
Hellenic Meteo www.meteo.gr/sailingmapf.asp Excellent interface. Click on area and then on forward arrow on right. Up to 5 day forecast.
Note Most of the general Mediterranean forecasts and most of the regional forecasts now use GRIB files. It should always be remembered that these are computer only generated files which do not pick up squall activity, fronts and gusts. So much of the wind in the Med is affected by the proximity of large land masses and thermal effects on those land masses that you need to use some care interpretting GRIB data. Still, the forecasts are a lot better than they used to be.
For general info on weather see Frank Singletons Weather Pages
The hurricane force winds that ripped through France and Spain last weekend (2009) caused the deaths of 11 people including the captain of a Portuguese ship off the north Atlantic coast of Spain. These pictures were taken of a Beneteau running into the harbour of Zumaia on the Basque coast of Spain just after the storm.
These incredible shots are of a Beneteau entering a harbour in Galicia. Go to the Spanish Natural Surfing website to see the full sequence of shots
From the Skylax blog 17-10-10
I received the following email and pic from Eric Fenwick on waterspouts in the Ionian. Are they inreasing in frequency...
Subject: Waterspouts in the Ionian.
I thought you might be interested in our observations of waterspouts we saw whilst cruising in the Ionian in September this year. If not then perhaps you could pass this information on to Rod Heikell since he makes reference to them in Greek Waters Pilot, page 27 in the 2007 edition.
I was skippering a bare boat charter out of Gouvia and on board were my partner, my daughter and her partner.
We had left Vathi (Meganissi) in the morning bound for Kalamos; it had been raining for several hours when we set out, the sky was heavily overcast over the north side of Meganissi.
Please see the attached pictures. The waterspouts occurred whilst we were between the southern tip of Meganisi and Kalamos. We were under full sail, making about four knots.
We observed a very heavy, and very dark, 'U' shaped cloud formation to the north of us. I would estimate about three miles distant and moving toward us, seemingly quite quickly.
There was another yacht to the north-north east of us but too distant to identify, but they did seem a lot closer to the waterspouts than we were.
The start of the first waterspout manifested itself out of the cloud as a distinct broad white line angled at about 45 degrees and then reached down to the sea causing a lot of disturbance on the surface. To answer Mr Hekeill's question, regarding whether it was rain or salt water, it looked as if this might have been rain water.
The second waterspout did the same very soon after the first. The third did not show itself in the same manner as the other two but merely as a disturbance on the sea surface. All three were happening at the same time.
The date was 11th September about 13:30. Our location was about half way between the southern tip of Meganissi and the southern tip of Kalamos with the waterspouts about three miles to the north of of us.
Our log shows a barometer pressure of 993mb and it had not changed appreciably since our departure. We had no wind instruments on board but the winds were light and, I estimate, from the north west.
At this time I became concerned about the safety of the boat and crew.
We furled sails and motored to Port Kalamos with some haste. As we motored up the south east coast of Kalamos heavy clouds rolled over the mountains. We were tied up about about one hour after we first saw the waterspouts and then there was torrential rain and prolonged thunder. Curiously though, the winds were still quite light.
Mr Heikell comments in the pilot book that there is 'a dearth of reliable reports' regarding waterspouts.
Well this is a true report together with pictures. Also we have three short (HD quality) video shots of the waterspouts and these show all three more clearly than the still pictures.
For us this was a spectacular phenomenon to observe first hand and I hope you find this of some interest.