Weather effects most of us on a daily basis, some more than others. However, in the boating business it is a very dominant factor. In this article I will focus on weather during the summer months in our boating area (South Florida and Bahamas) for local day outings and Bimini crossings.
20% Chance of Rain
I don’t usually expect to see rain chances under 20 percent during the summer. If you do see a 20% chance, you can count on a very dry day.
40% Chance of Rain
The “chance of rain” during the summer can be as high as 40% and chances are 1 in 4 that you will encounter a brief summer rain shower or thunderstorm. This is normal and I would not cancel a trip under this scenario
50% Chance of Rain
The jump between 40% and 50% is not significant in my book, but it does mean that there is a higher than normal likelihood that you will see some rain.
Anything over 60% means that the day will most likely be a wet one but not a washout.
Most likely be a washout day.
Wind Strength and Direction
Prevailing wind direction in this area is SE at about 5 to 10 mph during the Summer. East winds usually blow a bit stronger and create more chop out in the ocean but this is not unusual. Any shift to the West or North are indicative of a change out of the norm and additional monitoring is warranted before departure. Boats cruising in the ICW or Biscayne Bay are not affected as much by wind and seas as a boat out on the ocean.
The ideal conditions for Bimini Crossings is a South wind of 10 mph or less. If the forecast calls for “variable” winds you can pretty much count on very light or no wind. This does occur during the summer at times, mostly early mornings. My “No-Go” threshold for Bimini (unless I’m running a delivery with no customers on board), is Winds in excess of 15mph from any direction. A North wind in excess of 15 mph can make for a rough crossing as you enter the Gulfstream.
Hope this helps anyone that is not familiar with our weather patterns here in Southeast Florida. If you have any weather or boat related questions you can always call me at (954) 894-9895.