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Cadet Torgrim Veie Rosvoll warming his hands. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Gale, snow and hail

7 days ago
Written by Ronald Toppe
Life on board > Gale, snow and hail

Gale, snow and hail

7 days agoLife on board
Written by Ronald Toppe
Cadet Torgrim Veie Rosvoll warming his hands. Photo: Hanna Thevik

The voyage across the Atlantic to the Azores has started as a bumpy ride.

Tuesday January 11, Captain Marcus Seidl reports a northwesterly stiff and strong gale, snow showers and hail, and as he states it "a bit rougher sea".

Over ten meters

Wind and wave height January 11. Map: Earth nullschool
Wind and wave height January 11. Map: Earth nullschool

The captain can not be accused of overstating, the instruments on board showed six - seven meter high waves, with peaks up over ten meters. The map below shows what the weather was like.


Captain Seidl writes that what is to be done becomes more cumbersome, but that

- ...nothing is neglected. We are on schedule, staying warm in between, the food is fantastic and all is well on board.

Rough sea. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Rough sea. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Seidl is a salty dog and has sailed through lots of gales. For the new cadets on board, the rough weather is probably a little more dramatic.

- It was fresh on duty today to say the least. Things and people are thrown around, ropes are attached to the deck as hand grips, and good doses of seawater is sprayed over the railings. Real "rolling cow" as we say it back home. The waves rise over the portholes in the orlop. So here it's just a matter of holding on, reports our content producer on board, Hanna Thevik.

Reducing sail in strong wind and waves. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Reducing sail in strong wind and waves. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Better ...

Wednesday January 12 the weather has improved in the south Atlantic.

The wave height is "only" three meters, and the wind is almost completely gone. A high pressure system is building where the ship is now, and in the center of both high pressure- and low pressure zones it is completely still.

The maps below show the weather now. The sharp front that runs from the Atlantic Ocean and north towards Norway is the "atmospheric river", that gives us the extreme weather Gyda now. The map to the right shows the precipitation.

Wind and wave height, and precipitation, January 12. Map: Earth nullschool
Wind and wave height, and precipitation, January 12. Map: Earth nullschool

- The rivers are narrow bands where the wind carries large amounts of moist air, as much water as one of the largest rivers on land, the Bjerknes Center for Climate Research explains.
When the air hits land, is lifted up and cooled, the water vapor condenses to precipitation. And that's what's going on here in Norway right now.

... and worse again

Wind and wave height January 14. Map: Earth nullschool
Wind and wave height January 14. Map: Earth nullschool

The high pressure that takes the wind out of the sails today, will move to the north the next few days. Around high pressures, the wind rotates clockwise, and as soon as Statsraad Lehmkuhl is out of the pressure center, the ship gets a strong wind directly against.

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