January "Christmas Winds" in the BVI

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salescall
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January "Christmas Winds" in the BVI

#1 Postby salescall » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:09 pm

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this question, so I apologize if I'm in the wrong place. I've got a sailing vacation planned the beginning of January (2022) in the British Virgin Islands. I had a friend just warn me that there is a good possibility that I may experience the phenomenon called Christmas Winds, where there will be several days of excessive winds and rough seas. I researched the web and found very little information about it. Would love to get more insight from some of the experts on the board if possible. Trying to figure out what to expect for the crew I'm bringing.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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tolakram
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Re: January "Christmas Winds" in the BVI

#2 Postby tolakram » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:18 pm

salescall wrote:I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this question, so I apologize if I'm in the wrong place. I've got a sailing vacation planned the beginning of January (2022) in the British Virgin Islands. I had a friend just warn me that there is a good possibility that I may experience the phenomenon called Christmas Winds, where there will be several days of excessive winds and rough seas. I researched the web and found very little information about it. Would love to get more insight from some of the experts on the board if possible. Trying to figure out what to expect for the crew I'm bringing.

Thanks in advance for the help!


This is the right place. I found this: https://www.moorings.com/destinations/c ... 15%20knots.

During the winter months (Nov. to Jan) the wind is from the northeast at 15-20 knots. The Christmas winds can produce 25-30 knots for several days at a time. In February the winds move to the east and by June it changes to the southeast at 10-15 knots. September & October the trade winds are at its weakest and the weather can be less settled. By November the high pressure system around Bermuda starts to stabilize and 15-20 knot breezes become the norm. Local seas are "relaxed" seas and generally in the 3-4 foot range.
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salescall
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Re: January "Christmas Winds" in the BVI

#3 Postby salescall » Mon Dec 06, 2021 3:56 pm

tolakram wrote:
salescall wrote:I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this question, so I apologize if I'm in the wrong place. I've got a sailing vacation planned the beginning of January (2022) in the British Virgin Islands. I had a friend just warn me that there is a good possibility that I may experience the phenomenon called Christmas Winds, where there will be several days of excessive winds and rough seas. I researched the web and found very little information about it. Would love to get more insight from some of the experts on the board if possible. Trying to figure out what to expect for the crew I'm bringing.

Thanks in advance for the help!


This is the right place. I found this: https://www.moorings.com/destinations/c ... 15%20knots.

During the winter months (Nov. to Jan) the wind is from the northeast at 15-20 knots. The Christmas winds can produce 25-30 knots for several days at a time. In February the winds move to the east and by June it changes to the southeast at 10-15 knots. September & October the trade winds are at its weakest and the weather can be less settled. By November the high pressure system around Bermuda starts to stabilize and 15-20 knot breezes become the norm. Local seas are "relaxed" seas and generally in the 3-4 foot range.


Thanks for the reply!
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wxman57
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Re: January "Christmas Winds" in the BVI

#4 Postby wxman57 » Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:22 am

I've been forecasting wind across the northeast Caribbean since 1980. While the normal easterly trade winds during the late spring to early fall are consistently in the 15-20 kt range, wind speeds are often higher in winter as large transitory Polar high pressure areas move off the East U.S. Coast out into the Atlantic. These high pressure systems can temporarily increase the pressure gradient across the northeast Caribbean, bumping up the winds to 20-25 kts. Same thing happens, but in reverse, as frontal systems pass to the north. The pressure gradient drops off and winds become very light. Usually, neither the strong wind period or light wind period lasts very long. We have a few S2K members living in the BVI, perhaps they would be a good source for discussing wind speeds there?
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