Navigation: Weather Observation

Sailors are surrounded by an environment full of powerful elements, the skies above, the water below and the wind all around. Dealing with the elements requires forethought based on available weather forecasting. Even with readily available weather forecasting, a sailor must always use good judgment when deciding if weather conditions are safe for heading out to sea.

One of the most common weather conditions that you will encounter in the Monterey Bay is fog. Fog is basically a cloud at ground or water level. Fog forms when the air temperature drops to a level where moisture condenses, called the dew point. Low fog can be extremely dangerous when out at sea due to poor or nonexistent visibility.

RADAR (Radio Detecting and Ranging) is one of the most important navigational tools to have during bad weather or fog with poor visibility. RADAR is a piece of equipment that uses echolocation to allow us to see through the fog and storms and even through the dark to avoid collisions.


Yes. A reddish sunset can promise fine sailing because the dust in clear, dry air tends to filter out all colors of light other than red. But the dawn sun gives a rosy hue to low, moisture-bearing clouds that may indicate rain.




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