Riding an Angry Lake

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Marine Warning for September 3 storm in Apostle Islands

I have to wonder what marine forecast Micheal DeWitt listened to on September 3. I was on the lake that day and overnight during the squall. I listened to NOAA WX7 several times during the day and late afternoon when the forecast is updated at 4 p.m. I do not recall the exact wording in the forecast during the day, however, the NOAA WX7 broadcast absolutely did not say, "The wind was predicted to turn northwest after midnight," as recounted by Mr. DeWitt. The wind was SW during the day and predicted to go NW, NE over night and NW again. (I don't know how to find the exact NOAA broadcast for past events or I would listen to that again). While considering the NOAA forecast, I was planning to be in a location that had protection from the NW and the NE-E because it was predicted to switch to NE after midnight. I went to Presque Isle dock for that reason. NOAA even had an emergency alert broadcast before the storm hit the Apostles. While I was able to secure dock space, if none was available I would have anchored in bay at Presque Isle. I am certainly glad that no one was injured, and Mr. DeWitt did the best he could in these circumstances, however I cannot understand his assertion regarding the wind direction "northwest after midnight".

Brian Kerr 70 days ago

In response to -

I can’t let your comment stand unchallenged, Brian.
In fact, I listened to the same marine forecast as did the other eight boats that went hard aground in the Apostles that night. The same marine forecast that had Julian Bay filled with sailboats, expecting a lee that wasn’t there.
I screen capped the open water forecast that afternoon, and while I can’t post it in my reply here, I’ll copy verbatim what it said:
TODAY – Southwest winds 5 to 15 knots increasing to 10 to 20 in the afternoon, then becoming south 5 to 15 knots late. A slight chance of showers by midafternoon. Waves calm to 2 feet.
TONIGHT – East winds 10 to 20 knots becoming northeast 5 to 15 after midnight, then becoming northwest 10 to 20 knots late. A slight chance of thunderstorms through midnight. A chance of showers. Patchy fog after midnight. Waves calm to 2 feet.
I hope this helps you understand “my assertion regarding the wind direction,” along with every other captain who anchored up in an eastern lee that night.

Michael DeWitt 65 days ago

I will st

I appreciate your posting the NOAA forecast. I will stand corrected about my recollection regarding the NOAA forecast for NW after midnight. "TONIGHT – East winds 10 to 20 knots becoming northeast 5 to 15 after midnight, then becoming northwest 10 to 20 knots late. A slight chance of thunderstorms through midnight. A chance of showers. Patchy fog after midnight."
I am by no means an old salt, however I have been on the boating the waters of the Apostle islands for nearly thirty years and whenever I hear a forecast of E winds 10-20 knots with a chance of thunderstorms following a strong SW, it means a good chance of a squall.

Brian Kerr 50 days ago

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