New tide and current data for Newport to Bermuda
We’re pleased to announce that we have just developed a new set of oceanographic data for the region.
The data includes a high-resolution tidal model for Narragansett Bay, and high-quality ocean current data for the Gulf Stream.
We have gained access to state-of-the-art data – including ocean currents, tidal currents and wind/atmospheric pressure forecasts – from various sources including the North Eastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). Our in-house science and technical team is now applying its unique blend of expertise and capability to perform the complex task of converting the raw data into GRIB files.
This will be the most comprehensive oceanographic data ever produced for the Newport to Bermuda race.
The Newport to Bermuda race is an important one. Many of the teams competing are well versed in modern tactical navigation software and information including oceanographic data.
We’ve been working on the Newport to Bermuda race products for a while. The product elements that feed the models have been carefully selected for quality and performance – validated by our specialists through comparison with satellite altimetry data, sea surface temperatures and observations.
The important point is that the data is delivered as GRIB files which is crucial for competitors using tactical routing software.
The Gulf Stream is likely to be influential in race tactics for the Newport–Bermuda race. This region is the hardest sector of the Gulf Stream to get right tactically and we have had to look at all credible sources of information to get the best accuracy.
Complicating the tactical decisions for the Newport to Bermuda race is the extreme volatility of the Gulf Stream as it leaves Cape Hatteras. Large eddies form unpredictably – much like you’d see in a river – breaking off each edge. Getting it wrong could mean facing short-term adverse current, while a competitor sees positive current, resulting in a compound velocity differential. This was clearly seen in leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The meandering of the Gulf Stream intensifies east of Cape Hatteras reaching its peak around 65 degrees west. Meanders often pinch-off from the current to form rings and eddies. Observations have shown that, on average, the current sheds 22 warm-core rings and 35 cold-core rings per year.
Tidetech will be providing two online pre-recorded briefings for the Newport to Bermuda race – a short briefing of emerging trends one week before the race and a full detailed briefing the day before the start.
In big news coming up, our new data package for this race is a precursor to a broader product expansion for the northeast US region. Over the next two months high-resolution tidal models will be developed from Long Island Sound to the Bay of Fundy. Model areas will include Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Massachusetts Bay, Nantucket Sound, Martha’s Vineyard, Portland and the Bay of Fundy.