Wednesday, January 14, 2015

FTV Weather Tracking

While traveling on the Kennedy we cover a lot of "ground" while at sea. Starting off in the cold month January here in the Northeast and heading south to the islands of the Caribbean. During this voyage we encounter many different kinds of weather and meteorological anomalies (strange weather
patterns). Tracking and identifying weather on the ship is an ongoing task. The weather and wind can effect many things in terms of navigation.  For example, if you have high winds and precipitation (rain, snow, ice) it is going to effect the state of the sea and the visibility around you. Knowing and understanding weather patterns is key in safe navigation. On the Kennedy, we have several tools to help us keep track of mother nature.

The Kennedy, like all merchant vessels utilizes machine called a Global Marine Distress Safety System or GMDSS. The GMDSS is a device designed for vessels to communicate with each other and shore side authorities for cases of emergency. this system can be used to track storms and allows ships to report strange weather to authorities such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

When on watch aboard the TS Kennedy it is the responsibility of the Mates and the cadets on watch to keep track of the weather. The temperature, wind direction wind speed, sea state and barometer reading is checked and recorded every hour. The weather facsimile machine is a device that prints real time weather forecasts from the (NOAA). This tool is great for training because the cadets can get experience reading the different types of weather maps. It also displays helpful information in terms of weather patterns and systems.

In today's Marine Science and Environmental Protection (MSEP), The cadets learned about weather and oceanography. While on deck we  observed the clouds and the waves, discussing how to identify different  types of clouds. We used the Beaufort scale to determine the type of waves we were experiencing. For today's observations we spotted stratocumulus cloud cover and waves that
rated a 6 on the Beaufort Scale, meaning it was a little rough out there!

No matter what the scientific reason is for the weather, all organisms have to cope with it. Most organisms have adapted and evolved to different weather conditions. Palm trees can bend and
sway in high tropical winds without breaking.Polar bears have thick fat layers and white fur to help cope with the Arctic cold. Learn more

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