Tuesday October 16, 2018
Where is Tim?
Well, after 78 days, it is finally time to depart Fiji and head to New Zealand. Our departure date will be Wednesday October 17. We expect a 9 day passage. More about Fiji later, but for now our decision is based on the following weather forecast:
SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.
The SPCZ is sitting over northern Coral sea and northern parts of Vanuatu and on-and-off to north of Fiji. It is expected to drift south towards Fiji late this week. A tropical low may form on this zone early next week and then travel eastwards towards Samoa.but then fade again by mid-next-week.
Subtropical ridge (STR)
It looks like the next two weeks are likely to be dominated by a BFH (Big Fat High). A BFH has formed in the Tasman Sea and is a slow-mover with a squash zone of enhanced SE/E winds and larger swells on its northern side, peaking around southern Tonga and just south of Fiji on Monday.
From Tuesday to early Thursday (UTC) the BFH is expected to weaken around NZ as a passing trough from the Southern Ocean travels across southern and the eastern NZ. This should also weaken the squash zone north of the BFH (yea).
Then the BFH (and its squash zone) is expected to rebuild until around Wed 24 Oct and slowly travel eastwards getting east of NZ next week with a lingering ridge over north NZ.
Tropics to New Zealand
The best days this week to depart from Fiji to NZ are Wednesday or early Thursday, when the squash zone weakens for a few days.
This is a rare example of a good weather pattern for arrival in NZ, with no troughs, and once it fades later this month, I suspect we will have a succession of troughs in the Tasman Sea — and we should enjoy this weather pattern for what it is worth, even if it comes with a touch of a squash zone.
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