The Great Southern Route : 2013 - 2014
252 | GSR This means the higher wind surges that are found during much of the autumn and winter are less frequent and less prolonged, and larger long-period swells are less likely to impact the region. General wind directions are E-SE, speeds averaging from force 3-5, tending lower closer to the trough axis (light and variable winds are also common along or very near the trough axis itself). Combined seas will generally consist of long-period E-SE swells, generally of no more than 5-6 feet, tending highest in southernmost waters, including the exposed and open waters near the southern Seychelles and the southernmost Chagos Archipelago. Currents across the region generally run from west to east, within the Equatorial Countercurrent, which is actually (in part) a return flow from the North Equatorial Current, found just off to the north in the northern Indian Ocean. Speeds within the Equatorial Current average close to 1.0 knots, though faster speeds are often noted, especially during the summer season, when speeds run from 1.0-1.5 knots. SEYCHELLES TO MAURITIUS / REUNION AND MADAGASCAR / MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL This area is not without its dangers, and we have a little more to talk about in this region. The weather tends to be more volatile than areas farther north, and the effects from tropical cyclones and (to a somewhat lesser extent) cold fronts are always to be considered when traveling in this part of the world. Paramount in importance is the tropics. Tropical cyclone frequency increases during the late spring and early summer (November/December dependent on the exact location of the axis of the aforementioned trough. There is a tendency toward more easterlies and southerlies (on the south side of the trough), with wind speeds at their strongest only from force 3-4 (outside of squalls). Seas across the region will tend to consist mainly of long-period E-SE swells, a byproduct of the persistent ridging off to the south. Heights will generally be of no more than 5-7 feet, with the largest and shortest- period seas often found farther south, including exposed waters on the southern extent of the Seychelles and Chagos Archipelago. As we go on in time, into autumn and early winter (later March into June) the trough begins to show a general northward migration, north of the Equator, and by winter, equatorial regions are more on the south side of the trough. Interaction between the trough and the high pressure ridge to the south will bring somewhat higher E-SE trades to the area, but generally of no more than force 5-6. Lighter winds will be found the farther north one travels, where trough/ridge interaction is less. Likewise, seas will tend to be longer-period and to a lesser extent lower farther north, though as a whole, combined seas will tend E-SE, averaging from 4-7 feet, the largest of which occurring where "surges" of higher southeast winds are found, which often mix in with long-period southerly and southwesterly sets, well north of any cold fronts. These conditions are more prevalent during the winter season as well (June into September), as trough/ridge interaction becomes most prominent across the region. During the remainder of the year, the trough gradually makes its return south of the Equator. SEYCHELLES TO THE CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO For the most part, this tends to be one of the quieter areas that we will be looking at, especially farther north. Squally conditions will typically be the main issue, and during certain times of year, we are thinking a little bit about the tropics (though not as much as we'll find farther south...more on this later). For the most part, our seas will tend to have less wind chop to them, and more swells associated with them; a treat to vacationers and surfers alike who are looking for the perfect destination. Squall clusters are typically found within a broad west to east oriented trough of low pressure, the northern extent of which during the summer season (December into March) is generally found across the Equatorial Indian Ocean, between 05N and 05S. Little overall motion of the trough can be expected, only northward and southward "oscillations", as ridging from high pressure farther south also shows "subtle" changes in location and coverage/strength. Squall areas within the trough generally move from east to west, and tend to be disorganized, bringing periodic localized higher winds and seas, mainly confined to areas within or very close to squalls. Effects from organized tropical cyclones are rare, especially farther west, in and near the Seychelles. Any effects at all are generally which cyclones are in their formative stages of development, and cyclones with time will turn more toward the south and southwest, as they encounter "weaknesses" in ridging farther west, on the northwest and west sides of highs. Otherwise, the weather during summer is quiet. Wind directions are variable, and are The Active and the Tranquil Equatorial and Southwest Indian Ocean By David Cannon of Weather Routing, Inc. WEATHER ROUTING In this part of the world offers many weather considerations... From cold fronts to tropical cyclones; the weather can be volatile. However, serenity and tranquility are also words not unknown to this region, and this is common in many areas, often lasting for extended periods of time.
2010 - 2011