Sailing into the stormJuly 20th, 2011 at 8:42 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Sports, Weather
“The worst of the storm hit just after midnight which made bolts of lightning our only light source. As the wind built, our tack line exploded; we were knocked down immediately and stayed horizontal from winds of 54 knots for about 15 minutes! Shortly after being knocked down, with no steerage, lightning flashed and another boat, without sails was planing right towards us! Thankfully, they managed to alter course and avoid a collision. Once the winds calmed a bit, lights shined on our boat followed by the release of an emergency flare….” Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Dramatic-Footage-of-Mackinac-Race-Storm–125837798.html#ixzz1SgzMhIw9 The picture is from a video at the link that was shot by Greg Alm during the storm from his helmet-cam. The light in the picture and video is from nearly continuous lightning and the picture is a still frame, illuminated by lightning of that video. I also received this story from several different viewers asking about the authenticity of the +100-knot (115 mph winds) recorded by one boat during the storm. The first boat to finish was Windquest (the DeVos Family from Grand Rapids) and the adjusted winner was “Windancer” from the Muskegon Yacht Club. Here’s the race results. ‘Regarding the 100 knot winds, I got this reply from the Meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Gaylord: Bill…We have also heard about 100 kt winds with this storm. This magnitude is significantly higher than any other observation we received, and radar didn’t indicate anything close to this magnitude. However, given that we’re talking about convection, it’s possible this could have happened on a scale smaller than could be detected by observation or radar. Hard to know for sure. Bruce Smith MIC NWS Gaylord MI Radar picture from the National Weather Service in Gaylord at the time of the strong winds. Winds on the 0.5 deg Base Velocity were around 60 knots at 3000 ft near the accident area. Near the surface of the water, of course, higher winds were possible.