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Motor Boat Forum

Buys Ballots Law

by Ianfs » 28 Apr 2021, 11:50

Now I have more time on my hands and living by the coast, I tend to see more changes in the weather and therefore sea conditions. Which in turn got me thinking this morning about one of my Yachtmaster Offshore subject's.

Buys Ballots Law........
He was a Dutchman and first to prove the theory, surprisingly with all the worlds seafaring history it wasn't until about the 1900's that it was published.

The law states that in the Northern Hemisphere if you stand with you back to the wind the Low Pressure will be on your "left" and High Pressure on you "right". In the Southern Hemisphere it is reversed and the further North or South you go, it is still applicable, but the angle of the pressure gradient is no longer at right angles.

What use is this to us you ask. Well not a great deal unless you are say making passage to the Channel Islands, France or even rounding the UK or you have a yacht or a large ship with an extra high air draft, like that tanker which got stuck in the Suez Canal.
It's just that in the Northern Hemisphere, winds in a High Pressure (anticyclone) blow in a clockwise direction and in a Low Pressure (depression) winds blow in an anti clockwise direction.

Just thought I'd share this little snippet with you. :D
Ianfs
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