Labor Day weekend is arguably the last official weekend of boating season for many areas. That means it’s gonna be busy out there!
As a result, it’s paramount to be prepared not only with basic boating safety regiments, but also with the upcoming weather forecast. Here’s a look at the marine weather outlook across the U.S.A. and beyond for one of our favorite and final boating holidays of the year:
Offshore high pressure will produce 15- to 25-plus-knot N/NW winds over much of the water just off California for Saturday and Sunday. Those winds diminish a bit on Labor Day Monday south of Point Arena. North/NW winds will also be lighter off parts of the Pacific Northwest through the weekend. In addition, winds will be lighter inside the Southern California Bight, where lighter S/SE eddy winds will be found in the mornings, before becoming light SW in the afternoons. Overall, fair weather is expected.
Small southerly swells will mix with local NW wind waves, strongest north of Point Conception. Note there will be some small southerly swell associated with distant Hurricane Norman impacting the area, but it is not expected to be significant, with local, short-period NW wind waves dominating in most non-protected waters. Please monitor point forecasts on Buoyweather.com for details in your area, along with surf forecasts on Surfline.com.
A cold front moving into the Mid-Atlantic States today will return north while weakening through the weekend. Diminishing 5- to 15-knot E winds will be found north of the front Saturday from roughly northern New Jersey north, with lighter and more variable winds south through North Carolina. The entire zone north of Cape Hatteras will see light and variable winds Sunday morning, trending 5 to 15 knots onshore or S to SE through the afternoon. Light to moderate SW trending S winds are expected on Labor Day. Seas will be mostly 2 to 4 feet through the period, strongest off the Mid-Atlantic states on Saturday morning due to the influence from the nearby front. In addition, expect scattered showers and thunderstorms around that front. Otherwise, showers/thunderstorms will be more isolated in nature, with the best chances in the afternoon and evening hours.
Waters off the Southeast Coast and Florida will see light to moderate E to ESE winds over the holiday weekend, strongest off SE Florida, up to 20 knots at times. Seas will be mostly 2 to 4 feet, but pick up during Monday off Florida as a tropical wave nears the area. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will occur each afternoon depending on your location. In addition, the above-mentioned tropical wave is likely to bring enhanced showers to South Florida on Monday. See Buoyweather.com point forecasts for additional details in your local area.
Overall light to moderate S to SE winds are expected across the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, except for enhanced ESE/E flow over the far SE Gulf near the Straits of Florida. Elevated E/SE winds are likely at times off the Florida Panhandle through Louisiana too. Five- to 15-knot ESE/SE winds are expected for much of the waters on Sunday. Seas will be mostly 2 to 3 feet for Saturday and Sunday, and up to 4 feet off the waters of the Florida Panhandle through Louisiana, and near the Straits of Florida. This scenario continues over the western Gulf into Labor Day. However, parts of the Eastern Gulf will see stronger winds/seas on Monday as a tropical wave moves into the area.
Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected between the waters off Central Texas through the western Panhandle this weekend, with less activity elsewhere. Enhanced shower activity may impact the eastern Gulf on Monday as the tropical wave moves in.
Most of the Caribbean Sea will see moderate to strong E trade winds, but notably stronger over the Central Caribbean north of the Colombian coast. Seas will be 3 to 5 feet for the Western and Eastern Caribbean, but 5 to 7-plus feet for parts of the Central Caribbean. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will impact the waters at times, especially over the Central and Western waters.
Overall light to moderate ENE/NE trades and fair weather are expected through the holiday weekend. A few showers are likely near Windward and Mauka areas though. Seas will be mostly 3 to 5 feet in a mix of local wind waves, small southerly swell, and more dominant E/ESE from distant Hurricane Miriam for exposed waters. Smaller seas are likely near Leeward waters. Please see Surfline.com for detailed surf forecasts associated with the distant hurricanes, and Buoyweather.com for point-based marine forecasts in the area.
A frontal system will move into the Great Lakes over the weekend. This will lead to a period of light W winds for Lake Superior on Saturday, and light and variable winds on Sunday, while the rest of the Lakes generally have light to moderate S or SW winds. A brief period of moderate N winds are likely over Superior and northern Lake Michigan on Monday morning, while the rest of the Lakes see continued 5- to 15-knot SW winds. Most of the Lakes will see lighter and more variable winds by the second half of Labor Day, although enhanced E winds are possible near western Lake Superior. The slow-moving front will produce periods of scattered showers/thunderstorms through the weekend, with the best chances generally over northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Fair weather is anticipated at times away from the front.