Why is Wellington not windy?

One of the challenges of being a cruiser is understanding that because places differ with time, your experience of them may not be representative. It is hard not to form a negative opinion of an anchorage if the weather was lousy for the only night that you were only there. You can understand that it isn’t fair or even intelligent, but you have to acknowledge that you tend to form opinions based on insufficient information.

Dusky Dolphin

Calm waters in Cook Straight.

Understanding that, I still have to say that Wellington isn’t as windy as it is made out to be. We haven’t had force 4 winds in the ten days since we returned from our vacation in Canada. In contrast, we had 15 days at Great Barrier Island last summer during which the wind strength never dropped below force 6, at was mostly force 8.

New Suit

A typical, calm day at the docks.

If you look at historical data, Wellington has an average wind speed of 15 knots with a 71% chance of Beaufort 4 or higher. That arguably makes this city windier than anywhere in BC, including Solander Island, where Environment Canada perpetually predicts Gale (Beaufort 7) force winds.

So while I understand that we had bad luck at Great Barrier and I am enjoying the good weather now, I’d like to pass along the idea that for wind speed time makes a much bigger difference than place. Alaska is consistently colder than Florida, especially in winter. But no where has that level of consistency in wind speed.

One Comment

  1. well put

    you ever been to keremeos, the meeting of three valleys? love to train and photograph there. but often too much wind for astrophotography.

    then again, the Keremeos etc locals don’t take advantage of the solar energies and wind energies. Backwards! Slow!
    you ever seen the wind farms of north dakota, our supposedly slow, climate change denying and wasteful american friends and relatives??

    and yes, statistics!