Ha Ha

Anyone who knows us well enough knows that we rarely know where we’re going next let alone when.  This is particularly true when it comes to travel.

Those same people are about to have their minds blown.

October 24th at 10:00h we’ll be leaving San Diego for Mexico, and on November 4th we’ll be in Cabo San Lucas.  Why such specific times? We’ve decided to enter a cruisers rally called the Baja Ha Ha.

When we originally decided on our September departure date we thought briefly about joining the Ha Ha, but didn’t seriously consider it mostly since we were hoping to get down to Mexico a bit earlier (beat the rush).  That was before we had a look at tropical storm patterns.  NOAA releases an interesting data set called IBTrACS which holds the paths and intensity of tropical cyclones over the past 150 years.  The data is pretty interesting on its own but even more so after aggregating it by day of the year (working with weather data for a living paid off!).  The result is pretty interesting, heres a plot showing the maximum tropical cyclone induced wind speeds recorded over the last 150 years on several different days of the year. (click to see it larger)

storms by day of yearThe first map shows September 18th (the day we’ll be setting sail); certainly best not to be near Baja then (and definitely stay clear of the Caribbean!).  By October 24th (the beginning of the Baja Ha Ha) most activity has calmed down (at least for northern Baja) and by November 4th (the end of the Ha Ha) there has never been a storm in Baja (though one tropical depression has come a bit close).  By Thanksgiving it looks like clear sailing.

But, timing isn’t the only reason we’ve decide to join the Ha Ha.  Participating will mean that our first real long passage will happen with a large group of other people, many of whom we’ll continue to run into as we head south and across the pacific.  Imagine running into someone in Mexico … and then several months later in some far off atoll in Polynesia.  Now try and imagine not making friends with them.

Want to play around with the data? Download Panoply (Nasa’s data visualizer) and then download my processed IBTrACS data set.

While searching for a way to stitch those four images together I found a solution … on my friend Marcos‘s blog!  What a small internet, thanks Marcos!

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4 Responses to Ha Ha

  1. Judi Delgado says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of new friends there….should be a fun run (alliteration; sorry). But, aren’t you in Italy right now? Where’s the post from there? Huh? Yeah?

  2. Scott says:

    Great blog. Keep it coming and best of luck to you in your adventure. I can’t wait to follow. Are you on Facebook too? :)

  3. Dralle says:

    Oh man. Kleeman. Awesome post, awesome data, and awesome visualizer.

  4. Mom (Sara) says:

    I’m SO glad that you are such an accomplished weather data professional! But I would re-name this fabulous data set. It should be called your “Processed PyMMAE&ktBWfa Data Set”. Ever heard of that one? (PutYourMom’sMindAtEase & KeepTheBadWeatherFarAway).

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