Weather Basics is the topic of Sail MV's next Zoom talk, March 10, with Brian Whitely of Weather Routing Inc.
Sail MV
Vineyard Cup


The prolonged, powerful winter blizzard that pounded much of eastern Massachusetts this weekend had begun to ease but only slightly on the Vineyard Saturday afternoon. Ferry and air service to the Island remainded suspended following 24 hours of snow, ice, high winds and whiteout conditions. A travel ban in effect was set to be lifted at 4 p.m. as the storm slowly began to dissipate. But Vineyard roads remained snow-covered and treacherous and highway crews were hard at work clearing them; Islanders were advised to use caution when going out.


Woolly bear caterpillar

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which claims its forecasts are 80 per cent accurate, predicts that our winter weather will be colder and drier this year, with below normal snowfall. They predict it will be colder than normal in November and December, coldest from Christmas to early January, with another cold snap between early and mid-February. It will be snowiest in mid-December and again in mid-to-late February, and warmer than average from March to October.


Ocean Park houses

For Vineyarders and their visitors, it was a dream year for weather.

They enjoyed plenty of sunshine, with most of the Island’s rain falling at night. They also dodged some of the region’s most dramatic weather, including the remnants of a large hurricane and heavy snowstorms that landed elsewhere in New England.

Farmers saw their gardens flourish, only occasionally needing to irrigate. Charter fishing captains seldom had to cancel trips because of high winds or high seas, except for a few days during the fall striped bass and bluefish derby.

Lucy Vincent Beach bench waves

Martha’s Vineyard lost a lot of sand from its beaches, a lot of limbs from its trees, and electricity for varying periods, but otherwise came through Hurricane Irene largely unscathed.

The exception was along the south shore, where erosion brought several homes disturbingly closer to the ocean. Chilmark building inspector Leonard Jason confirmed that one house has become precarious.



Wet, windy, warm and sunny are terms to describe weather, and there was plenty of it on the Vineyard in 2010. There was record rainfall. The National Weather Service cooperative station recorded 56.18 inches of precipitation for the year, 10 inches above average.

Yet for all the rain clouds, the Vineyard had one of the sunniest, hot, dry summers in a while. Much of the drama of bad wet weather, or the threat of bad weather, came late in the summer, making the year good for tourism and also fine for the aquifer.

With two weeks left in the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, fishermen are fretting about the weather, which has been unkind to anglers. Wind — lots of it and from every direction — has been the story of September.

There are 2,400 fishermen registered in the derby. Ask any one of them how they are doing and they will likely talk about the wind — the bad wind from the east, the tough wind last week from the north, and tomorrow the forecast for high, gusty winds from the south.