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The Chilean Navy meteorologists in support of the 2020-2021 Antarctic Campaign

The Drake Pass, where the Pacific meets the Atlantic, is considered by sailors to be one of the stormiest seas in the world. The wind can exceed 100 knots and the waves are 15 meters high. Mandatory for all ships that will soon be deployed and are already on the Antarctic Peninsula. Since the beginning of November the Antarctic Campaign 2020-2021 (COMANTAR) begins, in which the Chilean Navy is doing a large part of its efforts to maintain the logistical support on the white continent and to arrange the withdrawal of the naval units, between them; AP 41 ?? Achilles ??, OPV 83 ?? Marinero Fuentealba ??, LSDH 91 ?? Sargento Aldea ?? and ATF 67 ?? Lautaro ??.

It is important to note that from September to March the Drake Pass meteorological conditions are most extreme. This is directly related to the onset of spring and summer in the southern hemisphere, where the semi-permanent anticyclone of the South Pacific is strengthening, blocking the passage of frontal systems along the central coast of Chile and shifting frontal systems specifically to the south between the Magallanes region and the Drake Passport.

During this period, the effects of the La Niña phenomenon are expected, which will lead to the strengthening of the semi-permanent anticyclone of the South Pacific, with the expectation that the spring-summer seasons in the north and center of the country will be drier and hotter than normal windier for higher latitudes.

The Chilean Navy has had a maritime meteorological center in the Magallanes region since 1970, which is dependent on the third sea zone. The area of ​​meteorological responsibility extends from the Gulf of Penas to Chilean Antarctica and from the coast to longitude 120º West and additionally generates sea and channel forecasts, warnings of storms, strong winds and easterly winds. Continue to monitor the glaciological conditions of the white continent and create ice and iceberg concentration charts for the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Maritime Meteorological Center has a multidisciplinary team led by First Lieutenant Felipe Rifo Espósito, who is in charge of officers, civil servants and sea meteorologists who are highly qualified in the fields of meteorology, glaciology, meteorological observations, maintenance and installation of automatic weather stations that are ready and motivated to accomplish their mission: To meet the meteorological information needs of the facility and marine users in general in a timely manner to help plan and conduct naval operations, and security and maritime operations?

All forecasts, glaciological information, online weather station visualizations and more can be found on the meteorology website meteoarmada.directemar.

Source and photos: Third Sea Zone, Armada de Chile.

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