Dear Editor,

NOAA provided a local weather forecast for Pago Pago, American Samoa, predicting the effects of adjacently passing Cyclone Garry, to be 55 to 70 mph winds for Monday night (21st) and for Tuesday morning (22nd). The Port Captain believed it, ordered vessels over 200 tons to leave the harbor before midnight, closed the harbor and told smaller craft not to leave port.

The Coast Guard believed it and took their precautions. Many cruisers here believed it and we all prepared accordingly. The forecast was very terribly wrong.

In fact, here is what happened in Pago Pago, according to NOAA's own web site on the last three days of weather history in Pago Pago: highest sustained winds for that period were 21 mph. Highest gust, 23 mph. These figures are from NOAA's own weather history. Not exactly the 55 to 70 mph NOAA forecast for Monday night and Tuesday morning.

I have never seen a forecast so poorly done and badly off. NOAA's forecast also disagreed consistently and at all times with those of the US Navy, Windguru, Passage Weather, US Grib, zyGrib, Intellicast, Weather Channel, Weather Underground, Accuweather and others which called for maximum wind gusts of 26 knots or 30 mph.

It is hard to get more wrong than that.

Kimball Corson,

Cruiser and resident


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