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December 8, 2010 6:28 AM   Subscribe

North Atlantic weather in May?

What can be reasonably assumed about the weather facing a sailing vessel, en route from Liverpool to NYC, in May? Frequency of storms? Severity?

Information to be used to illuminate story of ancestor's emigration.

Other facts: May 1838; ship named St. Lawrence; described as a barque; passenger list confirms 122 passengers (117 in steerage) plus crew.

Bonus points for sources like diaries or journals.
posted by John Borrowman to Science & Nature (2 answers total)
Best answer: This page (scroll to 1838 April 26) indicates that the steamship Great Western met with "head winds and working, during a part of the time, against a heavy gale and in a high sea" while heading in the opposite direction in the period between late April and late May of 1838.
posted by fish tick at 8:13 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you can find some Pilot Charts, they show cumulative data for small sectors of the ocean. They are published for a given month - i.e. you can get one for the month of May for the North Atlantic, and it will give you an average of the weather over the past hundred or so years in a particular area. Here's a link to a random blog that explains and shows pictures these kinds of charts.
posted by gyusan at 10:24 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

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