Somewhere else on this site, I wrote about the predictability of tropical cyclones.
This is a prime example:
Typhoon Nina is born on Sept., 19ty 2008, as a tropical depression.
One day later it already reaches Saffir Simpson scale 2 (100 km/h windspeed).
It approaches the Philippines with a rather high speed of + 20 km/h, on a well defined track.
Enhanced infrared image of typhoon Nina, Philippines on the left.
The eye of the storm is not yet developed.
Suppose you are on a ship, between the Philippines and Taiwan, and this bugger pops up. You wisely wish to avoid it ...
You have internet access onboard and use weather data from http://www.solar.ifa.hawaii.edu/ , (see picture left), as good a site as any other.
Keeping north would be safe, wouldn't it ?
Here is the inconvenient truth :
Picture left is a summary of all computer model predictions for typhoon Nina. (see www.typhoon2000.com)
It gives an alarming wide range of predicted typhoon tracks.
When you have this information at hand, would you still feel safe with your first plan, keeping north ?
Tropical cyclones are highly unpredictable. It would be foolish to rely on one source of information only to make life and death decisions onboard a ship.
Marc Van de Velde