November 07th 0900z, National Hurricane Center sent advisories out for the Northwestern Bahamas for the subtropical storm named “Nicole”.
One of Fleetweather’s Podium-subscribed routed Chemical Tankers departed Freeport, Texas late 04 November at an instructed speed of 14 knots bound for Rotterdam. At the time of initial route recommendation before their departure, Fleetweather suggested direct routing to Rotterdam via Florida Strait, direct rhumbline to south of Bermuda abeam Flores Island, and direct to English Channel. This route attempted to maximise assisting Gulf Stream currents while also minimising total distance. However concerns were flagged pending the track of a strong low forecasted to develop.
Shortly after this vessel’s departure, forecast models agreed more strongly in a 24 hour period of NW’ward movement followed by a W-WSW track towards southern Florida with expected landfall within 72 hours (below).
Model intensity guidance assured the system would maintain at least Tropical Storm intensity with slight chances at intensifying into a Category 1 Hurricane before landfall (below).
With the naming of Subtropical Storm Nicole, Fleetweather decided the vessel would need a route change after departure. The master accepted our new route to Rotterdam via the Old Bahama Channel, Caicos Passage, then GC to English Channel.
Early action allowed plenty of time to adjust to a new route and kept the vessel continuously underway with no slow steaming or drifting necessary. In addition as you can see in above short term forecast from later 07 November overlaying vessel track, the use of Old Bahama Channel and Caicos Passage kept the vessel at safe berth south of future development of “Nicole” as it would go on to make landfall in eastern Florida as a Category 1 Hurricane.
Stay connected and safe.