Telstra Sydney to Hobart forecast
During the afternoon, the south-easter is expected to freshen before backing to the north-east or north-west overnight, and with a three knot southerly current running, the fleet should have a quick and pleasant trip down the East Coast of mainland Australia towards Bass Strait.
But - and no surprises here for anyone that's done or followed a few Hobart races - once they reach Bass Strait the fleet could encounter strong, possibly gale force south-westerly headwinds. These will come courtesy of a cold front that's expected to transit Bass Strait on Boxing Day night, followed by more fronts, all embedded in the general south-westerly airstream right through to Thursday.
That means the majority of the 82 boat fleet, who will be crossing Bass Strait on Wednesday, can expect to do so pounding into seas and headwinds - strong west to south-west winds, probably reaching gale force, are forecast for waters south of Gabo Island. Then, as they get across the Strait and into the lee of Tasmania, the wind will switch to the south, bringing even colder air and maybe snow to the mountains of Tasmania.
"It’s going to be really cold, so take make sure you have adequate warm clothing, particularly when on deck," Mr Treloar warned crews.
The Official Updated Preliminary Weather Outlook
2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney at 8:00am (local time) on Sunday 24 Dec 2000
This product is an updated outlook for the Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The Bureau of Meteorology will be refining this outlook and issuing a Special Race forecast at the pre-race briefing on Boxing Day morning.
A trough of low pressure is expected to lie north of Sydney on Tuesday morning. A cold front is expected through Bass Strait on Tuesday night with a further series of fronts embedded in the south-westerly airstream through to Thursday.
Forecast 26th Dec 2000 - Boxing Day
South/south-west winds are expected to freshen during the morning then tend more easterly in the afternoon or overnight. As yachts move further south along the NSW coast, the wind will tend west to south-westerly and strengthen, possibly leading to a strong wind warning for the NSW south coast.
Forecast 27th Dec 2000 - Wednesday
Strong west to south-west winds, probably reaching gale force south of Gabo Island. Warnings for strong or gale force winds may be issued nearer to this period.
Outlook 28th - 29th Dec 2000 - Thursday, Friday
Initially strong to gale force south-west winds should tend more southerly, then slowly ease later in the period. Cold temperatures expected.