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The 'Lash of St. Francis'. Name applied locally to south- erly hurricane winds along the west coast of Mexico. The cordonazo is associated with tropical cyclones in the southeastern North Pacific Ocean. These storms may occur from May to November, but ordinarily affect the coastal areas most severely near or after the Feast of St. Francis, October 4.

Related Terms


Historic name for English North Coast small coastal clinker fore and aft sailing vessel.


A North Pacific Ocean current flowing southeast- ward along the west coast of North America from a point west of Vancouver Island to the west of Baja (Lower) California where it gradually widens and curves southward and southwestward, to continue as the westerly flowing PACIFIC NORTH EQUATO- RIAL CURRENT. The California Current is the southern branch of the Aleutian Current, augmented by the North Pacific Current, and forms the eastern part of the general clockwise oceanic circulation of the North Pacific Ocean. Although usually described as a permanent ocean current, the California Current is actually a poorly defined and variable flow easily influenced by the winds. See also MEXICO CURRENT


A North Atlantic Ocean current, one of the terminal branches of the Gulf Stream System (part of the northern branch of the North Atlantic Current); it flows toward the west off the south- west coast of Iceland. A small portion of the water of the Irminger Current bends around the west coast of Iceland but the greater amount turns south and becomes more or less mixed with the water of the East Greenland Current.


An Indian Ocean current which generally first flows northward and then northwestward off the west coast of Australia. This current varies seasonally with the strength of the wind and is most stable during November, December, and January, and least stable during May, June, and July, when it may set in any direction. North of 20°S the main part of this current flows north- westward into the Indian South Equatorial Current.


A narrow, fairly stable ocean current that flows northward close to the South American coast. It originates off the coast of Chile at about latitude 40°S and flows past Peru and Ecuador to the southwest extremity of Colombia. The southern portion of the Peru Current is sometimes called the CHILE CURRENT. It has some- times been called the HUMBOLDT CURRENT because an early record of its temperature was taken by the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt in 1802. The name Corriente del Peru was adopted by a resolution of the Ibero-American Oceanographic Conference at its Madrid-Malaga meeting in April 1935. Also called PERU COASTAL CURRENT.


A northerly wind. In the southern United States, especially in Texas (Texas norther) in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Gulf of Panama away from the coast, and in central America (the norte), the norther is a strong cold wind from the northeast to northwest. It occurs between November and April, freshening during the afternoon and decreasing at night. It is a cold air outbreak associated with the southward movement of a cold anticyclone. It is usually preceded by a warm and cloudy or rainy spell with southerly winds. The norther comes as a rushing blast and brings a sudden drop of temperature of as much as 25°F in 1 hour or 50°F in 3 hours in winter. The California norther is a strong, very dry, dusty, northerly wind which blows in late spring, summer and early fall in the valley of California or on the west coast when pressure is high over the mountains to the north. It lasts from 1 to 4 days. The dryness is due to adiabatic warming during descent. In summer it is very hot. The Portuguese norther is the beginning of the trade wind west of Portugal. The term is used for a strong north wind on the coast of Chile which blows occasionally in summer. In southeast Australia, a hot dry wind from the desert is called a norther.


The southern branch of the North Atlantic Current (which divides on the eastern side of the ocean); it moves south past Spain and southwestward along the Northwest coast of Africa and past the Canary islands. In the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands, it divides into two branches, the western branch augmenting the Atlantic North Equatorial Current and the Eastern branch curving southward and continuing as the GUINEA CURRENT. The Canary Current forms the southeastern part of the general clockwise oceanic circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean. Also called the Canaries Current.


Domestic shipping routes along the coast. (See Intercoastal and Intracoastal)


A very violent wind and rain squall attended by thunder and vivid lightning often encountered during the rainy season along the west coast of Central America.


A slow-moving ocean current flowing generally northwestward along the west coast of Africa. It is caused mainly by the prevailing southeast trade winds. Near the equator the current flows westward and becomes the ATLANTIC SOUTH EQUATO- RIAL CURRENT.

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