With variable winds forecast, knowledge of the Solent’s idiosyncrasies will be a valuable aid today

The ridge of high pressure that has crept north over the course of recent days has receded slightly as the stronger lows that brought surfing conditions to the EDS Atlantic Challenge fleet barrel over northern Britain.

Right now, there’s a variable 5-7 knot breeze wafting around Cowes so postponements are possible if the conditions are adjudged too shifty. There is a 977 low west of Iceland, moving southeast and filling 991 by 0100 tomorrow.

Its interaction with the high pressure ridge is causing the variable winds and bringing hazy, light cloud cover, the cotton-wool skies of summer later as the thermals kick in, with the possibility of a little drizzle later.

The sea breezes will be today’s banker but before they take effect, tidal knowledge will be invaluable. Not much use for the J-Class of course – hugging the shore isn’t recommended.