Chase Date: January 22, 2017
Ship full of passengers
States Chased: FL
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks
This was truly an unexpected chase, as I was expecting to be on a cruise ship. I had planned months previous to take a cruise this weekend from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Cococay and back to Port Canaveral on a 3 day cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas.
The strength of the system as it impacted the southeastern United States and the deepening of the low (990 mb) in the FL Panhandle by morning kicked up wind & waves, so we had to give up on the Cococay stop and headed straight back towards Port Canaveral. Even in the morning it became pretty apparent we’d be just beating the storms back to port or arriving about the same time, and the latter ended up being it.
As tornado warned supercells were exiting the Florida coast we found ourselves in the hook about 3-5 miles off shore from Cocoa Beach and in the vault region of a supercell. There was a great inflow band into the storm and a wall cloud underneath a sculpted meso. Eventually we got hit by RFD winds which were pretty intense. I was on the back of the ship outdoors, I think everyone else was inside. Other guests said that the boat was listing heavily and that dishes went crashing when the RFD hit, but I don’t know since I was outside.
Scary time, and eventually we made it through the storms and the front passed us by and we went into Port and spent the night docked.