Scott McDowell

Scott E. McDowell has a doctorate degree in ocean physics, is a licensed captain and author of Marinas: a Complete Guide available at www.scottemcdowell.com. Contact him at scott@scottemcdowell.com.

Author Archives

Sea Science: Technology to ease danger of submerged containers

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell Boaters and professional captains alike know that one of the most dangerous hazards at sea is colliding with a partially submerged shipping container that has…

Read More

Sea Science: Ice governs aquatic life on Earth

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell You need not be a sober scientist to realize that ice is lighter than water. We see cubes floating in our cocktails, and we’re aware…

Read More

Sea Science: There’s a reason that green flash at sunset is so rare

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell When mariners share sea stories of encounters with gales and rogue waves, rarely does a session end without mention of the elusive green flash. With…

Read More

Sea Science: Gulf Stream current, eddies keep big river of the Atlantic moving

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell The Gulf Stream “system” begins with westward surface flow through the Caribbean, looping through the Gulf of Mexico, then northward as the Florida Current (FC)…

Read More

Know the Florida Current, the southern leg of the Gulf Stream

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell The strong northward current between the eastern shore of Florida and the Bahamas is officially named the Florida Current (FC), as clarified by Dr. Arthur…

Read More

Sea Science: Rogue Waves, part 2; Design specs not good enough

Sea Science by Scott McDowell Rogue waves are not uncommon throughout our world’s oceans, as documented by dozens of examples in this space last month. What’s more surprising is that…

Read More

Rogue waves are real and more frequent than mariners think

By definition, a rogue is one who behaves unexpectedly and abnormally, often causing damage to anything nearby. This succinctly describes the extremely large and unpredictable rogue waves that are gaining…

Read More

Science of rainbows explains much, steals the magic not at all

Rainbows require sunlight and moisture in the air but it’s the magic angle of 42 degrees that causes rainbows to exist. Light rays from the sun appear to the naked…

Read More

Lightning: The formation and risk to swimmers

Lightning bolts represent a tremendous discharge of electricity: 100-300 million volts and 30,000 amps. Most often, they occur between clouds, but 25 percent occur from cloud to ground. Lightning begins…

Read More

Chances for lightning strike higher than for major lottery win

Because of severe injuries and death caused by convective (rising warm-air) storms, the National Weather Service has compiled accurate statistics on the incidence of reported lightning casualties in the United…

Read More