Ken McKinley to lead half-day weather seminar

ON contributing editor Ken McKinley, who not only writes about weather topics for Ocean Navigator, but is a professional weather router who owns Locus Weather service in Camden, Maine, will co-present a marine weather seminar on March 17 at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. The seminar is part of the Northeast Ocean Race Symposium, sponsored by the Marion Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax and Bermuda 1-2 Races. This promises to be valuable session for ocean voyagers, who will get a solid grounding in weather at sea from McKinley, and fellow presenters Frank Bohlen and Joe Sienkiewicz.

Essentials of Marine Weather, Ocean Currents and Sea State: Analysis and Forecasting

Sunday March 17th, 7:30 AM-12:30 PM

Conference Center, Bentley University, Waltham, MA

Ken McKinley, Frank Bohlen and Joe Sienkiewicz, Presenters

This is a half day seminar that will take place in conjunction with the Northeast Ocean Racing Symposium (NORS) at The Conference Center at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. NORS is scheduled on Saturday March 16, 2024, and this seminar is scheduled on Sunday March 17, 2024. Cost for this seminar is $175 per person. An early bird discount of $25 is available for sign-ups prior to February 29, 2024.

To sign up, please use this link to send an email and include your name(s) and contact information. We will reserve your spot(s) when we receive your email and will be in contact to make payment arrangements with you. Once payment is received and processed, we will confirm your registration.

Topics covered in this seminar will include:

General Circulation of the Atmosphere

Structure of Fronts and Mid-Latitude Weather Systems

Basic Upper Level Atmospheric Concepts

Ocean Currents and Sea State

The Gulf Stream: Structure and Strategy

The Forecast Process

Resources Available for Weather Forecasting and Ocean Conditions

Weather Routing and Decision Making: Cruising and Racing

The seminar will conclude with a panel discussion featuring all three presenters answering questions and addressing topics of particular interest to the group.


Ken McKinley is President and Chief Meteorologist of Locus Weather. Ken has over 30 years experience providing forecasts and routing for ocean voyages of all kinds, and has provided support to clients in the Marion Bermuda Race, the Newport Bermuda Race, the Marblehead Halifax Race and the Bermuda 1-2 Race for many years. He has presented the weather briefing at the pre-race skipper’s meetings for the Marion Bermuda and Marblehead Halifax Races for many years. He has also led many seminars for the yachting community and has served as an instrcutor at Maine Maritime Academy and other professional maritime schools.

Frank Bohlen is a physical oceanographer and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He started and continues to be involved with the Long Island Sound Observatory. He is an experienced offshore racer/cruiser having participated in 21 Newport Bermuda Races, numerous coastal races and five transatlantic sails, two racing and three cruising. On the majority of these passages he served as navigator. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee preparing regular Gulf Stream tutorials and analyses of conditions that are posted on the Race homepage during the months before the Race and briefing participants on expected Stream characteristics as part of the pre-Race Skipper’s Meeting. He regularly participates in Safety at Sea Seminars discussing weather and ocean currents and the associated effects on passage making.

Joe Sienkiewicz heads the scientific and technological support branch for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), which issues weather warnings and forecasts for mariners in the Atlantic and Pacific. Keeping watch 24/7, the OPC team predicts storms using information sources, including multiple digital satellite imagery displays, weather and wave models, and vessel positions relative to areas of hazardous weather.

Please note that this seminar requires a separate registration from the NORS. For information and to sign up for NORS on Saturday March 16, 2024, use this link.

By Tim Queeney