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reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:17 pm
by jats2k9
I have to plan my sessions from what I get on the forecast since I don't live near the beach and I would like to know if there is any good app or web. How accurate is the forcast on the widguru app?? is Windalert any better?

Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:29 pm
by Toby
the only thing reliable is the death.

Forget anything else! ask locals where you go to kite, what they look up and how accurate it is.

E.g. for North Germany the most reliable is a danish forecast!

Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:45 pm
by Bille
Toby wrote:the only thing reliable is the death.

And Taxes !

Our reliability for a forecast, seams to be seasonable here at Mohave.
Weather dot gov seams to get close in summer with the SSE winds ;
winter is a different story. Winter it blows from the North and None of the
forecasters get it right. North winds are kinda gusty and strong ; we
don't usually know just How strong till we show-up.
Bin sand-bagged more than i want in winter.


Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:07 pm
by Dr Makani
the short answer is: No - and probably never will

the long answer: weather is complex and no weather forecast or forecast model is 100% accurate in our day and age. If you surf at a local spot, you need to 'learn' the weather pattern. Wind models are only good for 2000 ft and above. Below 2000 ft wind is strongly affected by landscape (hills, big buildings, capes, ...). This is especially true for kiting at a 'point' or 'cape'. Wind is curling around the point and creating a vortex. So, sometimes the forecast is <10kts, but behind the point it's hauling.

Same is true for larger islands close to the coast line: Wind is affected what's called a Venturi effect: When wind is forced through a smaller 'tube' it's accelerating. Same for arroios at the Baja, MX: When the wind shifts offshore it gets a huge turbine effect by blowing through these creeks.

Or here in HI between the islands ...

Guess you may get the picture. Apps (and related forecasts) are mostly big pictures and give you a general idea. Without deeper knowledge of weather you'll just take it ...


Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:50 pm
by jats2k9
well I know that wind speed isn't that precise. My question came up on my last session when the forecast was currently reading sideshore wind for the whole day when actually I had to sit on the beach early in the morning until almost 3pm when the wind actually turned from offshore to sideshore. By the way I kite at Fort Lauderdale. Anyone??

Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:54 pm
by southflorida
In the US, your tax payer dollars are hard at work at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) giving you marine forecasts with a human touch. Updated every 6 hours at 4am, 10am, 4pm and 10pm.

Here is South Florida:

Here is a map of part of Florida with all the forecast regions:

NOAA forecasts actually involve a human, I find them more reliable than the "computer algorithm only" sites. NOAA will only forecast 5 days, unlike Weatherflow driven sites that forecast 7 days.

Re: reliable forecast apps??

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:55 am
by knot_moving
jats2k9 wrote:... By the way I kite at Fort Lauderdale. Anyone??
I think you guys down the peninsula have the most difficult forecasting challenge. Competing sea-breezes from both coasts, plus the gulf current heating. And like someone said above, trying to forecast what happens in the bottom few thousand feet of air is really hard. Don't know how much you know about sea breezes and how they form but I know up in NW FL they are a big player once the weather gets a bit warmer (like it is down there now). When the conditions are right, you can predict them with pretty high accuracy yourself (lots of sun, light gradient wind off-shore, and water 5-10 deg cooler than the land).

WindAlert up here does a reasonable job predicting the next 12hrs, but that still means its wrong enough to impact kiteboarding at least 25+ % of time. Marine forecasts are always 'worst case' from there perspective - which means they are overly optimistic for us.