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Old 06-11-2010, 16:54   #1
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Don't Trust the Weather Channel, etc . . .

So I went out today in my Renken 18 with my wife, dad, and two kids. We were out on New River in Jacksonville, NC for about 4 hours. It was really nice sailing on the way out to the bay with about a 10mph wind from the north. So we are out cruising around and decide to head back in when out of nowhere the bay get really choppy and the wind picks up. I'm reefing in my roller furling jib, when the wind just as suddenly dies down. I decide to let out some more of the jib, and then bang! Wind jumped up and the jib got tangled up around the forestay. So here I am with my dad holding the tiller and the main sheet, wife and kids in the cabin, and im tiptoeing toward the bow to take care of this jib gone wild! God...you learn something every time you go out, don't you...Don't trust the Weather Channel and mind the jib!
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:35   #2
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The one I trust is the TV channel where the Weather Girl strips off while showing you the forcast...

"Is that a tornado... or a nipple?"
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:35   #3
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The one I trust is the TV channel where the Weather Girl strips off while showing you the forcast...

"Is that a tornado... or a nipple?"

You trust it because when it's all over and you later are out on the water, well you really don't remember what she said the weather was going to like.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:01   #4
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Commercial fisherman friend of mine says, they give the temperature from an air conditioned room, and the wind speed in front of a fan--because where he is hauling pots, its always hot as hell, with no breeze.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:42   #5
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I knew someone who worked with the National Weather Service in DC. He claimed the building had no windows. It could explain alot...
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:00   #6
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Does anyone know of a more accurate wind forecast???
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:48   #7
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http://www.sailflow.com/
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:09   #8
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heres what the nws says yesterday at 3am not to far from what you describe. Another thought too. when you get hit by a gust and then it lulls look windward and watch for the next one. usually not just a fluke when you get a shift and increase in winds.
.MARINE...
-- Changed Discussion --
AS OF 3 AM SAT...WINDS CURRENTLY NW/N 5-15KT AND SEAS 3-6FT.
STRONG HIGH WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD IN FROM THE WEST TODAY AS WEAK
SFC TROUGH MOVES OFFSHORE. THROUGH THE DAY GENERALLY EXPECT N/NW
WINDS 10-20KT AND SEAS 4-7FT. SIGNIFICANT N/NW SURGE EXPECTED
TONIGHT DUE TO A COMBINATION OF STRONG CAA AS UPPER LEVEL LOW
MOVES NORTH OF THE AREA...AND SWELL FROM LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS
OFFSHORE. HAVE INCREASED WINDS SLIGHTLY FROM PREVIOUS
FORECAST...STRONG SMALL CRAFT EXPECTED 20-25KT WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
SWAN AND WAVEWATCH IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH SEAS BUILDING TO 9-10FT
NORTH OF OCRAOCKE INLET...AND TO 8FT SOUTH. HIGH SURF CONDITIONS
NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS WILL BE POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT...8FT
BREAKERS...BUT DUE TO CONFIDENCE LEVEL WILL HOLD OFF FOR NOW
ISSUING AN ADVISORY. WILL LET DAYSHIFT RE-EVALUATE.

WINDS WILL DIMINISH LATE SUN WITH SEAS GRADUALLY SUBSIDING. HAVE
EXTENDED SCA FOR THE COASTAL WATERS FOR LINGERING 6FT SEAS THROUGH
SUN NIGHT INTO MON. STRONG HIGH PRESSURE WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD IN
FROM THE WEST THROUGH THE WEAK...WITH SEAS SUBSIDING TO 2-4FT.-- End Changed Discussion --
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:22   #9
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Quote:
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Does anyone know of a more accurate wind forecast???

We like to tease them about their accuracy, but I can assure you, living here in Bermuda, where we can't get a report from a town 50 miles upwind, we are happy to have them.
Having said that , the consensus is that they always err on the high side (quite understandably).
For a fact, hurricanes and severe winter north-easterlies are smaller, more compact, and hit harder for a shorter period.
I can clearly remember that as a child (60 yrs back) when a bad blow was imminent, you could hear the breakers on our North side, roaring days before the hit. That rarely happens nowadays.

And MarkJ --its not because my hearing is going.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:22   #10
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I like www.intelicast.com

I started using it years ago while making construction related decisions. Now I use it to see if it is worth making the drive to the marina for the weekend. They've been remarkably accurate with all weather predictions, even the hourly wind speed forecast.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:59   #11
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Does anyone know of a more accurate wind forecast???
www.windfinder.com is not bad for my area.

I find the Environment Canada marine forecast for my area is not the greatest. I think the nearest reporting station is a fair distance away, & they always seem to be calling for lightning. I once went out when they were calling for possible waterspouts- didn't see any.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:26   #12
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I knew someone who worked with the National Weather Service in DC. He claimed the building had no windows. It could explain alot...
I've found that the NWS/NOAA predictions around here are the best and easiest source for a decent 3 day forecast. The pinpoint feature is convenient, and the Forecast Discussions provide an excellent weather briefing on the near-term and longer-range expectations, what the different models show and how they differ, etc. I particularly like the discussions because it is in plain-speak without dumbing down the content.

I'm pretty sure my wife told me once that the forecasters are local, perhaps the ones near you aren't as good as the ones out here.

I use the nws for coastal information, and wunderground for land forecasts.

For those in the PNW area, you can't beat the semi-real time wind relayed from the WA Ferries: Washington State Ferry Weather


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Old 07-11-2010, 11:35   #13
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Sometimes accurate ... WindGURU: Weather forecasts for windsurfing, kitesurfing and other wind related sports

I also read a meteorology forum and basically what I learned is that in some conditions no model is accurate. Last week in Buenos Aires was a case in point. Severe weather was forecast but meteorologists agreed that they could not forecast where exactly with any certainty until very few hours before the event because of the volatility of the system. Others you can see coming days ahead .
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:11   #14
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Wunderground is incredibly accurate here in key west.

Check it out.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:45   #15
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Haven't posted much here, so I'll give a little background. I sail in Tampa bay and the Gulf with my family and have experience sailing a number of boats from Hobie's to our shared (SailTime) Hunter 49. I also have been a kiteboarder for 11 years which back in the day could only be done in small specific wind ranges (can't reef a kite and the old ones didn't sheet a whole lot).

As many have stated in this some forecasts seem to be better in some regions. As a rule I never trust a single forecast. NOAA and the PORTS (real time wind in many locations) system are my first checks followed by wunderground and/or accuweather. If PORTS isn't available were you are then ikitesurf/iwindsurf are good references. If I'm going out for more than a few hours then I take a look at the the surface models available on NOAA's site and do my own longer range forecasting. Keep in mind that most forecasts cover a large region and local variabilities can have a big effect. The best thing to do is learn a bit about weather patterns and continuously apply them when you sail. Each time use the forecast and your acquired knowledge to estimate what the weather will be and compare it to what you actually face. After a while you'll be able to glance at the forecast and conditions and pretty accurately predict what it will be like. The other big variable if you're sailing inland is that the wind is affected by land and structure and apparent wind affected by tides and currents. It takes a lot of time on the water to make it all come together and weather is by definition chaotic so you can never nail it 100 percent but by learning weather patterns and using multiple forecasts you can get it right most of the time. If you don't know a lot about the weather pick up a book on it, there are quite a few specific to sailing. Also keep a VHF with the weather channels on it for updates while out on the water.
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