Wx forecasts

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Interim
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Wx forecasts

Post by Interim » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:31 am

We sail an inland lake (in the Great Plains of the U.S.). Wind forecasts are little better than a flip of the coin, I would guess because of the way systems race across the landscape. We could get a forecast of 5mph, and at the lake it is 15mph and gusts to 25. Or we could have a forecast of 10mph, only to find ourselves becalmed for an hour in the middle of the lake. We use NOAA's hourly forecast, sailflow, and weather.com.

Do you have similar issues? Or is that just a local feature I get to enjoy?

Our maxim has become "If you want to sail, just go to the lake and see what the weather is."

--john

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Jimmyt
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:56 am

My Father-In-Law called meteorologists "weather guessers". Often times, it seems he was spot-on in his assessment. As an engineer and computer modeler of indoor building climates, including fire and smoke modeling, I have a small appreciation for the daunting task of modeling weather. They get better every year, but it's not as accurate as we would always like. Usually it's ok here. Basically good for an indication of "some wind" vs "no wind". Some wind could mean 5-35 knots. Here is the Windy prediction vs the Dauphin Island Observations for our last trip. Not too bad considering...

The middle bay light station was off line. It would have been closer to our prediction point, but Dauphin Island should be fairly close.

Image

Image

I absolutely agree with you! If the weather doesn't look awful, and they aren't predicting thunderstorms, go for it!
Jimmyt
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2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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NiceAft
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by NiceAft » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:18 am

I absolutely agree with you! If the weather doesn't look awful, and they aren't predicting thunderstorms, go for it!
The trouble I have is when I am in the Adirondacks, sailing Lake George (32 miles long [51.4. K]), the surrounding mountains make it difficult to see a storm sneaking up on a boater. That’s when power on the stern can get one out of a situation.
Ray ~~_/)~~

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1st Sail
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by 1st Sail » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:58 am

I use Predict Wind and USAirNet ( local wind forecasts for airports).
Predictwind.com
http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/ ... I&state=IL
select your region by state and location by nearest city if applicable.

I still on the fence between the Sailtimerwind and Openwind wind systems. Sailtimerwind.com or Openwind.de
:macm:

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kmclemore
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by kmclemore » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:47 am

NiceAft wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:18 am
I absolutely agree with you! If the weather doesn't look awful, and they aren't predicting thunderstorms, go for it!
The trouble I have is when I am in the Adirondacks, sailing Lake George (32 miles long [51.4. K]), the surrounding mountains make it difficult to see a storm sneaking up on a boater. That’s when power on the stern can get one out of a situation.
Storms come up very quickly here on upper Lake Champlain, too, Ray. We live on a point in the middle of the lake, however, so we tend to see them coming a log way off - not true of those living in bays.

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Catigale
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by Catigale » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:38 am

Inland forecast are always spotty. It’s much more dangerous inthe Hudson than the Cape.

At least inland you have access to wundergroundand weather radar on your device

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Russ
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by Russ » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:43 am

Yea, inland lakes and mountain lakes like ours are horrible for sailors.

Our lake has mountains on one side and plains on the other. Both cause all kinds of winds. We often find the winds out of the North and mid-day they will die and change to the South. But it's all we got.

Accuweather is my favorite forecasting. The NWS seems to do a horrible job for our lake.
Our biggest problem is the Thunderstorms in the summer that sneak up behind the mountains. I keep a good radar app on hand and get out of the way if a storm is heading towards us. These deep mountain lakes whip up some nasty waves.
--Russ

beechkingd
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by beechkingd » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:15 am

I use the windy app. It comes up with different predictions than sailflow and seems to be more accurate in my area.

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Herschel
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Re: Wx forecasts

Post by Herschel » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm

Generally speaking Central Florida weather forecasts are pretty good at estimating the arrival of thunderstorms during our summer afternoons. I check my Weatherbug or Weather Underground hourly forecasts and can tell pretty well when I need to be heading in. It, also, helps that our thunderstorms can be seen building up as the clouds gray up and start moving with some speed in your general direction. Weather apps with radar and real time lightening strike data is, also, helpful. 30% or less change of precipitation/thunderstorms is generally what I feel is comfortable for boating. If it is 40% or 50%, I pick my time's carefully and may chance it. Over 50% and I stay home. As for wind strength, I am past trying to sail fast. My lake is 5 miles in diameter. So, the mainsail gets reefed before I leave the slip if the wind looks at all strong, The 110 jib is on roller reef so it can be reefed quickly. I don't mess with my Genoa anymore. Life is so much simpler with just the jib. All this, and I still enjoy sails in the 5-6 knot range regularly. I have even been known to motor upwind, hoist my sails and tack downwind on broad reaches. My admiral loves sailing with me! :wink:

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