Just wondering if anyone had any comments about Windsight in the Columbia
River Gorge, and at the Oregon Coast?
Please Email to:
attention Bob Camp
: Worth It?
Windsight in the Gorge is fantastic, because they have their own
sensors on the river taking minute-by-minute data. This gives them
a detailed profile that puts the National Weather Service data to
shame. They have software to graph it all, and it's pretty neat
The Bay Area equivalent software is good, but not as good, because
it uses just the NWS data. I sure wish we could talk those guys
into putting their meters here in the Bay.
I like using it when I'm heading way east. I don't like getting
sucked out to the desert unless I know it it blowin' out there.
When I'm heading to The Wall or Rufus, I'm listening for good
numbers at Maryhill Bridge. The extended forecast feature is nice
too. I also like that Windsight has added Manzanita to it's
"current wind speeds" option.
Like any weather forecast system, Windsight is not accurate ALL the
time. Witness yesterday. WIndsight was calling for nuklear winds,
30-40 mph by afternoon from Arlington to 3 Mile Canyon. From what I
heard, you guys sure sucked a lot of sailors way out to 3 Mile
yesterday only to find 5.5, big board conditions. At least the fuel
companies are smilin'. Maybe it got good after my friends left at 4
ObSailing/Injury report: I got out Saturday at Doug's West on a 4.2
and an 8'6". I tried to keep it mellow on my 1 week old sprained
ankle. With my good, right foot forward, sailing was fine. With my
sprained ankle forward, it was painfull at times. Wiggling my foot
into the strap once on a plane was very painfull. I had no idea how
much the ankle constantly adjusts board angle while sailing along.
My friend Russ (aspiring looper from The Bay area)broke his collar
bone late on Saturday when a loop attempt went sour. He made a full
rotation and kept on rotating. He landed and slammed his
shoulderblade/ collar bone into his boom. He later ended up at HR
emergency. I'm glad I have "only" a sprain!
>: Worth It?
>Windsight in the Gorge is fantastic, because they have their own
>sensors on the river taking minute-by-minute data. This gives them
>a detailed profile that puts the National Weather Service data to
>shame. They have software to graph it all, and it's pretty neat
The problem with their forecasts is compounded by the placement of
their gauges. For instance, it blew 4.0 or harder at Doug's most
of Saturday. However, calls to Windsight from 11-1 revealed winds
of roughly 17-23 mph, definitely not 4.0 weather, which would normally
be 23-28 or so. The discrepancy was due to the SW cant of the wind,
but that's not reported, so how can you tell? Plus, if you're at
the hatchery, it's a pain to go make a phone call, and the hatchery->
doug's transition is probably the most common one during the day.
The coast forecasts seem to be no more and no less useful than the NWS
marine advisories, which are a lot cheaper... :-) The coast windwatchers
are fairly useless, "Blah di da blah, come on down the wind will be
great", which tells you nothing over the bouy reports generally,
and unless you know the person you can't calibrate wave quality or
anything like that.
My final gripe is that the whole service could be made more useful.
Why not a nice laminated card that tells you for a given wind
direction how much low or high each gauge reads? Why not a
day-end round up, what happened where you didn't go, so you can
learn more about weather patterns? And above all, why not a measure
of confidence (like we *know* it's going to nuke, it *might* nuke,
and hey, we *hope* it will happen) in the forecasts?
Is it worth it? Definitely. But it's not a solution in and of itself,
not that they sell it that way. It'd be better if I had a cellular
phone in my van... :-| All in all, it's not hugely differenet from
the CB net that Bingen Bart used to use to get wind reports from
truckers on I-84. There's a lot that could be done more; adding
more history to the wind reports, customized site preferences,
etcetera, but even in it's present form it's still useful.