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Blog: Bluff Reports and Gorge Gusts.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1561

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:28 pm    Post subject: Blog: Bluff Reports and Gorge Gusts. Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

There was a recent forum thread on the Gorge Classic iwindsurf.com page asking "are there gustier winds this summer?"The forum thread had answers ranging from "Obviously!" to "I hear this every year!" to (my favorite:) "I think people are getting hung up on the word "gustier." For me, it's not the gusts, it's the lulls and general inconsistency"

How you experience gusts is impacted by many things like your gear, sail size, years in the Gorge and how good of sailor you are. Moreover, human memory is unreliable and easily biased.

So I have been looking at the Swell City sensor gust lull data. This sensor has its flaws but every one of you looks at that data so it is safe to assume it is somewhat useful.

I have not fully analyzed the data yet but having watched the River from the White Salmon Bridge to way past Viento for many years from my window as a meteorologist's and done many hundreds of Bluff Reports I am pretty confident that gusts are not the real issue.

Here is a rough draft of a blog on the real issues:

https://blog.weatherflow.com/west-coast-wind-blog-bluff-reports-and-the-changing-gorge-winds/

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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jota



Joined: 28 Feb 2001
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike - I look forward to more on this.

I have a related question I've been meaning to ask (things I think about while on the water): what is the sample interval for gusts and lulls on your sensors? In other words, the WindAlert app might say "25 (19-31) 9 mins ago." But an average must be over a period of time, not just exactly 9 mins ago, just as the lulls and gusts aren't happening at the same moment.

So does it really mean that 9 mins ago ended a ___-minute interval where gusts and lulls were sampled and averaged?
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vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 953

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent read Mike. Thanks for the insight. Although, it's a little depressing. Crying or Very sad

That being said, I'm looking forward to the next segment. Very interesting stuff. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and observations.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19304

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jota wrote:
... the lulls and gusts aren't happening at the same moment.

You don't sail in the Gorge much, do you? Very Happy
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flaherty



Joined: 01 May 1997
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great analysis. Of interesting note is you said the NPH had moved further north. I go to Maui every summer for two weeks, and many comments there said the Trades are not as strong as they used to be. Also as I live on the east coast and sail mostly on Cape Cod , the wind has gotten less over the years, although there was a good stretch in August. Has there been a world wide change in the weather patterns ? I'm beginning to wonder.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1561

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

On the road right now driving around reviewing the topography of every Gorge site from Rooster to Roos with Gorge forecasters Matthew Sounders and Benjamin Miller.

So will respond to your questions soon. Meanwhile here is some imagery that answers some of those questions. The combo of a fading El Nino, Positive PDO and accelerating Arctic warming has really jacked up the sea surface temperatures (SST) in the North Pacific and Arctic this summer. And that has allowed the North Pacific High to move way way north.

And that has impacted Gorge, San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii winds. More later.

MIke



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19304

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windfind wrote:
On the road right now driving around reviewing the topography of every Gorge site from Rooster to Roos

Please take the time to evaluate the feasibility of a sensor at Roosevelt. It is in a different wind world from Arlington, often seeing a 500-1,000 yard wind shadow only masochists willing to swim home dare cross. MAN, does that disappoint the sailors who drove from TriCities, Hood River, Portland, and even Seattle just for the day based on solid 30s at Arlington, only to stare all day at 5-15 mph on the northern 2/3 of the river. This year's northerly cant really emphasizes that.

The Arlington sensor is also often deceived by the adjacent cliffs, and a Roosevelt sensor would lend a reality check. Rigging by eye bites a LOT of sailors in the butt, often prompting them to rig and launch a 3.7 when a 6.2 is only modestly powered, if that, even on the OR side.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1561

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
windfind wrote:
On the road right now driving around reviewing the topography of every Gorge site from Rooster to Roos

Please take the time to evaluate the feasibility of a sensor at Roosevelt. It is in a different wind world from Arlington, often seeing a 500-1,000 yard wind shadow only masochists willing to swim home dare cross. MAN, does that disappoint the sailors who drove from TriCities, Hood River, Portland, and even Seattle just for the day based on solid 30s at Arlington, only to stare all day at 5-15 mph on the northern 2/3 of the river. This year's northerly cant really emphasizes that.

The Arlington sensor is also often deceived by the adjacent cliffs, and a Roosevelt sensor would lend a reality check. Rigging by eye bites a LOT of sailors in the butt, often prompting them to rig and launch a 3.7 when a 6.2 is only modestly powered, if that, even on the OR side.


Hi Mike,

Finding a potential sensor site for Roosevelt is one of our goals today. I have been burnt many times by the issues you describe.

There are 2 issues.

1. The DoD is easier to work with for sensors installations since Homeland Security & CG need sensors. (think SAR and nuke waste) But we already have a sensor at Arlington so there is no interest in having Roos sensor. The state parks system does not need a sensor there.

2. Sensors are expensive to install and maintain so meeting a fed need pays for a sensor. A sensor just for windsurfers/kiters can only pay for itself if it brings in new paying members. And it is unlikely a Roos sensor would do that.

That said... I will do my best to push for a Roos sensor.

Mike Godsey
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drblanke



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll throw out my personal observations, maybe you can consider them as well Mike?

Portland has gradually gotten bigger and hotter because of more people and more pavement. We don't get all of the thermal from the ocean to the desert anymore. A lot goes to Jones Beach now courtesy of a hot Portland (eg many times you can see a climbing Astoria-PDX gradient kill a good Hatch day). The Portland heat island also prevents a nightly cool down and keeps the marine layer from making it to the gorge. Didn't Portland used to be cloudy all summer?

Hood River has gradually gotten bigger and hotter! The entire port area is now filled with new buildings, hotels, and (paved) parking lots. The relatively new WS and HR sandbars (when exposed) also cause a lot of heat. I think this actually helps the Hatch wind strength some (although makes it more gusty for the reasons you describe Mike) but has noticeably dropped the wind around HR event site east until you get to Mosier when it recovers somewhat.

Finally, the biggest recent change, the Eagle Creek Fire. In a week, 50,000 acres of cool green trees were converted to hot bare basalt. IMO I think this killed off the dawn patrols we used to know. The western gorge is just a warmer place now.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19304

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windfind wrote:
1. The DoD is easier to work with for sensors installations since Homeland Security & CG need sensors. (think SAR and nuke waste) But we already have a sensor at Arlington so there is no interest in having Roos sensor. The state parks system does not need a sensor there.

2. Sensors are expensive to install and maintain so meeting a fed need pays for a sensor. A sensor just for windsurfers/kiters can only pay for itself if it brings in new paying members. And it is unlikely a Roos sensor would do that.

That said... I will do my best to push for a Roos sensor.

Thanks, Mike. However ...
Re #1. Doesn't Weatherflow already have many redundant sensors (e.g., 3 or 4 for the "Maryhill corridor" alone) for sailors? Does the government need more than one?

Re #2. What's a sensor, installation, and maintenance cost? I live just an hour away from Roosevelt, but get SO tired of wasting $60 and half a day of my time only to find out that the only wind is along the Oregon RR tracks. Add the people driving from HR, Portland, Spokane, and Seattle and you just might find enough donors to support a new sensor.
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