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lack of wind in the gorge
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14313

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

billgfc wrote:
its a yawner because small equipment is boring as hell in light winds

get a fast slalom or freeride setup 110 to 150 depnding on weight and skill

alternately bigger freestyle

your clone who does this will sail total circles around you when the wind is up


Yeah, Bill, but his circles will be a series of straight lines linked by wide jibes. Wink

That said . . . I'm heading to da River to sail my 114 liter freeride if I absolutely must. At least I'll have the river to myself (unless ya count a dozen kites).

Mike \m/
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Temira



Joined: 15 Jun 1999
Posts: 84
Location: Hood River

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: All joking aside Reply with quote

I've been doing this daily wind forecast via email for friends, and I got tired of saying "Upper Level Low" over and over. Wondering why the Gorge was broken (it's fixed right now), I emailed meteorologist Mark Nelsen of Fox TV. He used to be an avid windsurfer. Here's his take on this summer:

"As for those upper-level lows...they are a mess for windsurfing. At least the North Pacific High is back this week and all is well. We are definitely stuck in this pattern with the upper level ridge to the east and a weak trough to the west. That TENDS to weaken the NPH and that's why we had such weak wind last week. So WHY has that happened a few times this summer? No good answer except that each summer is different. Some have excellent wind overall and other summers have a week or two of great wind then light wind at times."

So there you go. Along with the vacuums, please dump a lot of ice on the streets of Portland to cool off the city. That should help too.


Temira
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gmclean



Joined: 08 Mar 2001
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:44 pm    Post subject: Upper level lows Reply with quote

With all due respect to Mark Nelson, who I think is the best of the PDX TV forecasters and a friend, I would say an upper level low in the right position can be good for Gorge wind. The tricky part is the position of the low. If it is close enough to give us SW flow aloft, that will keep the west side a bit cooler and help Gorge gradients. If it is too far offshore then we can get a ridge building up over the region which tends allow more heating west of The Cascades and weaken Gorge gradients. If it is too close we get clouds and even rain.

What we have had a lot of this season is more of an upper level trough than a true cut-off low. The difference is the trough is still part of the main upper level westerly flow while a cut-off low breaks off from the upper level flow. The cut-off low tends to drift aimlessly offshore and the models have a really hard time forecasting it's movement. We usually see this scenario later in the season.

One thing that would be interesting, at least to windsurfing weather geeks, would be some statistical analysis of Gorge sensor data over the years. This might give us a baseline of what was a good year vs. a bad year. I find it hard to remember enough details year to year to have a good sense of this.

Sorry for the long winded weather jabber, I just excited about this stuff.

gm
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14313

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether it's the NPH or cut-off lows or just crappy bad luck, a very common feature of the Gorge out east this year has been the pronounced veer to NW winds in the evening. Windspeed looks good on the sensors, but winds out of 280 or 290 degrees flat sucks on the water. Ya swim (or seriously slog an oversized board) to the windline (sometimes 500 yards offshore at Roosevelt), sail back and forth in a very narrow band of wind on the OR shore, then swim or baaarrrrely slog back home. Or ya reach back and forth in horribly gusty, side-off, crap-for-wind boiling off the orchards west of Roosey. The beam reach rut has way too often been 45 degrees off the river centerline, with very broad reaches pointed straight at Pendleton and a close reach almost directly into the face of the chopswell. Can you spell "Selielow"?

What's wid dat?

\m/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14313

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
Windspeed looks good on the sensors, but winds out of 280 or 290 degrees flat sucks on the water. Ya swim (or seriously slog an oversized board) to the windline (sometimes 500 yards offshore at Roosevelt), sail back and forth in a very narrow band of wind on the OR shore, then swim or baaarrrrely slog back home. Or ya reach back and forth in horribly gusty, side-off, crap-for-wind boiling off the orchards west of Roosey. The beam reach rut has way too often been 45 degrees off the river centerline, with very broad reaches pointed straight at Pendleton and a close reach almost directly into the face of the chopswell. Can you spell "Selielow"?


And at 5:15, exactly as only iW predicted (and only in their computer-generated dynamic graph), there it goes: Roosevelt just veered to 293 degrees. DAMN, but I'm glad I didn't make the drive. Whether it's blowing 5.7 or 3.7, 293 sucks big sturgeon roe. (The usual so-called "northwesterly" wind there is actually only 270; 293 is -- or used to be -- rare.)

\m/
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LAWLER



Joined: 27 Apr 2001
Posts: 63
Location: somewhere... buuugs in space!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:05 pm    Post subject: Pray Harder Reply with quote

The Weather, boy I have been taking a whole month off to windsurf the gorge for 17 years. In the beginning I took August off. Then found out that when it gets hot in August in Portland the wind shuts off most of the time. So after sailing 12 days in 4 weeks one August. I shifted my vacation to July in 94'96' time frame.....This july....was the worst for wind "over all" since that time. Thank god for Friends, Biking, hiking and Kayaking, this Fall I will take up kite boarding too, so I can use those light wind days.
Not enough people showed up at the pray for wind party this year I guess.

Pray HARDER to play harder!
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andymc4610



Joined: 19 May 2000
Posts: 678

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am no meteorologist Wink but the 2-3 weeks of cooler and very humid weather in portland is not a typical for july. what is typical is the morning clouds or marine air that sets up that classic condition.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14313

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Pray Harder Reply with quote

LAWLER wrote:
The Weather, boy I have been taking a whole month off to windsurf the gorge for 17 years. In the beginning I took August off. Then found out that when it gets hot in August in Portland the wind shuts off most of the time. So after sailing 12 days in 4 weeks one August. I shifted my vacation to July in 94'96' time frame.....This july....was the worst for wind "over all" since that time.


Tip: when Portland heats up, Clatskanie can absolutely RIP. Twice now, when Portland and the Gorge baked at 90-110 degrees and so calm you couldn't light a match, I camped at Jones Beach beside rigged 5.8, 4.7, 4.2, 3.7 and 3.2 sails, using most of them 10 days straight in air temps of 80-ish days and 50s nights. 5.8 my late AM, and full-on 3.x after supper, in the steadiest winds I've ever seen on the Columbia. If PDX is hot and Astoria cool, head west. Happens often in August.

One July in the early '90s had two triple-digit 12-day doldrums in the Gorge.

\m/
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Re: Pray Harder Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
I camped at Jones Beach beside rigged 5.8, 4.7, 4.2, 3.7 and 3.2 sails, using most of them 10 d\m/


Sounds like you need to have someone help you to figure out how to make one of those work for ya! Laughing
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:45 am    Post subject: Re: Pray Harder Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
I camped at Jones Beach beside rigged 5.8, 4.7, 4.2, 3.7 and 3.2 sails, using most of them 10 d\m/


Sounds like you need to have someone help you to figure out how to make one of those work for ya! Laughing
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