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Blog: Bluff Reports and Gorge Gusts.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
.
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.


Hi Mike,

Our 2nd. Maryhill sensor is used by wind turbine industry which covers the cost. Unfortunately, with the more common WNW wind pattern is has the same issues as the Maryhill sensor for Wall windsurfing.

We sent time yesterday looking in the Roos area for potential new sensor location. There are 2 issues: Permission and Financing

Permission
One potential site is at the end of the rock groin right at the launch site. Difficult install: 1. There is nothing to attach a 1" X 10 foot sch. 40 SS mast than drilling into a Basalt boulder. 2. Getting permission to put the income-producing private property in a State Park is iffy and time consuming.

The other location would be on one of the piers at the floating boat ramp dock or adjacent rock groin. This entail getting permission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs which would probably be difficult. I talked to members of the Yakima Nation at the site and they said they would like this sensor information to know the best time to launch boats so there could be some support there.

Financing

iwindsurf/ikitesurf are now tiny sub corporations of Weatherflow and as such have to make money to cover costs. So new sensor installations have to bring in new customers.

Our threshold for breaking even for a new sensor, in the long run, is 15 new year-long paying customers. So to even begin to think about a Roos sensor we need 15 people who are not current customers to commit to becoming customers if a Roos sensor is installed. Sorry to have this requirement but after several decades iw/ik can no longer run mostly on passion. Sensors have to pay their way. And we don't want to increase customer fees.

So if everyone reading this thread would reach out to Roos users who are not current customers we might be able to start looking for permission.

Also if any Roos regular has contacts with the State Park or Yakima Nation let me know.

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


Last edited by windfind on Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19292

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. Thanks.

Is there any chance the Corps of Engineers -- the owners of Roosevelt Park -- might be interested? I know some of the rangers, but they don't control the purse strings.

What about the barge companies? Barges can adjust their paths by looking out the window, but knowing a bit in advance may help them route and schedule paths earlier when passing other such vessels.

Mike
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surfersteve



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject: the human condition Reply with quote

Isobars (and others of similar fate) - I tried unsuccessfully last year to recruit personal funds to purchase and maintain a camera at the Rufus/Wall stretch for the reasons you mentioned. I feel cameras are a huge advantage for decision-making, particularly for the Wall for the reasons Mike has mentioned many times.
The cost is not that much to get/install/maintain equipment if people consider time and money for driving and waiting for nothing. Perhaps it is time to consider recruiting a small group with your same challenges for funding?
I think Mike and his crew have done an outstanding job the past two seasons discussing specifics in their forecasts i.e. "mid-20s at Rufus stretch, but mostly on the OR side" or "very up and down near ____." You cannot get much more practical info than that. If your heart is still set on a site predicted to be shit for that day, perhaps prayer is the answer?
This has been an outstanding year, even at the Hatchery IMO. If lit 4.2 or better on a 75L board is your only interest, I guess you might be disappointed.
I feel some of this is a human behavior issue. If you rig a 5.2 in 30+ gusts, it won't be a good day. The same goes for 15-24. Failing to use more board volume just because you "really like" your small board doesn't work for most except the highly-skilled sailor (of which I am most certainly not). A look at most board makers suggests overall board volume has gone up. Get on board people! (get it?...)
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19292

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: the human condition Reply with quote

surfersteve wrote:

I think Mike and his crew have done an outstanding job the past two seasons discussing specifics in their forecasts i.e. "mid-20s at Rufus stretch, but mostly on the OR side" or "very up and down near ____."

Failing to use more board volume just because you "really like" your small board doesn't work for most except the highly-skilled sailor (of which I am most certainly not).

I keep upping my board volume as I get older and lamer and the wind gets crappier and less frequent. I've been re-evaluating my board choices this year to that end, and have been quite surprised how well certain board and fin combinations have worked* in much bigger but crappier conditions than I expected. (Fins MATTER! And some boards >100 will not only actually slash but ride well in winds averaging 25 mph). However, when the winds are sufficiently consistent, it feels absolutely FANTASTIC to slip a 70L wave board onto my feet and cut loose. The difference is just HUGE.

*One of the reasons I study forecasts from half a dozen sources is exactly what you brought up: "mostly on the OR side" or "very up and down near ..." I take most forecast numbers with a bucket of salt, but when a human being types words like those, I really pay attention, and may even make a go/no-go or launch/no-launch decision based on them. Some such scenarios are simply a PITA (e.g., big holes and wind shadows, where big board help ... within reason), some are downright risky (e.g. shoulder-wrenching gusts, which dacron sails and vinyl windows absorb very well.)
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jgda



Joined: 19 Jul 1999
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:02 pm    Post subject: thank you! Reply with quote

Mike G,
I was hoping you would reply to my initial query that started the thread, so thank you for doing so.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the delay answering your questions.
Mike

Hi Jota,

The Swell City sensor collects data every 60 seconds then sends the average wind to our servers every 5 minutes. So the average wind in the graph is the 5 minute average. The gust on the graph is the peak gust during that 5 minute period while the lull is the peak lull. Since the data is going to many different web sites, from iwindsurf.com to DataScope.com to Fishweather.com etc. plus many different apps there sometimes may be a lag between data collection and your receiving the data. Hence the statement "9 minutes ago"

flaherty wrote:
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.


Hi jgda,

For many decades the North Pacific High was roughly oval and in the summer its average location was spanning the waters between Northern California, Oregon and Hawaii. With an ever-warming north Pacific + El Nino + PDO the NPH is often greatly distorted and is breaking into irregular lobes. This often disrupts the Trade winds that the North Pacific High creates in Hawaiian waters. This is a very complex issue but basically, the NPH is much larger, much more distorted and less reliable than past decades.

drblanke wrote:
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.


Hi drblanke,

The impact of urban warming due to all the pavement, roofs etc. is well established. However most of that impact is very local chages in temperature, clouds and wind. If the heat sink of PDX was impacting the Gorge winds the first thing we would notice would be a disruption of the marine layer clouds over Portland. Our forecasters have been watching the the marine layer via satellite imagery for many years and have not noticed such an effect. So my guess is that the effect if any is minimal.

When you hike the trails of the Gorge even on a very wind day you are struck by how little wind there is at the surface of the forest compared to the water or the trees along 84. There is so much friction from the cliffs and even the burnt remains of the trees it is unlikely to impact the wind on the water much.

Mike Godsey
weatherflow.com
windalert.com
iwindsurf.com
ikitesurf.com
sailflow.com
fishweather.com
USAfishing.com
https://windnotes.smugmug.com
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