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jimoakes



Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike. What a great update. I love the history information too. I really appreciate how you keep the community together here on I windsurf.
I'm grateful to have you as a friend in real life as well!
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AlexM



Joined: 03 Jun 2005
Posts: 48
Location: Mosier, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimoakes wrote:
Thanks Mike. What a great update. I love the history information too. I really appreciate how you keep the community together here on I windsurf.
I'm grateful to have you as a friend in real life as well!


Whether a subscriber or not, all of us windsports enthusiasts owe a tremendous debt to iwindy, especially in the Gorge. Everyone loves to kvetch about the forecasts, but you can't live without 'em.
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hilton08



Joined: 02 Apr 2000
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thanks for the clarification, the history refresher, and the years of great wind forecasts and real time wind reports - they are invaluable.
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bericw



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you iw very much for the collection of sensor data, especially for those sensors in locations that would otherwise be un... uh... sensored, and for keeping them all operable.  Thank you!

Regarding interface choices and updates, I have read El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, so I shut up.

I am interested if anyone may have any comment regarding perception that the relation of wind speed and sailing potential at given Gorge locations has changed. For example, I have memory that way back in the day, hearing upper 20s average at Maryhill after dialing the wind line meant it was ripping. I have no memory of really caring about wind direction, but I remember that it was a world of never ending happiness, and you could always see the sun, day or night. A decade later, similar pager numbers (whispered to me by others) also meant it was ripping. Later still, seeing upper 20s average on the WAP, it was ripping 4.2 (so many good memories, thank you especially to those that shared the bridge with me). Again, I have no recollection of caring about direction. 2 or 3 years ago, I know that one evening at 34 ave it was ripping 4.2, the very next evening at the exact same place at real similar direction at 32 ave it wasn't. More recently, seems like it has to be mid 30s ave to have reason to be there, and direction is super important.

To summarize this example, upper 20s ave seemed to indicate really good, now low 30s ave seems to indicate really nothing. I have experienced similar confusion for other Gorge locations. Opinions for causes?

1) I am a moron.
2) I am so much better faster stronger now that the wind needs to be too.
3) Different sensor locations.
4) Different sensors.
5) Sensor application. E.g., transformation functions, calibration, units.
6) Altered conditions around the sensor location. E.g., construction of wind-affecting structures changing flow characteristics, so that although options 3 and 4 etc are the same, the sensor is having new experiences.
7) Altered conditions around the sailing location. E.g., construction of wind-affecting structures changing flow characteristics, so that although options 3 and 4 etc are the same, the sensor's relation to on the water events is a new experience.
???

My opinion? Thank you for asking. I am wishing (wishing on a star!!!) the answer is option 2.

Thank you. Have a nice day!

Beric
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1798

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi bericw,

Since I am taking a break from clear cutting 1/4 acre of my property I will set my chain saw aside and take a stab at answering your question.

bericw said: "To summarize this example, upper 20s ave seemed to indicate really good, now low 30s ave seems to indicate really nothing. I have experienced similar confusion for other Gorge locations. Opinions for causes?"

1) I am a moron.
Probably not.

2) I am so much better faster stronger now that the wind needs to be too.
Probably not.

3) Different sensor locations.
We have added sensors and moves sensors but only to try to minimize the changes you have noted.

4) Different sensors.
Though the years we have upgraded to more accurate sensors that are less impacted by dirt, corrosion, bird shit and they are wind tunnel tested to be sure they are dead accurate.

5) Sensor application. E.g., transformation functions, calibration, units.
Our main clients Feds, turbine industry, barges, hazmat do not want ANY fudge factors added to sensor readings since unlike wind people they care about all wind directions.

6) Altered conditions around the sensor location. E.g., construction of wind-affecting structures changing flow characteristics, so that although options 3 and 4 etc are the same, the sensor is having new experiences.

Good question. We have moved many sensors onto Nav. Aids out in the water in part to avoid those issues. But most of those moves were years ago. We would not make money from the big guys if we had a sensor behind a tree.

7) Altered conditions around the sailing location. E.g., construction of wind-affecting structures changing flow characteristics, so that although options 3 and 4 etc are the same, the sensor's relation to on the water events is a new experience.
No

The "ANSWER"

My 2 favorite sites are The Wall and The Hatch. It was very simple.

For The Wall I waited until the Maryhill sensor got to about 28 and them made the drive. 90% of the time I had a great day.

For the Hatch I did the Bluff report every hour or so. When the marine layer retreated and the bands and lulls disappeared and the to high above the water sensor became accurate I signed off "Last report of the day." and sailed 95% of the time.

Then about 12 years ago things began to change slowly. It would take a whole blog and imagery to explain WHAT happened and even more to try to explain WHY.

But here are the major players.

1. The marine layer cloud have become thinner at move inland far less. This means a weaker local pressure gradient, less steady winds and fewer hours per day with solid wind.

2. The North Pacific High's average location mid summer is further north often adds a more W to WNW component to the surface winds so the wind is more concentrated on the Oregon side that mid river or WA side.

3. Look at a model map of the North Pacific High and you will see a kink in the isobars the lean over the Corridor. These days the isobars of that kink are often further apart meaning a lower and briefer pressure gradient over the corridor.

4. This same kink means more days with strong WNW to NW winds ≈1000 feet aloft (975MB level) aloft that add to the gust factor but not much to the average wind. So 24G36 is not the same as a decade ago. ie. a lot more gusts.

5. More frequent heat waves means hot air rising from all the points that jut out into the river rises and disrupts the inbound surface winds so more up and down winds as turbulence lifts the wind from the water.

Where did I come up with all this stuff? About 9 years ago I decided that it was a waste of time sitting around on crappy days. I started driving with a sensor, barometer and camera on every road in the Gorge that gave you a view of the river and recording the wind and pressure. I especially did this on days then there was a fire since I could "see" the wind flow in the smoke.

The epiphany occurred on a crappy smoky Wall day. Even though the fire was on the WA side miles west of The Wall all the smoke flow was on the OR. side of the river. Bingo!

Maybe I should do a blog on this issue since it is not going away.

Mike Godsey
Weatherflow



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20775

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windfind wrote:
The epiphany occurred on a crappy smoky Wall day. Even though the fire was on the WA side miles west of The Wall all the smoke was on the OR. side of the river. Bingo!

Thanks for the great, although dismaying, explanation, Mike. We see the same effect way too often at Roosevelt, with the Arlington sensor showing WIND and our eyes seeing nuthin' but hundreds of yards of "Yeah, right!". I used to swim those hundreds of yards (close to a thousand some days) to reach the wind line, play for a few hours, then swim or buttsail back, but that's not an option for me anymore (thus my periodic requests for a sensor on Roosevelt's east jetty, on Corps property, right at the threshold in the optimal wind direction.)

We appreciate and encourage your forecasters' efforts to warn us of this, as it often makes or breaks making the drive. MAN, but I miss those endless days of solid filled-in 4.0 before sunrise at the Hatchery and the evenings when Roosevelt just HUMMED at 30.0 mph until we had to use the park's sodium light to find our way back! Those days used to happen as often as Hatchery dawn patrols.

Sadly, they still do.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1798

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

I should have mentioned that long ago I sent a message to Isobars ask for his recollection about the average marine layer depth long log ago back in the 3.5 magazine days.

He sent a useful and lengthy reply that confirmed what I was seeing in the satellite archives and helped push me into researching this wind change issue.

Mike F, I lost a lot of old mail with all the problems with gorge.net. If you still have that you sent letter I would appreciate looking at it again.

Mike Godsey
Weatherflow
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20775

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this what you're looking for, from Sept 2016?
Hi Mike (G),

I’ll be glad to contribute what I can, but realize that I focus primarily on just two facets of the weather: others’ forecasts and the wind on the water. I don’t have the knowledge or motivation to analyze charts beyond mm5 or 9-panel products, and sail almost exclusively at Roosevelt (I try to catch every sailable session from early April through about Thanksgiving) with occasional sessions at Rufus. I’ve all but abandoned the corridor for MANY reasons. I’ll address what numbers I can.

1. Changes in the average west coast marine layer depth and its inland intrusion.

I almost never get to the coast any more (too many skunks despite good forecasts), but I think I see the effects of inland intrusion. In 2014 and 2015, at least, we got primarily single-day, “drive-by”, brief frontal blasts out east; I very seldom stayed overnight. In 2016 I’ve already had an unprecedented three 8-day stays with wind (i.e., several hours averaging > 20 mph) almost every day and much cooler nights (I go home if it’s much over 70 degrees at bedtime.)

2. Changing frequency of upper troughs & shortwaves passing near the Gorge.

I pay little attention to that level of detail. To estimate the wind profile of an approaching front, for example, I read between the lines of the forecasts and watch the wind profile as it passes Stevenson, then the corridor, then Maryhill. I have to be pretty desperate to drive and rig for a one-hour blast of unknown strength.

3. Decreased frequency of "dawn patrols" in the Gorge and the fading of winds in the Bay Area at sites that depend up a higher elevation gap in the coast range for winds.

This one really hits home, so this response is long.
I bought and built up a van expressly for chasing wind from Port Kelley to Florence 3 to 6 months every year, and did exactly that from 1988 through 1999 before moving from Albuquerque to Kennewick. My primary home base was in my van at Michael Low’s home in an orchard in the Hood River Heights, where I set my alarm for predawn. If I heard wind, I’d be parked at the Hatchery before there was enough glow to gauge the whitecaps. I’d rig by the sound of the wind and be on the water before sunup. THAT’S Dawn Patrol to me, and it happened 2 to 4 days per week much of the summer, except for the hot doldrums. (My respite was the coast and/or Jones Beach if they were lit. Jones Beach could be magic for many successive days in August when the Corridor roasted.) I’d sail, re-rig, and eat until dusk if the wind allowed, catching some Zs during the midday lull if it was that severe. I often sailed (or rip-slogged) past sunset, THEN fixed and ate supper. Dead days throughout the PacNW were welcome rest breaks and an incentive to sail as long as wind and daylight coincided. My primary rule was “Drive as far east as I can and still find wind”, and I often had Doug’s/Rufus/Roosevelt to myself on my smallest gear before iWindsurf, but only if I had gotten enough sleep to make the drive safely. Alas, THAT Hatchery dawn patrol is very rare now.

4. Long term changes in the quality of the winds in the Gorge e.g. abrupt changes in wind direction and/or velocity.

I hear it’s worsened in the corridor. I go there so seldom any more that I can’t verify that, although that has been my (limited) experience, too. This is not for publication, but I’ve had my fill of chop and would rather sail a 5.2 out east than a 3.7 in the Corridor. I choose my sail materials and design to round off the square leading edges of the biggest gusts, so they now seem SMOOTHER rather than harsher. I also sail upwind and downwind more than I used to, so wind backs and veers are actually useful to me even if they chop up the swell for a while. On the really flukey days when we got nuthin’ BUT chop, I choose to sail less. I haven’t noticed any change in those days’ frequency.

5. Long term average temperature changes in the coastal ocean waters and marine layer depth.

Some of my best days at the coast were in heavy fog, so I just dressed for the occasion. I’ve worn everything from a steamer to a neoprene dry suit OVER a steamer at Newport, for example. I don’t monitor ocean temps.

6. Long term changes in the average location of the North Pacific High relative to Bay Area and Gorge winds.

Again, I go when it blows with little -- not NO; little -- regard to why. I understand its importance to wind quality and duration, but I drive the hour to Roosevelt even for crappy wind, so the NPH is just icing on the cake. Its primary effect is on how long I pack to stay.

windfind wrote:
long ago I sent a message to Isobars ask for his recollection about the average marine layer depth long log ago back in the 3.5 magazine days.

He sent a useful and lengthy reply that confirmed what I was seeing in the satellite archives and helped push me into researching this wind change issue.

Mike F, I lost a lot of old mail with all the problems with gorge.net. If you still have that you sent letter I would appreciate looking at it again.

Mike Godsey
Weatherflow
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BenSailFaster



Joined: 18 May 1999
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:26 pm    Post subject: Wish we still had the cloud line!! Reply with quote

What I miss from even the Classic version is the location of the cloud line. That’ pretty critical information to lose.
WHAT HAPPENED?
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1798

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoom and play: https://wx.iwindsurf.com/map#45.66,-121.548,8,6
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