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Old 08-19-2008, 11:21 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Arrow IMPT. - Weather Planning & Monitoring Tutorial - ONE SOLUTION

The attached Power Point presentation was prepared for Kite U. I feel it is important to get these concept out to kiteboarders at large and wanted to make it available to all kiters. I strongly encourage all kiteboarders to view this presentation and consider the information therein.

There is no reason why these sort of severe kiteboarding weather accidents need to happen. Weather hazards are often fairly easily anticipated and avoided. "Weather Planning & Monitoring" is how to work at doing just that.

Click to download Powerpoint presentation (10.2 M file):

KITEBOARDING WEATHER & MONITORING TUTORIAL
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Last edited by RickI; 08-22-2008 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:00 PM
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Here's a much shorter version of Weather Planning & Monitoring. You really should read and consider the longer version as well.

1. Kiters should check forecasts including hazard warnings, realtime winds (in the area and upweather), color radar and satellite imagery to assess the odds of storms impacting a session. What are the wind speeds and current trends upweather?

Visit the following post and other weather sites to see what is going on:

Weather Resources For ...
(there are posts like this for each portion of Florida on this site)

Are current conditions useable? Are forecast and actual winds suitable for your experience and gear? What are other kiters on and how are they doing and does that jive with inbound conditions? Are good conditions inbound, if so roughly when? Are current good conditions to go into the dumpster? If so, again, roughly when? Is there a cold front coming, does it have a violent squall line or just a big boost in wind speed? Has the cold front shifted winds upweather if so what will that do to conditions at your launch, i.e. shift wind offshore? If so, how bad and roughly when? Use your head to figure out when the odds for a session are better, waste less time and frustration wind waiting! You can time the arrival of cold fronts at times to the half hour using these aids. If you expect a change for the better or worse, be on the lookout for it. In tropical weather season with fast changes the norm, having a person onshore monitoring wind, radar imagery and ready to call kiters in is done in a number of areas.


2. If visible squalls are inbound and/or show up in radar/satellite imagery, kiters should be on the beach with their kites secured, ideally put away before winds change direction, speed or the temperature drops. Runaway kites have done damage in past squalls. ACT EARLY particularly if in doubt. So many accidents happened after guys were just a few seconds too late. You never want to be the last one in.


3. AVOID SQUALLS, NEVER PLAN TO RIDE THROUGH THEM. If squalls are all over the place with a tropical system or afternoon thermals with no adequate clear holes of useable stable conditions, blow off kiting. Are the holes between squalls large and stable enough to allow as session or is it too risky? Squalls can move faster than a mile a minute and can vomit gales of wind many miles ahead of the squall line. Make sure you have an adequate buffer between you and the hazardous weather. Squalls will sometimes kill the wind for a short time and then cast down massive winds shortly after. Don't be lulled into rigging bigger or even going out. Often enough they pass by quickly. Sit out the dodgy bits and enjoy the good parts.


4. Do not try to ride out a squall with a kite up. If you are too late to land, totally Emergency Depower your kite EARLY before gusty winds arrive, don't wait as seconds may count. Regularly practice Emergency Depowering physically and mentally to combat the likelihood of failing to react quickly in an emergency.

NOTE: You may be able to ride out some squalls by keeping your kite low and plastered to the surface using major bar pressure. You may be dragged in this process. Some squalls will pluck you off the water or land despite this and slam you into whatever to live, be severely injured or die. You never know how strong the winds will be in advance. Kill the kite power totally EARLY.

5. Be ready to set your kite completely free if it fails to properly depower without delay.


6. Wear proper safety gear including a good helmet, impact vest, hook knife, gloves, etc..


7. Jump to help kiters with landing particularly if unstable weather is inbound. Seconds and good communication can count for a lot.


Some riders get a second chance and some aren't as fortunate. Is a questionable session worth the possible destruction of your kite, loss of income from work for several months, painful and costly rehabilitation, permanent impairment, perhaps paralysis, loss of access for yourself and friends and perhaps your death? Is any session worth taking away access from other kiters at your launch through an avoidable accident or incident?
You can apply these simple steps with the aid of the weather planning posts in the various forums for SE/Keys, SW, Tampa Bay, NW and NE Florida such as at:

SE Florida and the Keys
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6734

Tampa Bay
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=5277

SW Florida
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6737

NW Florida
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6739

NE Florida
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=6738



Why wind wait for frontal winds when you can guess the ETA, sometimes within a half hour?
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Last edited by RickI; 09-19-2009 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:40 PM
conchxpress conchxpress is offline
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Default kiteweather

Rick, I couldn't open the file because it was in the ppt format. I have a mac. Any suggestions?

Frank
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:48 PM
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I think KeyNote opens power points files.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by conchxpress View Post
Rick, I couldn't open the file because it was in the ppt format. I have a mac. Any suggestions?

Frank
Ouch, that is what I used to create it and put it up. Powerpoint is a Windows application. I just did some checking and it looks like the following Neo Office free download will allow you to view .ppt files at: http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/index.php

Let me know if this works. If necessary I can upload it as a pdf losing the Powerpoint bells and whistles but it will still be readable.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:06 PM
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Keynote and Neo should both work.
I used Keynote.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:43 PM
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A practical example of this approach to weather planning and monitoring came up in the Carolinas today with TS Hanna. Here is what went up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard
Around 2pm today.

All kiters were experienced.

Thanks, lets go through a quick exercise for earlier TODAY, not tomorrow as it looks to hazardous to me. First the sat. image, you might find something better for your area with closer resolution:




Then the forecast:

AMZ158-052015-
S OF CAPE LOOKOUT TO N OF SURF CITY NC OUT 20 NM-
1215 PM EDT FRI SEP 5 2008

TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN EFFECT
HURRICANE WATCH IN EFFECT


REST OF TODAY
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED WITH HURRICANE
CONDITIONS POSSIBLE. E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT INCREASING TO 30 TO 35 KT
WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 50 KT. SEAS 9 TO 12 FT DOMINANT PERIOD 11
SECONDS. SHOWERS WITH ISOLATED TSTMS.

TONIGHT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED WITH HURRICANE
CONDITIONS POSSIBLE. E WINDS 35 TO 40 KT...BECOMING SE 40 TO 50 KT
AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH GUSTS UP TO 65 KT. SEAS 13 TO 16 FT DOMINANT
PERIOD 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS WITH ISOLATED TSTMS.

SAT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS
POSSIBLE. SW WINDS 35 TO 45 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 65
KT...DECREASING TO 55 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 14 TO 17 FT.
SHOWERS WITH ISOLATED TSTMS IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF
SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/zone/east/mhxmz.htm

Next, check the local realtime wind, see below. I would check a bunch of these up and down weather of your riding area. If the wind was spiking out of squalls, best to stay in. If the forecast gusts are in the squalls, make doubly sure to stay well away from them!



If the holes were large enough for a few hours minimum and it looked rideable between for your skill level, maybe it would have been feasible to have a go. Tomorrow looks like no go to me from the sustained winds and gusts forecast. Lots of powerful squalls in there as well no doubt. Guys may well go but some might be mauled, laid up for months or even killed. The media will no doubt attend the misadventure with glee.

Next, let's look at the radar around that time.








You can see a couple of feeder bands sweep in. Those are the things you want your kite on the ground, very well anchored, lines off and ideally rolled up before the squall comes close. The gap between the feeder bands is a "hole." Is the hole large enough to allow kiteboarding? I prefer a several hour hole, minimum otherwise I blow off riding. To answer that you need to guess at how fast the bands are moving, you can estimate that from the radar loop;

http://tinyurl.com/zp4fp

It may have been moving too fast, I have no idea at this point it's too late. At only an hour apart though, it looks like the hole in this case was TOO SMALL. Then you need to see how clear the clear area is of small fragmented squalls. Something the size of a pinhead can wreck your day so be careful not to discount them. In this case there seems to have been a lot of fragments floating around.

If it looks like you can get out for long enough and get in from CURRENT (things change!) indications (SEVERAL hours minimum) and you're prepared to Emergency Depower soonest even if it means a swim, your skills are up for it, you may decide to have a go. Keep your eyes open for weather moving in and be sure to beat it to shore and secure before any change in temperature, wind speed, direction, etc. If you screw up and can't make it, Emergency Depower right away. Some areas are closed out while other areas may have higher winds with no squalls or unstable winds. Some guys may have rideable winds at sometimes and not at other times.

Best course isn't to go out at all in tropical or still powerful former tropical systems but if you are dying to go, have required skill and experience (and don't mind dying if you screw up badly, odds are up right?), you might have at it. Safety gear can help with everything from self rescue, to mild bonks to signaling for help if need be btw. If you are careful this can substantially improve things, if you're careless the opposite applies, don't go. If you can't be bothered to try to do effective weather planning and monitoring, DO NOT go out in areas influenced by tropical systems. Going unaware places you on par with lowing cattle in the field, oblivious to incoming lightning, munching cud and contemplating global warming, mooo ?

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Posted at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.p...sd=a&start=130
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:44 PM
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and ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI
I used this last weekend in SE Florida for a few sessions and never even saw a squall much less had to boot in to avoid one. Some guys monitor radar at the launch and have an effective "all in" signal to bring riders in before wx hazards arrive. A number of other areas in Florida were getting slammed at the same time and weren't rideable in my opinion. That is how it goes, sometimes there are useable holes and sometimes not.. Been using similar approaches for many years with reasonable results. Other times, like around Kevin's accident, it wasn't on for realistic kiting, it was that simple. Restraint in all things, if conditions don't look good for your skill level or aren't sufficiently free of weather hazards, don't go.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:42 PM
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Moved things around in this post. A shorter weather planning and monitoring version appears in the second post above along with links to resources for various parts of Florida.
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