when is it windy?

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by happyhunter, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. happyhunter

    happyhunter New Member

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    When is the best time of day and time of year to go sailing?? I've been out 4 times in the last 2 weeks (just got my boat) and it has been rather dead. I have heard it is less windy in the evening. I have heard the dog days of summer are more still than springish and fallish times of the year. Are these general truths or just old sailors tales?

    BTW I sail in Pennsylvania which I sure will affect answers to my questions.

    Thanks,
    HH
    ________
    synthetic weed
     
  2. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    HH,

    Wind strength varies from area to area, season, weather systems, and time of day,
    but if you live in PA, most of the summer winds are going to be out of the south east to the north west and mid-morning to late afternoon when the air is warmer will generally yield the best sailing wind. You can indeed get days or even weeks where the wind is very light and you have to wait for a stronger weather front to bring in better sailing wind. However, even when there is no front moving through your area, you will get thermal winds as hot air rises from the surface of the land and water and the surrounding air is sucked into the void. These thermal winds are usually very shifty, but can yield decent sailing nevertheless.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY(Upstate Finger Lakes area)
     
  3. 132711

    132711 Member

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    I can agree with you, PA has been pretty unlucky lately. Where in PA are you?
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    To add to Al's weather behavior profile, you can look at the historic trends for where you sail by looking back into your regions climate data. Of course this look just gives you general expectations for seasons, months, and maybe weeks.


    [​IMG]
    NOAA

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    There are also sailing weather services that give a closer look at many sailing venues.


    If the lake or shore you sail lies near an airport, you may find reports from there which would be very near what you'd find on the water.

    In rural areas the NWS (National Weather Service) has a system of remote sensing stations called RAWS (Remote Area Weather Station). Learning this system and finding stations around where you sail can provide some awsome real-time wind information. An agency that uses RAWS and has information pages is the Forest Service Fire Weather web.

    .
     
  5. jjkabel

    jjkabel New Member

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    I've been closely watching the predictions from Sailflow.com for my two main sailing areas (London, ON and southern Lake Huron). The "Wind Forecast" map has been generally in the best agreement with the actual development of the wind direction and speed this summer so far. Bear in mind that conditions will still change even after you leave for the lake, so speeds might fall off a bit more than forecast. But directions generally have stayed correct.

    The Wind Forecast chart is free.

    For Pennsylvania, I would suggest that late afternoons and evenings will usually see a gradual drop in wind speed compared to mid-afternoon on anything other than a very small lake. This is when the switch between sea- and land-breezes occurs, and this effect is seen a lot when the weather is very warm as it has been in the Great Lakes basin this past few weeks. Sailflow will clearly show you some of these effects.

    "Windy" for my 'fish is defined as 8 knots or better. Anything less is not sailing, just getting wafted about . . .
     
  6. happyhunter

    happyhunter New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll check out the websites.

    I sail at Pinchot State Park in York county.
    ________
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  7. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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  8. happyhunter

    happyhunter New Member

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    Isn't Pinchot Lake narrow and surrounded by trees?

    Yeah it is. Certainly not the optimum place to sail. People there tell me there is a dead spot in the middle of it. I have not sailed enough to determine that. I have been there 4 times in the past couple weeks, mostly in the evening and it has been dead. But the wind has been pretty dead all over around here, not just Pinchot.

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  9. uid100

    uid100 New Member

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    Right before this picture was taken.
     

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  10. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    A Fun Sail is scheduled for tomorrow:

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/view_event.asp?CalendarID=13114&Location=List

     
  11. happyhunter

    happyhunter New Member

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    Yeah the local club is hosting that. I am not a member and have only been up there a few weeks. So, I don't know if I will participate in that or not.

    I do want to get up and do some sailing this weekend. The weather forecast for Sat is about 8 to 10mph, sunny high of 90.
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