Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Being the weatherperson

Kayaking according Paddle Canada is more than just about paddling.  It includes weather awareness because weather is an important element in the exercise of good judgement for when to paddle and when to stay ashore.

On day paddles, being aware of the weather is as simple as checking out the weather forecast(s).  On longer trips local weather forecasts may not be available and the kayaker must try to come up with a best guess forecast.

So, I'm going to do a month long study of weather patterns with the hope of educating myself to a rudimentary level of weather prediction.

The above shot is the current weather systems affecting us on April 30 from The WeatherNetwork.  I'm adding a shot of each days weather system map to a Word document and tracking their movement.

Then I add a shot from SmartBay showing the wind speed and direction.

Winds rotate clockwise around a high pressure system (in the northern hemisphere).  The shot of the wind speed and barbs confirm the alignment of weather systems in the top shot.

I document current wind speeds and wind speeds forecast for the following four days.  That reflects the WeatherNetworks meteorologists predictions of system movements.  I also document cloud conditions and cloud formations that I observe.

I've got three days data saved but so far nothing exciting is happening because of the blocking high pressure system that's keeping air masses in place.

Knowing that weather systems generally track from west or southwest to east or northeast will be the key to predicting weather for the next day or couple of days.  Thereby, avoiding tricky conditions like two and three meter waves.

Often the weatherperson is wrong so I don't expect to be 100% accurate all the time but being a bit more educated doesn't hurt and its better than launching totally oblivious to what the weather may do.

Thirty days, should be enlightening and fun.

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