May the 10th and it's Extremely Windy and too Windy for Teaching!
Read on if you are a bit of a weather geek and interested to know how we make the decision of when it is suitable to run kitesurfing lessons, and when it isn't suitable to run lessons. We've included lots of handy links to weather and tide websites.
We made the decision to postpone lessons today due to the very high wind forecast for Worthing from the Met Office website of up to 50 mile per hour gusts, combined with the steadily increasing windspeed this morning which I checked on the Another Hard Day at the Office website. Gavin Baylis does a great job of giving an overview of the conditions, and there are also real time stats to view, giving you the actual wind on the water, and also enabling you to view the general trend. Other websites that I check for the wind forecast are WindGURU, Magic Seaweed and the good old BBC, but all three of these didn't forecast the very high gusts that have come through this afternoon, it's been an average 35 miles per hour out there for the last hour (it's 5.30pm now), and the highest gust recorded was 48 miles per hour at 4.50pm. It's good to look at more than one website, to get a feel for what might happen with the wind.
It's also important to consider the sea state, and as we are still on a relatively high neap tide, the tide wouldn't be very far out even at low tide, this means the sea will be flatter for less time at low tide, and become wavey again faster, and more obviously that there is less space and exposed sand on the beach for launching and landing. You are therefore closer to any potential launching and landing hazards, such as rocks and groynes. On a Spring tide however the water goes out further, so there is more space on the beach and flatter water at low tide. I usually just check Easytide for tides and I like the graphical representation of high and low tide, so it's easy to see when the Neap and Spring tides are, though you must remember to add an hour on to these times for British Summer Time, so if I am feeling lazy I'll look at Magic Seaweed as they do this for you!
Author: Christine Johnston