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post #11 of 18 Old 09-24-2008 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
I use SailFlow. They were off for Lk. St. Clair Sunday, but not that far off. And, IIRC, they had the direction right. (I use the St. Clair buoy data, mostly.)

We took friends out Sunday. Perfect day for a sail out there! Put the #3 up and a reef in the main. With 1' seas it was a very pleasant ride. Later on, as our guests became more comfortable with the idea of heeling and the wind dropped from about 15 kts down to 12 kts or so, I shook out the reef.

Jim
Which Lake St Clair were you on Sunday?
We went out from 10 Mile east past the St Clair light, basicly the middle of the lake around 1pm. Winds were 18 to 22 with a gust to 30. Around 5pm it slowed down to about 15 for about a 15 minutes and then picked back up to 18 to 22.
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-25-2008
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I use Windmapper, find it is usually close if not right on the money.

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Wind Map - Great Lakes United States


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post #13 of 18 Old 09-25-2008
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Thanks for the links everybody, but I trust them about as much as the next guy. We use wunderground, its the same info that you find on NOAA, but I think its more user friendly.

I like the windmapper. Alex had a site he posted about a year ago that was very nice as well.
Don't remember the name right now.


WHAT gets me is the observations that NOAA broadcast on the VHF.
Forecast are one thing, but half the time their observations and my observations are two differnt things.

An example I remebember well, sailing in SW winds, clearly SW at about 15knots and building to very gusty and over 20. Listening to the radio, "Some Local Marine Obsevations", They had light West winds from three local observation points, all of which I was no more than 5 -10 miles away from. It was more than an hour later when we were finally passing the Milwaukee breakwall that they corrected there observations. I think there is a least an hour lapse time in what they are observing, and by that time they could be off again.

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post #14 of 18 Old 09-25-2008
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Which Lake St Clair were you on Sunday?
The kinda heart-shaped one east of S.E. Michigan .

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We went out from 10 Mile east past the St Clair light, basicly the middle of the lake around 1pm. Winds were 18 to 22 with a gust to 30. Around 5pm it slowed down to about 15 for about a 15 minutes and then picked back up to 18 to 22.
We were north and west of the St. Clair light the entire time. We were out from about 14:00 thru 17:00 or so (not incl. motoring time in and out of Black Creek, etc.). We never saw anything approaching 20 kts, on puffs or otherwise. The St. Clair Buoy (which I think is the St. Clair light) said winds during that time were pretty-much steady at 12-15 kts, which is about what I would've guessed.

Before and after the sail, we were in and around the north end of Venetian. Didn't look anything like 20 kts, much less gusts to 30, then, either.

Jim
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-25-2008
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We hae the same problems with weather forecasting in Green Bay, despite the fact that NOAA has a weather forecasting center in Green Bay, WI. It all became very clear what the problem was when I learned that the weather center doesn't have so much as 1 window they can look out of.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-25-2008 Thread Starter
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That's a pretty amazing difference. We were out at the same time and only about 5 miles apart on open waters with little to affect the wind except you were closer to shore. But we still had high teens at the dock, I remember vividly the pucker factor of yet another high wind docking.


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The kinda heart-shaped one east of S.E. Michigan .

We were north and west of the St. Clair light the entire time. We were out from about 14:00 thru 17:00 or so (not incl. motoring time in and out of Black Creek, etc.). We never saw anything approaching 20 kts, on puffs or otherwise. The St. Clair Buoy (which I think is the St. Clair light) said winds during that time were pretty-much steady at 12-15 kts, which is about what I would've guessed.

Before and after the sail, we were in and around the north end of Venetian. Didn't look anything like 20 kts, much less gusts to 30, then, either.

Jim
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-26-2008
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The reliability of wind and wx predictions varies. Sometimes, if you can hear or read the more complete forecast, they will tell you what confidence factor they have in the forecast. But if you learn to read the weather maps with all those nasty lines and fronts on them--you can get a much better idea of the reliability yourself, for your area.

I know, from observation, that if the weather is moving in from "this" direction, it will move in reliabily--unless there's an occluded front, or something moving up the coast, or a stalled whatever out the other way to complicate things. And if the whether is coming from the opposite direction--I know it is way less reliable.

Stick me down a thousand miles away, and I don't have the reference frame to draw on anymore, it gets way harder to guess.

But that's also part of sailing. Take whatever you're dealt, make lemonade from the lemons, and just keep your head up for squall lines and flashbangs. Squalls I'll often chance, getting zapped I won't. (I float well, but I'm not fireproof.)
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-26-2008
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That's a pretty amazing difference. We were out at the same time and only about 5 miles apart on open waters with little to affect the wind except you were closer to shore. But we still had high teens at the dock, I remember vividly the pucker factor of yet another high wind docking.
That's Lake St. Stupid for you, I guess.

Lessee... We left the slip at 13:30 or so, I guess? No problem. Got back into the slip about 18;00 or so? I would've known if the winds had been high enough to be an issue, because we've found out the hard way that the wind really tends to blow Abracadabra's bow around. Nope: It was easy out, easy in.

Then again: Depending on wind direction, we're pretty sheltered up there at the north end of Venetian .

Jim
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