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Kiteboarding & Weather In Florida Presented by Rick Iossi Florida Kitesurfing Association, Inc. Jan. 30, 2008 Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Kiteboarding & Weather In Florida Presented by Rick Iossi Florida Kitesurfing Association, Inc. Jan. 30, 2008 Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kiteboarding & Weather In Florida Presented by Rick Iossi Florida Kitesurfing Association, Inc. Jan. 30, 2008 Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

2 Introduction 1.Quest for “Useable Weather” 2.Matching wind speed, gust range, direction, wave height, current, temperature and CONSISTENCY To you, your gear, skills, experience and realistic expectations and that of your buddy. 3.Less “Useable” Weather (Wx)  more hassle & Hazard. 4.AVOID Weather Hazards. 5.Carefully evaluate  in doubt, don’t go out! 6.Deteriorating Conditions  Land & Secure Early 7.Screw up and get caught out  EMERGENCY DEPOWER NOW, self-rescue ! 8.No session is worth your health or life Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

3 Introduction (Con’t.) New to kiting, AVOID: - Onshore & Offshore winds - Winds >18 kts. - Gusts > 5 kts., less is better -Storms or squalls -Excessive waves (over 2-3 ft.) -Adverse currents -Hypothermic waters Carefully build experience in reasonable conditions Taking lessons on the Flats with follow up Sea Taxi rides after the course to accelerate learning in safer environment Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

4 Why Is Understanding Weather Important? 1.Less waiting, frustration, faster learning, MORE FUN! 2.Reduce odds of hassles, pain, broken gear, incidents, accidents, even death 3.2000 To July 2006, 52 kiteboarders were lost worldwide* 4.67% were taken by lofting** with 52% in squalls 5.Majority of losses are weather related 6.Compare to paragliding, diving 7.Thousands of similar non-fatal kiting accidents 8.Why didn’t they Emergency Depower??? 9.Three “A’s” - (Awareness, Appreciation, Avoidance) * 76 kiters have been lost as of 1.30.08 **Lofting = being involuntarily lifted and blown downwind, possibly at very high speed Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

5 Cold Fronts 1.Bring best winds 2.May not come south during warm months 3.May not make it to South Florida in winter 4.October To May! 5.Some better than others 6.Zero to about three fronts per week Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

6 Cold Fronts (Con’t.) 7. Frontal wind “clocks” 8. Blow west, go west 9. Blow east, go east 10. Hit the Keys flats for all the above 11. Cold fronts bring best winds with common hazards 12. Time ETA to half hour? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

7 Cold Front Kiting Hazards 1.Wet front squall lines 2.Dry fronts sometimes megaboost wind! 3.90 degree gusty wind shift COMMON, knowing timing can be critical (change to offshore?) 4.Cold Fronts are COLD, timing change & dealing with hypothermia 5.Estimate ETA via Radar, Satellite loops, real time wind 6.DO NOT kite through arrival of squall lines or powerful dry fronts. 7.Land and secure until unstable zone is past 8.Rig & dress for actual sustained winds after Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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9 Subtropical &Tropical Systems 1.Typical May through October 2.Tropical waves, depressions, storms and hurricanes 3.All COMMONLY have powerful squalls 4.Squalls often predictable via warnings, radar, satellite images and visual observations 5.Squall gusts can be extremely powerful (gusting to 40, 50, 60 and 70 mph+) 6.Don’t wait, faster than reaction 7.Direction changes and dying wind 8.Wind lust vs. Tropical Systems 9.Newer kiters should avoid tropical system winds Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

10 800 ft. long, 100 ft. high lofting in 51 kt. gust in Cabarete, D.R. Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

11 Subtropical &Tropical Systems (Con’t.) 8.Experienced kiters accepting higher risk of injury  may look for LARGE clear holes free of storms, coming in before they hit 9.Monitor satellite, radar and realtime winds upweather at beach 10.Hurricanes bring unique hazards 11.Squall inbound  land, secure before change in speed, direction or temperature, ACT EARLY 12.Got caught out (dumb screwup)  immediately Emergency Depower & self rescue 13.Lucky 13, ignore squalls at your peril, it’s a numbers game. Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

12 Thermal Winds 1.Happen anytime including winter 2.More common on mainland in summer 3.Wind Lust MAX’D & Caution at LOW 4.Hard to predict, patchy 5.Often sideshore 10 to 20 mph 6.Thermal Squalls march to ocean, winds build 7.Lightning, gust hazard, radar is poor predictor 8.Secure early & shelter from lightning Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

13 Thermal Winds (Con’t.) 7. See thermal squalls coming 8. Wind localized at coast 9. Wind starts late am to late afternoon 10. Watch out for the wind drop and direction shift when thermals shut off around sunset 11. Kiters & gear adrift! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

14 Weather Planning And Monitoring VERY important for all kiteboarders. What conditions to Find & Avoid? Wind speed, gust range and direction Waves Current Temperature What are the guys flying and how’s it going? Visual Wx change? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

15 Weather Planning I. Marine & hazard forecasts II. National weather map III. Color radar & satellite loops IV. Real time winds here, upweather Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

16 I. Hazard & marine forecast http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/ High, gusty wind, lightning, waterspouts predicted, when and where? How much and changes predicted? “Useable weather” match or no? Better conditions within driving distance? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

17 II. National Forecast Map- http://www.nws.noaa.gov/outlook_tab.php 1. Long view of big picture 2. Systems inbound? 3. How soon? Loop it Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

18 II. National Forecast Map (Con’t.) 4. ETA impacted by other systems 5. Tropical systems get lost for weeks. 6. Big gradient  Big wind 7. Wind parallels isobars Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

19 III. Check color radar – http://nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php http://nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php 1. Storm cells inbound? (red, orange, yellow, dk. green), est. direction & speed 2. County away or more is better 3. Does front have squall line, how wide, fast & nasty? 4. Poor predictor of thermal squalls Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

20 III. Check radar (Con’t.) 5. Holes and Risk?! 6. Squalls at light speed & reaction 7. Monitor radar, satellite, hazard forecast & realtime wind on beach Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

21 III. Check radar (Con’t.) 8. “A dinky radar dot on a vast ocean” 9. NWS doesn’t track everything including small storms a few miles across that can clean your clock 10. Conclusion  It is up to “us” to watch out for Wx hazards through proper training, weather planning and monitoring! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

22 4. Realtime winds locally & up weather http://www.ikitesurf.com/ Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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24 IV. Realtime winds locally and up weather (Con’t.) 1. Useable ? (speed, gusts, direction) 2. Violent spikes, direction changes, 90 degree shift 3. What’s up weather? 4. What is behind the leading edge? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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26 Repeating - Weather Planning & Monitoring I. Marine & hazard forecasts II. National weather map III. Color radar & satellite loops IV. Real time winds here, up weather Do this before each session. Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

27 Weather Monitoring At Beach 1.Measure Wind speed & look around 2.What’s flying, how’s it doing? 3.Comparing “C” vs. “Flat” kite sizes 4.Shoot for low to moderate wind range 5.Don’t rig too big! 6.Wind lines, white water, clouds 7.Always be aware  act early 8.Change coming? Land and secure BEFORE wind velocity, direction or air temp. change 9.Best deflate & roll kite, or lines off and anchor well Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

28 Cloud Identification Video Time! Something dark this way comes … More can be found at: http://www.weatherscapes.com/gallery.php?cat=clouds http://spotterguides.us/basic/basic02.htm Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

29 Clouds and Unstable Weather Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

30 Waves - http://magicseaweed.com/ -Wind makes waves -Height vs. wind speed, duration, fetch, depth, etc. -Longer and stronger the bigger the waves -Wave height vs. shallows -Florida Bay, Florida Reef Tract & Waves -Cuba & Bahamian Plateau and waves Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

31 Waves (Con’t.) -Wind offshore to sideshore, waves slow to build nearshore -Distant storms and ground swells -Regional winds and chop -Blowing down waves -Blowing against current  steep waves -Wind against Florida Current  Whoppers -Wind against tidal current  sudden chop -NW wind and refracted groundswells -Waves and new kiters -Nearshore breaks  BREAK, especially onshore ! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

32 AVOID Squalls & Rigging Too BIG! From : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIdmk58KXt

33 AVOID Squalls & Rigging Too BIG! -What did he do wrong? -How could you tell he was rigged too big? -How long did he have to Emergency Depower vs. How long did it take him to be ripped into land? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

34 AVOID Squalls & Rigging Too BIG! REMEMBER … 1. AVOID squalls & unstable weather 2. Have to rig too big?  Blow off session! 3. EMERGENCY DEPOWER early  BEFORE overpowered! 4. Self-rescue using minor flotation of impact vest 5. Kiteboarding & watermanship 5. Practice, practice, PRACTICE Emergency Depowering physically and mentally 6. Touch QR, think about “what if …” frequently! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

35 Weather & Related Hazards Excessively strong and gusty winds Light winds Offshore & side offshore winds Wind direction changes Excessively cold or warm conditions Lightning Waves Current Darkness 1.UNDERSTAND factors, what brings and changes them 2.KNOW your limits and stay within them 3.If you are new to an area, research and talk to locals FIRST! 4.KNOW how to evaluate these conditions, look up forecasts and the signs of change 5.Be conservative in your planning and allow for error 6.Far more accidents happen in ONSHORE winds! 7.Avoid offshore & side off winds, due to lulls, gusts and drift when kite drops Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

36 Weather & Related Hazards (Con’t.) 6. Dress for unexpected 7. Hydrate, use block, in cold take regular warm-up breaks, stay near shore 8.Dry suits in Northern Florida to Central Florida. 4/3 wetsuits are worn even in the Keys in extreme fronts for longer exposures. 9.Exposure clothing function of air/water temp.exposure time, wind speed, preference and your condition that day 10.Flotation important in hypothermic waters 11.Hypothermic conditions, Partner & people onshore need to monitor your status 12.Use safety gear (good helmet, vest, knife(s), ID at a minimum). Signaling and communications gear can help too. Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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38 Further Reading Thunderstorms - http://www.weatherbuff.com/Pages/t-storms.htmlhttp://www.weatherbuff.com/Pages/t-storms.html Tropical Storm Dennis - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=637http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=637 Lots of photos and weather data of a "Wet" Cold Front that hit the Islamorada Invitational KB Comp. - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=5643 http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=5643 Thermal Winds - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=4106http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=4106 Kiteboarding Fatality Analysis, 2000 - June 2005 - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=4125http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=4125 Summer Squall In Pompano - http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=743http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=743 Lightning, Static Discharges & Kiting http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=669http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=669 Onshore winds, too large a kite, squalls -> 600 ft. lofting in Jupiter - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=2732http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=2732 Shannon Best of Best Kiteboarding lofted 80 ft. inland in summer squall - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=63- http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=63 (and more serious weather that developed the next day) - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=62http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=62 Summer squalls hit three counties in SE Florida in one afternoon - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=1944http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=1944 Dry Cold front Kiting Incident - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=372http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=372 800 ft. "lofting” - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=667http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=667 First "Lofting” - http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=135http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=135 Hypothermia & Kiting – http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2298333http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2298333 And tons more at: http://fksa.org/ and http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131http://fksa.org/http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131 Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

39 Nite! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

40 Questions? Visit http://fksa.org/http://fksa.org/ Email flkitesurfer@hotmail.comflkitesurfer@hotmail.com Enjoy the Wind and Ocean, Kite Safe. Thank you! Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

41 Weather Planning Exercise Questions: 1.How do prospects look for riding off Smathers Beach, Key West tomorrow morning, Thursday, 1.31.08? 2.What sort of system is moving in? What is the predicted wind range, direction, rain potential and apparent squall potential around Key West for tomorrow morning, at this advanced time? 3.What can you conclude from the current wind graph about conditions at Smathers for tomorrow? Is there much meaningful information about up weather wind conditions at this point? 4.Why do you need to look at all these sites again tomorrow morning? Copyright FKA, Inc. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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