celly wrote:How accurate are wind observations? Is there a length of time where predictions are pretty much useless (ex. over 3 days). And what sites do you use to see when your next kiting session is going down? Im from Canada and use localkitespots and sailflow, any other reliable sources you could share with a new kiter?
They can be extremely accurate - as well as almost useless
Observation stations are sometimes located "not perfect", so even in onshore winds there can be shadowing so they show less, especially in some wind directions.
Although, they aim for being up at ten meters height, with free wind.
But not always the case...
Other stations can have a ridge, from a building or trees or similar, that will in fact accelerate the wind speed, so it will show more wind that in reality.
So you got to learn to know your local stations, and add a little or subtract a little - depending on wind direction of course.
Regarding predictions, if a low/high pressure system area, you can sometimes see two days ahead
but most often not more than that - only as a rough guideline whether to expect stable (bad weather without wind) or unstable (awesome with lots of wind) weather.
But the wind direction and strength can not be known untill quite late.
Sometimes a forecast two days ahead can also be useless
But one day forward is relatively "safe" with the datapower and experience they got today.
And I like that you actually ask
Because, if one got no experience with water or flight sports - one can not know how it works.
So often have we seen some new kitesurfers, looking at the forecast for saturday, when it is only monday - and arranging with many others that they would go out that saturday as the wind will be "perfect"
And that is NEVER going to happen - a forecast so long forward will change, maybe even radically, 3-6 times before you get to saturday, most often (when talking low pressure systems that is)
Most locations around the world got their very own weather systems though - so there are huge differences all over.
Some has very predictable and the same (extremely boring) low thermal winds every day - others got extremely strong mountain or special winds.
And combinations with really strong winds because of thermals and sometimes added effects to form really heavy wind.
But the low pressure systems at the northern (or southern) hemisphere, works in somewhat the same way typically, but with some differences though, but can deliver all winds ranging from absolutely zero and buttersmooth flat water if no swell, to storm or even hurricanes occasionally
I think you have to ask some who lives in your local area - how reliable the predictions are ?
Hope it was some help ?