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 Post subject: Understanding OBX winds June
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:23 pm 
Rare Poster

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:11 pm
Posts: 19
Is there a trick to understanding the ikite forecast models for sound side or does it tell it like it is?

Just trying to understand what the patterns will be like. Looks like lighter in the AM and picks up in the afternoon??


 Post subject: Re: Understanding OBX winds June
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:55 pm 
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:37 am
Posts: 2362
light am and strong pm is normal in summer.
Still have to look at the forecasts.
It's also worth looking at weather channel and non boating forecasts that focus on rain and frontal systems if that helps you consider the big picture.
You can also use windguru.cz and other sites that show the forecast models directly, this give you most of the information that the iksurf and other meteorologists are using to make their forecasts, for free.
If you want to get technical, you can also delve into aviation forecasts.
Personally I think you get better mileage by studying local observations and picking what model or forecast correlates best with what is happening.
Believe they call this "nowcasting."

 Post subject: Re: Understanding OBX winds June
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:57 pm 
Medium Poster

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 am
Posts: 178
To understand the summer winds in Hatteras you need to understand the Bermuda High. This is what causes the wind summer winds in OBX.

The Bermuda High is a high pressure area that is usually centered in the vicinity of Bermuda during the spring and summer. This high pressure area is responsible for the prolonged heat waves in the Eastern part of the country. Since winds blow clockwise around high pressure areas in the northern hemisphere, a south to south-westerly wind transports heat and humidity into the Mid-Atlantic States. During the late spring and summer, cold fronts from the north and west have trouble making inroads into the Hampton Roads area due to the persistent Bermuda Highís influence. The high migrates east and west which causes fluctuations in our weather. There are times when it builds westward and is configured in such a way to change our winds to a south-southeasterly direction. This sometimes brings in a tropical air mass and lots of moisture. The interaction of the warm moist air moving over the land causes shower and thunderstorms that can dump copious amounts of rain. Two factors cause the air to rise. The friction of the land and the heat from the land causes the air to rise high into the atmosphere, This causes condensation which then leads to showers and thunderstorms. The position of the Bermuda High also is a player in steering tropical cyclones towards the west and then northwest. If the high is further out in the Atlantic, the odds are that the cyclones will curve and go out to sea. If the high is further west, there is a good chance that the cyclones can impact the East or Gulf Coasts of the United States

When this is set up strong it can blow Southwest for weeks. We always say it does not matter the forecast as long as the direction is SW. In late May - early August if the forecast is for SW (not S or SE or WSW but SW) then it will blow. As the high builds during the day normally the wind starts off low teens in the AM. By 3:OO it goes to 10M weather and then at 5:30 it can really ramp up to 8m or smaller all the way to dark. Normally it will keep blowing after dark and then slowly die down. The closer it is to being centered over Bermuda the better. Some years the Jet stream is to high or to low and it just does not set up well. Last year was great and there was probably 90% of June and Junly where it blew. If the summer is hot and humid it is usually good, drought summers are usually bad. Since this is a thermal and not a frontal wind pattern, it can make OBX stand out from locations close by. It can be blowing at 25+ in Rodanthe and 10 in Virginia beach only about 90 straight line miles away.

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