oceanplay wrote:So there are three of us having a blast in the waves doing a down winder, we started in pompano and are going to Deerfield. Just as we are getting to opal towers the rain starts coming in strong, the waves smooth out some, I get a big grin and keep riding, now this would have been the time to get out of the water but the kite buzz took over and on we went, now at trespass, itâ€™s the worst spot on the whole down winder other than the pier to have shit go wrong but nice waves to be had. I see my other two kite bros in the danger zone having some tasty waves. Just then I turn my head and see it. It is one nasty squall of death a white out! I jib the board and head off shore, the whole time I think my bros are dead in the worst place at the worst time! All the time Iâ€™m hooked up and trying to get as far from the rocks and sea wall as I can before it hits me. Then it hit, Bag Iâ€™m going mark one and blown off my board from the wind and rain, F#$%H I said to my self keep your head, keep your head, Iâ€™m thinking pull the safety pull the safety, F&*^king bow kite if I do my leash is on the chicken safety then I have to ditch the whole rig! So every thing now is in slow motion, Iâ€™m thinking get the leash to the oh shit handle, all the time the kite is depowered all the way and bar out and me being violently dragged around. I get it to the oh shit handle, I have the kite just off the water and in control with me heading to sea, so I hold on and am going for the ride! Itâ€™s a total white out and I just keep telling myself, keep control, keep control, itâ€™s going to be over, it will be over. Just then when things can't get much worse other than death it happens, the kite starts going from the NE to the E to the SE, then I think wholly shit itâ€™s flying out of the wind window and will be blown right at me, with my hand on the release the whole time or most of any way, the kite keeps blowing around the window with the wind doing a clock wise rotation, three times I went around that I known of, could have been more. I was scared shitless and had all my thoughts and energy focused on keeping that kite low and in control, and me in the water. In the long run all things went well and am lucky to be alive. The other two kiters had 5th lines and went to them, and all made it safe.
So I ask what the hell was that, was it a waterspout, some kind of vortex/micro burst they had a tornado warning out?
Anyone have this happen to them?
Oh yea donâ€™t be a dumb ass like me, donâ€™t kite with squalls and tornado warnings!!!
RickI wrote:What time did this happen at? I didn't quite follow what happened to the wind, could you break it down for me again.
There was a mega-nasty squall line that moved through that area in late afternoon today. Bright red, fat and looking like severe trouble on radar. A version of the radar image appears below, after it had moved over your area. This stuff was moving north very fast. Planes wouldn't take off in it, not even jumbo jets, of course having something like a parachute up the size of a car in it is ok? I was wondering if it would clear in time for me to go out after work off Palm Beach County. It did fortunately. If you kited through that you may wish to hang on a bit harder to your remaining "lives" in the future.
I'm guessing it may have happened around 4 pm, if this was the same system you guys dealt with. It spiked winds up to around 38 mph in Dania around 3:30 pm and the same (38 kts.) in Delray at around 4:30 pm moving from the south. Both were fairly mild as our squalls go, as they can easily double that wind speed, or more. You never know before you are in them after all. I was waiting for this stuff to pass north in Delray. Bet is looked like your own personal cloud from hell, dark and nasty. Liked your concluding point, the voice of truth taken from hard experience in a fairly light squall by local standards.
Just found the marine forecast for the area from yesterday, Feb. 12, 2008. Tornados and gusts to gale force in severe storms, good kiting weather? "Suicide is contagious?" Hope not.
SYNOPSIS FOR JUPITER INLET TO OCEAN REEF OUT TO 60 NM AND FOR EAST CAPE SABLE TO BONITA BEACH OUT TO 60 NM- 342 PM EST TUE FEB 12 2008
.SYNOPSIS... A WARM FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE AREA THIS THIS EVENING. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION ON WEDNESDAY WITH HIGH PRESSURE ONCE AGAIN BUILDING NORTH OF THE AREA ON THURSDAY. STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS COULD IMPACT THE LOCAL WATERS THIS EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
COASTAL WATERS FROM JUPITER INLET TO DEERFIELD BEACH, FL OUT 20 NM- 342 PM EST TUE FEB 12 2008
...TORNADO WATCH 53 IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM EST THIS EVENING... ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING...
.TONIGHT...SOUTH WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS WITH GUSTS TO NEAR GALE FORCE. NEAR SHORE...SEAS 6 TO 8 FEET SUBSIDING TO 4 TO 6 FEET AFTER MIDNIGHT. WELL OFFSHORE...SEAS 6 TO 8 FEET. INTRACOASTAL WATERS A MODERATE CHOP. WINDS HIGHER AND SEAS ROUGHER IN SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
RickI wrote:Oceanplay called and filled in some more details. We owe him special thanks for posting his experiences on here. Nothing like a real life example to sharpen the critical importance of something in people's minds.
The incident happened between 3:30 and 4 pm. He was on a 10 m flat kite. The wind had risen, flattened out the waves somewhat has they rode north on the downwinder in strong SSE winds. Suddenly he saw a white wall rushing towards him from the south and it was on him before he knew it. Visibility plummeted to where he could barely see his kite 25 yards away, the wind roared like a freight train and his kite spun crazily with explosive changes in wind direction. He was holding the bar out and panic at bay, thinking mechanically about what he needed to do. He wasn't lofted but was expecting to be as he was dragged around. He guessed the squall was on him for about five minutes but it could have been less you lose sense of time in such cases.
I think he saw the approaching gust front of a supercell storm cloud. It was blasting ocean spray (almost like oceanplay, funny?) up into a wall before the rapidly advancing squall. He mentioned the radical wind direction changes.
Such changes could shower a kiter with falling line, allow the kite to relaunch and get cheese sliced, dragged/lofted into whatever without anyway to depower or simply be drowned as has sadly happened in the recent past in tragic fatal accidents in Spain, Hungary and the Ukraine. You can't know in advance what will happen in a squall.
In looking at real time wind graphs these direction changes are a give away of squall activity such as shown below:
You look for these conditions upweather and work hard to AVOID THEM.
Lastly, squalls occur WORLDWIDE. Kiters have been killed and injured in squalls/storms in many sections of the USA, Europe, Asia, Oceania, etc.. This is far from a Florida problem. Weather planning and monitoring make good sense. More about this in the first several posts at: viewforum.php?f=131 , in particular viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2323430