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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:12 am 
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I have wondered at times about snow squalls and kiters. I've seen and been in plenty of pretty nasty sustained winds and the odd severe squall in high alpine areas. There was the one snow kiter killed years ago in Alberta Beach in a squall. It is good you are familiar with the phenomena in your area and take informed precautions. If you don't mind my asking, where do you snow kite?

What other things do people do in their parts of the world to manage weather hazards. I certainly haven't touched on everything in this short post.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:20 am 
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RickI wrote:
I have wondered at times about snow squalls and kiters. I've seen and been in plenty of pretty nasty sustained winds and the odd severe squall in high alpine areas. There was the one snow kiter killed years ago in Alberta Beach in a squall. It is good you are familiar with the phenomena in your area and take informed precautions. If you don't mind my asking, where do you snow kite?

What other things do people do in their parts of the world to manage weather hazards. I certainly haven't touched on everything in this short post.

Thanks!


Was this question aimed at me? sorry i was talking kitesurfing and landboarding. i'm in New Zealand. Kitesurfing is a year round addiction here. In summer its all about timing the sea breaze and in winter its about gust/squall management. I personally will consult 2 to 3 several forecast web sites then on the day i'll check live weather update. i am lucky to have a weather station 2km from my flying site which gives current wind updates every minute. So i can check prior to going out exactly what is occured and what i should expect. most fo the time i know what kite i will be using before i hit the beach!.. also live rain radar is also usefull. but that updates to slowly to be more than just an indication.

Another factor i didn't see in your post is air density. Hot air is obviously less dense and therefore is less powerfull that the same wind speed compared to colder wind. So.... when a squall hits the temperature can drop signifacantly. this aids to increase the power of the wind. Ever wonder why a kite that you can easily fly in 20 knots in summer is a handfull in 20 knots in winter? The answer. Air density.


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:33 am 
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Ok one more point. Understanding turbulence created by upwind objects and how downwind objects can impact apon up wind.

Alot of people think downwind objects are irrelavent. however depending on the size they can impact upwind. An example is a 2 large hills intersected by a valley in the middle. The wind will funnell through the valley and wind speed will increase. hills/ tall buildings can create a dangerous updraft when to close. plus a cliff front at the beach can push a cross on wind more cross shore..... so forth an so on. ...... .. . . .. . . ............. .


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:25 am 
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My mistake about snow kiting. Yes, you do have some powerful squalls in NZ. I recall some accident analysis from years back, frequent strong squalls roll over the islands. Do your squalls typically stand out or are they sometimes obscured by other cloud masses? It is rare in my area when they aren't fairly obvious to the naked eye. Do you use color radar to try avoid squall lines in New Zealand?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:31 am 
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Yes, land effects on wind quality are quite important. Gustiness caused by mechanical turbulence or rotor is a significant contributor to kiting accidents. I prepared an article series on this factor at: http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2355749 It is another subject I believe all kiters should be aware of and use in session planning. Kiters have been taken out quite a few times by strong winds created by this turbulence.

Have you seen occasions of kiters being caught in updrafts, what I described as uplift lofting years back? I seem to recall a story from perhaps 8 years ago that I think happened in NZ involving a guy being lofted vertically hitting a tree or something due to air flow up a cliff face. The perplexing and good thing is uplift lofting is fairly rare. From apparent circumstances it should be more common but thankfully is not.

Do you have something like Southerly Busters in New Zealand?


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:02 am 
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RickI wrote:
I have wondered at times about snow squalls and kiters. I've seen and been in plenty of pretty nasty sustained winds and the odd severe squall in high alpine areas. There was the one snow kiter killed years ago in Alberta Beach in a squall. It is good you are familiar with the phenomena in your area and take informed precautions. If you don't mind my asking, where do you snow kite?

What other things do people do in their parts of the world to manage weather hazards. I certainly haven't touched on everything in this short post.

Thanks!


One of the things the snow kiters have to deal with is extremely fast and shifting conditions. Check this video of a Redbull Ragnarok where the wind is increasing. Obviously these guys have the safety, but the way the wind works in the mountains is at least as trecherous as it can be on water...IMO

http://www.redbull.no/cs/Satellite/no_NO/Video/This-is-Red-Bul-Ragnarok-2011-021242935546828


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:09 am 
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Here is from this year where the race had sun, rain, a lot of wind no wind, and the overall comment if challenging. :-)

http://www.aftenposten.no/webtv/#section=video;video=4081561


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:54 am 
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The sqaul lines that come through here for the most part are very obvious. The repeatable squalls which are generally smaller in size, say several km wide, stand out like dogs balls. they are generally stand alone with no other cloud mass. they generally travel at the wind speed.

I spent an entire 24hrs dodging these sqaulls in 25-40+knots when i set my 24hr landboarding distance world record. I was on a beach 50km long and you could actually kite upwind/downwind and miss them or only strike the side of them. the night time leg proved to be difficult as you couldn't see them coming. But you could sence them as the wind would shift and increase, then the rain would hit. by that stage it would be cranking 40+. You had a couple of mins to park the kite at the edge of the window depower it and brace yourself. That day was singlarily the most insane thing i have every done.

The types of squalls that aren't that repeatable are the larger ones. maybe 10-20km plus in size. they can do the strange thing you mention in your post. switch the wind, double it, kill it. straingly locally these squall types generally travel slower than the wind. sometimes they can hover offshore for some time before reaching land, other times they disapate and don't even make it...... But you can still see them even with other cloud around.

I don't recall that uplift lofting you talk of. We did have a death the day before christams lastr year of a landboarder. he was kiting in an area close to 700m hills. The wind was gusty and coming off the land and the mountains. He was lofted some 30 meters high and traveled over 1km in the air hitting tree's in the process. i am not sure if it was the trees or thehitting the ground that killed him. either way it was a tradgedy. There is a possibility that an updraft could have been involved in that. but from my research it sounds like he was on a kite far to big for the conditions


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:37 am 
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Good stuff Alex, thanks for bringing it up. I really like the video, have some great compositions in there. I recall the 2010 Ragnarok was insane with violent conditions taking a bunch of the competitors out with kite problems (lost or torn?). I wondered who was doing the weather planning for the event? You want strong conditions but too strong with excessive squalls? You are right about terrain effects on the wind quality. It has to be challenging particularly in mountainous areas. Even folks that do cross country hang gliding have to deal with rotor effects, wind amplification in narrowed valley areas. I guess they pull it off in the snow but i suspect there are some areas they avoid for kiting due to excessive dirty wind.

tautologies wrote:
Here is from this year where the race had sun, rain, a lot of wind no wind, and the overall comment if challenging. :-)

http://www.aftenposten.no/webtv/#section=video;video=4081561


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 Post subject: Re: Struck Wind Dumb** or Throw Another Kiter On The Barbie
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:04 am 
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plummet wrote:
The sqaul lines that come through here for the most part are very obvious. The repeatable squalls which are generally smaller in size, say several km wide, stand out like dogs balls. they are generally stand alone with no other cloud mass. they generally travel at the wind speed.


That is good, some folks in temperate areas say squalls are sometimes obscured in preexisting cloud cover? I haven't seen it much myself, even when it is overcast, the squalls usually set themselves apart with darker clouds if nothing else.

plummet wrote:
I spent an entire 24hrs dodging these sqaulls in 25-40+knots when i set my 24hr landboarding distance world record. I was on a beach 50km long and you could actually kite upwind/downwind and miss them or only strike the side of them. the night time leg proved to be difficult as you couldn't see them coming. But you could sence them as the wind would shift and increase, then the rain would hit. by that stage it would be cranking 40+. You had a couple of mins to park the kite at the edge of the window depower it and brace yourself. That day was singlarily the most insane thing i have every done.


That was one extreme landboarding run! I was just watching a guy pulled off an edge in high gusts in the Ragnarok video. So, they guy gets pulled through a serac zone breaking off ice with his body?! I imagine something similar, or worse happens along the beach. It is nice to smash into water when that happens and nothing harder. Although as pointed out earlier in this thread water can be more than hard enough at speed to mess you up.


plummet wrote:
The types of squalls that aren't that repeatable are the larger ones. maybe 10-20km plus in size. they can do the strange thing you mention in your post. switch the wind, double it, kill it. straingly locally these squall types generally travel slower than the wind. sometimes they can hover offshore for some time before reaching land, other times they disapate and don't even make it...... But you can still see them even with other cloud around.

I don't recall that uplift lofting you talk of. We did have a death the day before christams lastr year of a landboarder. he was kiting in an area close to 700m hills. The wind was gusty and coming off the land and the mountains. He was lofted some 30 meters high and traveled over 1km in the air hitting tree's in the process. i am not sure if it was the trees or thehitting the ground that killed him. either way it was a tradgedy. There is a possibility that an updraft could have been involved in that. but from my research it sounds like he was on a kite far to big for the conditions


That was a bad one in Nelson. Do you know what size and type kite he was flying and does anyone have a wind speed estimate? I recall there was some confusion early on that it happened while he was kitesurfing.


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