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What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:51 am
by Tunces
Help me understand why, in the summer time when Crissy and 3rd are cranking, Alameda is a no go. Yet in the Spring all three are on. :?: And yes, I know, I should drive to 3rd. But Alameda is just soooo convenient for me after work. I do my driving to Sherman Island when time permits.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:09 pm
by reyrivera
Is it because of topography, South San Francisco and the hill ranges blocking the winds coming from the ocean?

On North West winds, maybe if all the tall buildings in San Francisco are demolished, then we will get awesome winds on the Alameda side of the bay.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:25 pm
by EvanOR
Keeping it very basic, wind is created by the strength and location of pressure gradients from one area to another. These gradients are created by differences in pressure, which are created by the temperature of the air masses involved. This is the reason why Sherman blows hard when the Bay is cold and enshrouded in fog. High pressure (cold, moist air, which sinks) flows to low pressure (warm dry air that rises).

In the summer, the wind in the Bay largely a result of localized thermals, whereas In the " off season ", the strong NW's, southerlies etc are generated by systems of a much bigger scale.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:42 pm
by adamrod
here's a good rule of thumb: Alameda is never windy.

as long as you follow that rule, you might be pleasantly surprised by wind there once in a while.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:01 pm
by Tunces
adamrod wrote:here's a good rule of thumb: Alameda is never windy.

as long as you follow that rule, you might be pleasantly surprised by wind there once in a while.


Ah, now I understand. #-o

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:42 pm
by Bulldog
Corollary to Adam's Rule: Just because a beach is a good kite launch doesn't mean it's windy very often. There are other good beaches in the bay and on the coast that blow only every once in a while. Then there are places like Treasure Island, which is windy most of the time, but there's no good launch. Candlestick: windy, but blows offshore.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:32 pm
by nick_80044
Yeah, I know what you mean about Alameda. This is my first full season kiting and I expected there to be a lot more wind, at least starting in May or June. It's been spotty. To be fair, I've had some *great* days down there this season. And a couple of times, there was so much wind that I couldn't go out on my 12m.

But I've also had my share of days there where I stood around waiting for naught. Or, I launched, only to struggle desperately to stay up and moving, with a few mediocre rides heading mostly downwind. It's disappointing, because I really like Alameda--great people, great school and shop, great scenery, convenient parking, nice park next door, gorgeous beach, grassy setup areas that are kind to your kite. It's the best spot around in every way except the one that counts the most!

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:45 pm
by windhorny
what really annoying is when Ikite says it will be windy and it is dead. nothing close to the forecast lately.

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:08 pm
by nick_80044
How true--I tried iKite earlier this year and gave up. It was routinely predicting 15-20mph at Alameda and it wasn't even close. I usually look at weather.com--they have an hour-by-hour forecast that's a little more realistic, though still no guarantee.

I recommend that anyone following Alameda log onto Facebook and/or Twitter and sign up with the Boardsports school. Jane (co-owner) regularly posts on-the-spot reports and sometimes she includes a brief video. I find these to be very helpful. Of course, it can look like wind and then by the time you drive down there and rig up there's nothing, but hey, can't have everything, right? :cry:

Re: What's with the wind (lack of) in Alameda in the Summer?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:33 pm
by elli
Alameda's wind season as far as I remember is early in the spring and dies in the summer, while the rest of the bay (peninsula, sharman) is still cranking hard. Not sure about this year, I follow adams rule :)