Bio - Eric Mihelbergel is an intermediate level windsurfer and kiteboarder living in the Great Lakes Region of New York State who enjoys writing about windsports and fitness.
Wind Report Accuracy - 2018 Season
By Eric Mihelbergel
Are these wind reports accurate? For the 2018 season, wind reports/forecasts were written for days that there was a reasonable probability of enough wind to get a session. The term "session", for purposes of these reports/forecasts, is defined as:
Session - Approximately one hour or more of riding, with wind magnitude equal to or greater than 15mph, from a favorable direction that provides rideable wind.
As part of this, I wanted to know how accurate these predictions were for the 2018 season, and so a simple point system was developed to assess the accuracy. Here is that point system showing the percent accuracy for 2018 at 97.3%
In order to evaluate forecasting accuracy with little bias and with greater objectivity, I have developed a simple point system as follows:
1 Point - The wind did what was forecasted at one or more beaches in the general geographical region specified, for at least one hour (enough time to get a session), within the following parameters: wind direction, wind magnitude, time of day. And, if a particular beach or geographic location was specified, the wind did what was forecasted at that particular beach/location.
0.5 Points - The wind did what was forecasted at one or more beaches in the geographical region specified, for at least one hour, however, one of the following 3 parameters (but not more than one) was less than mostly accurate: wind direction, wind magnitude, time of day. OR, if a particular beach or geographical location was specified, the wind did not blow at that exact location but it did blow somewhere else in the more general geographic region.
0 Points - More than one of the following 3 parameters was less than mostly accurate: wind direction, wind magnitude, time of day. OR, if a particular beach or geographical location was specified the wind did not blow at that exact location and it did not blow somewhere else in the more general geographic region.
Based on this point system, the 2018 forecast accuracy was 97.3%. However, for days that a forecast was not written it was because it was anticipated that there would not be rideable wind, which was true for every one of those days. So technically a correct forecast was made that there would be no wind on those days. If we also count those days as 1point then the 2018 forecasting accuracy was 98.7%.
With the advent of the foil it is entirely possible to get a good water session with less than 15mph of wind. However, for purposes of these reports/forecasts, the focus is on sessions of 15mph or greater. On days that a report/forecast is not written you may still want to check weather forecasts on your own as there may still be the possibility of a foil session with less than 15mph of wind. Here is an article to help you with Weather Forecasting For Wind Driven Water Sports in WNY.