Windfinder Key West

3 Reasons to Use Windfinder Key West

I stumbled upon a really cool website, really by accident.  It’s Windfinder Key West.  This website offers so much detail about the weather, not just about Key West, but anywhere in the world.  I don’t know about you, but I am a weather addict.  Keeping track of weather around the country is a part-time hobby.

Why is it important to know about the weather?  It helps you plan not only your outdoor activities but also travel.  We have had kids fly into Key West and due to weather was delayed and ended up sitting in the airport for a long period of time.  Knowing where to find accurate information about the weather can help plan around these kind of delays.

Windfinder Key West

First off, let’s see what Windfinder does.  The website states “Windfinder specializes in wind, waves, tides and weather reports and forecasts for wind related sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, sailing or paragliding”.

There are several forecasts and information you can review.  The Forecast section is based upon the GFS model.  This is the Global Forecast System (GFS) which is a global numerical computer model run by NOAA.  It is excellent in the one to five day range.  The Superforcast is based on the newest version of the high resolution weather prediction model.  Since the Forecast and Superforcast are based upon two different models, this may cause them to be different.  The SuperForecast, since it is based on a newer model, should be the most accurate.  The Report section shows in real time the weather for the location.  A cool feature is you can request historical data.  This historical data can help plan a vacation based on what the weather is for a typical time of year. Or, like the website suggests, maybe you need the historical weather for an insurance claim.

There are three reasons I use Windfinder Key West:

Travel Planning

Need to know what the weather may be like while in Key West?  Request historical data for your time.  Let’s say you are planning to visit during the month of May, then request historical data on past Mays and then you can see what kind of weather you could expect.  Really pretty cool.  How about when you arrive?  A few days out, start to watch the weather and then you can pre-plan some of your activities.  What days do you want to look at visiting the Dry Tortugas?  What days would be best to sit out on the beach and visit Fort Zach?  This gives you a really accurate idea of cloud cover, rain, wind and the feels like temperature.  Who wants to sit on the beach in July when the feels like temperature if over 104 degrees?  Not me, put me in a chair by the pool, drink in hand, and I can call it all good.

Using Windfinder Key West is much more accurate then the Weather Channel or Yahoo Weather.  I can see more detail about the forecast and then plan the day according.  Sometimes, it’s a sit at the bar kind of day… or a let’s walk the island kind of day.  Either way it is all good… we are in Key West after all.

Water Sports

Another use for Windfinder Key West is for water sports.  I don’t actually kitesurf or windsail, but I really like to watch other people.  This website gives a lot of information to help those who love to windsurf or kitesurf.  It is vitally important to windsurfers to check the weather.  The perfect conditions are flat water with a constant light wind; especially for beginners.  Sailing condition (light winds less than 12 knots) makes the board move a lot like a sailboat.  Planning condition (strong winds more than 12 knots) is when a harness is usually worn and is considered by most to the enjoyable way to windsurf.

In kitesurfing the kite size and/or length depends upon the wind strength.  Stronger winds call for a smaller kite.  Kitesurfers want the wind direction to be either cross-shore or cross-onshore.  Off-shore winds are dangerous as they can blow the surfer away from shore.  Direct on-shore may blow the surfer onto the land.  This website gives not only windspeed but wind direction.

This website offers so much information, no matter what water sport you enjoy you will find all of the accurate information you need to play safely all day.

Fishing

My husband is an avid fisherman.  This website helps him plan his fishing trips.  On more than one occasion his trip has been cancelled due to rough water.  Windfinder Key West helps him plan when the winds will be calm enough to go out and fish.  This is especially important if you are kayak fishing.  Trust me you don’t want to be on a kayak in windy conditions.

 

 

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