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March 2, 2012

Predicting the Future by Packy

by flykitesports

I am driving the Toy-ot-ta, not the Vee-dub-youa, the transmission of the Vee-dub-youa made a horrible noise when two very large bolts fell on the ground after an oil change.  Packy got to ride in a Bow-wing to Hawaii, he headed there to help his parents start making the transition for a move to San Francisco, or at least that is what he says to his parents, I think he is planning on kiting as much as he can, he took three kites and bought a surfboard.I am going to play hookie today and go skiing at Big Sky and then I will come home and pack up Frances and me to head to the Georgetown Lake Open.   Garrett is going to be a ski bum with my parents, I think he is afraid he will have to listen to Lady Gaga and he isn’t ready to process a Bad Romance with his mother and sister.

Garrett would rather eat this than have to kite with the chicks, too much woman for him to handle.

When Packy sent this post to me I though I had better proof read this, for that matter I better read this but my eyes are doing the middle age thing and not focusing well at the moment.  I also decided that he was the one with the fancy private school education why should I feel like I would know better with my free public school background.? Another reason for not proof reading is I have spent my last free hours discussing the merits of Charlemagne’s eighteen different wives, while being the Holy Roman Emperor (clearly Catholics didn’t always mind divorce) and how Henry IV failed the Franks, and himself, when he opposed Gregory the VII over something as silly as the election of Bishops.  So here is Pack y in the raw and some Hawaii images that have nothing to do with kiting, as I am green with envy, I want to ride a Bow-wing and kite my brains out in a bikini….



Predicting the Future

Partly cloudy, 81 ‘ F, east wind 10-15 mph, that’s my prediction. Not for Bozeman, Montana on March 2nd, but for Honolulu, Hi. It’s not that hard to do, the National Weather Service will give it to you for free. In fact, if you threw a dart at a calendar you’re odds would be pretty good that’s the forecast on any given day anyway. But the simplicity of it doesn’t stop me from getting carried away with my forecasting, especially if I’m going to be there to experience it.

How I wish it was right now, Packy and me in HI and the kids having too much fun to pose for the photo.

I’ve always been interested in weather, and forecasting it. Back in the early 80’s, during high school at Punahou School our forecasting tools were limited to the once daily satellite photo of the North Pacific in the Honolulu Advertiser. We could spot a big swell by the telltale swirl with a large “L” stamped on it. Wait three days and it should get big on the north shore. Forecasting the wind was more about timing and observations, there is a certain rhythm to the winds in wintertime in Hawaii, usually clocking around the compass every few days. The rewards of an accurate forecast were dramatic, you might score perfection all to yourself while everyone else slept in. I had a high school math teacher who confessed to me that he had been a forecaster for the NWS, which in my eyes made him a rock star (never mind that he was a math nerd), but he bored of it because Hawaii’s weather was too static. That didn’t deter me from forecasting just about every day anyway.

Fast forward to the late 80’s in Bozeman, MT. and I got an idea of what my rock star math teacher was talking about. Weather in Montana is anything but static, and I embraced everything Montana had to offer, including much more challenging weather to forecast. Tools were only slightly better, and mostly consisted of the 10 pm news with Mike Heard; you got a satellite loop and his prediction to boot. The payoff to spotting the big dump of snow a day in advance was just as valuable as it was in predicting the surf and wind in Hawaii.

What Packy is talking about.

Back to the present. We can point and click for the latest forecast or current observations just about anywhere in the world. But that doesn’t stop me from obsessing over the weather and what it’s going to do. The wind that matters to me in Montana does not always show up on the forecast, so I’m still picking through all the details to come up with my own predictions, and reaping the rewards.

Now I’m forecasting Hawaii again, because I’m on my way back to the Islands. I’ve watched the models as they morph closer and closer to the days that matter for me. The forecast couldn’t be better, I’ve got a couple of days on the light side before a sheer line ushers in 20-30 mph NE trades. That’s more than enough to power up even traditionally soft spots like Kailua, and the North East direction gets right in to the beach, where a straight East can be frustrating with shoreline wind shadows.

Although the technology has changed, the game remains the same. I’m riveted to the computer, forecasting my future and stoked with what I see, all the colorful maps and charts are pointing to a killer 3 weeks in Hawaii.


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