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Old 04-20-2010, 09:15 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Here is a spotter photo guide prepared by the NWS. It identifies some of the more obvious, in some cases "straight out of hell" appearing storms. Riders are still getting caught in these obvious systems, badly scared, injured or killed. So, the following is to provide more information on these more obvious threats that can be a part of our weather reality.


A gust front moves in. From: http://www.stormeffects.com/ 2003_chase_images.htm

I've been going over records of kiting losses this week. It is amazing how many happened in obvious, severe weather, supercells complete with powerful wind gusts. Some of the lost kiters were described as cautious, safety oriented people. Some were coming in to land but too late. Others were ripped off the water and lofted as far as 500 m away and a 100 m high (over 1650 ft. away and 300 ft. high!). Riding storms out to sea may work for ships but they don't get lofted unlike us. The smart folks are on shore and secured before any change in wind speed, direction or temperature. It is good to remember that there are sometimes lulls before all hell breaks loose but not always, the "calm before the storm."

They waited until the storm was too close, they can move a mile a minute after all. Being late can cause you to miss an appointment, a plane or in this case the rest of your life. When it comes to storms, anticipate and completely avoid them weather planning and monitoring, if you screw up and are late coming in, Emergency Depower EARLY even if it means swimming. You have good swimming skills and an impact vest on right to reduce the odds of problems?

I will always remember the story of a boy in France, 18 yrs. in 2002, standing on the beach looking for someone to grab his kite a 1/4 mile away from other kiters. He was still standing there when a severe squall swarmed ashore and lofted him a couple hundred meters at high speed into a pole. Never acted to Emergency Depower (kill all the power by flagging his kite) while he still had the chance.

Far lesser storms can mess you up too so there is more that we need to know than the following, Still, there is no excuse to have a kite up when the extremely obvious severe variety are inbound. This accidents have happened in most parts of the world including several in Europe. Here is a spotter guide for severe weather, thunderstorms prepared by NWS. Read over it and act early, don't blow this stuff off.

http://www.weather.gov/os/brochures/basicspot.pdf

more at: http://spotterguides.us/advanced/advanced02.htm
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