Trusting the Weather Forecast

Basic rule of thumb for boating and paddling - Never trust the weather forecast.  It's just a prediction, not actual reality.  Sometimes they nail it but many times they don't.

Today's forecast on Puget Sound is the following:

PUGET SOUND AND HOOD CANAL-
900 AM PST FRI FEB 7 2014

TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING N 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND
WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. 

Reality - (now) from NOAA..

Wind Direction (WDIR):N ( 10 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind SpeedWind Speed (WSPD):17 kts
5-day plot - Wind GustWind Gust (GST):20 kts
5-day plot - Atmospheric PressureAtmospheric Pressure (PRES):29.87 in
5-day plot - Pressure TendencyPressure Tendency (PTDY):-0.09 in ( Falling Rapidly )

The last part (above) showing air pressure from a barometer basicly means it's going get much stronger within 2-3hrs.  So possibly up to 30kt gusts.  What is air pressure and how does a barometer work?  Take a peek Here.

That's why it's a smart idea to double check conditions before going out especially if you're teaching a class.  Check with a real time weather station such as NOAA and/or webcam, then go check it in person.  It is a go or a cancel?  Classic poor judgement - We're here anyway, so lets just go!   My rule of thumb is to stay off the evening news (unless it's good PR).  


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