Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Seeing the Wind

photo by Jakob Easton

There's wisdom in the old African proverb
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors"

It lines up well with Neitzsche's
"that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger"

Now I'd like to add one of my own:
"Always know what's in the room...before you enter the room"

But you can't always do that.
For centuries we've been unable to anticipate what the wind conditions would be in the hours or days to come.

19th Century poet Christina Rosetti summed it up in her own way:

Who Has Seen the Wind?     
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
Of course they didn't have the same level of technology back in the 1800's.
Now, with the aid of weather stations, orbiting satellites,
and supercomputers, we can actually SEE the wind.
A while back I was introduced to a website known as
and it changed the way I looked at the wind.
For the longest time I would consult the basic weather forecast sites,
take note of the projected wind direction and speed, and plan accordingly.
But with Windyty, I can actually see the wind. 
I can zoom in and follow the direction of the arrows which indicate both
wind direction and speed. 
Then, when I get a call about gondolas in my Texas or Nevada locations,
I can zoom out the map and tap in closer to those other locations.
Of course it's not perfect. No weather forecast is.
What's the old saying?
"The weather man is the only person who can get it
    completely wrong, and still have his job the next day".
With Windyty, we can actually get some hint of "what's in the room"
before we "enter the room".
This website was designed by a pilot and extreme sports guy who wasn't
satisfied with what was out there. 
The program doesn't just show us the winds on the surface of our sphere,
it also allows us to see them at various other altitudes,
gives color coded temperature readings, rain, and even waves.
Windyty - it will change the way you "see" the wind.

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