It's so Gusty! What are wind gusts?
Wind gusts are sudden, brief increases in wind speed that occur over a short period of time, typically a few seconds to a minute. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Topography: Local topography, such as hills, mountains, or buildings, can cause gusts as wind is funneled or deflected around these obstacles. This can create sudden changes in wind speed and direction, leading to gusts.
Thermal effects: Differences in temperature can create pressure differences in the atmosphere, leading to wind gusts. For example, when the sun heats up the ground, the air above it rises and is replaced by cooler air, creating a gust of wind.
Fronts: Wind gusts can occur when different air masses meet, such as with cold fronts or warm fronts. These changes in air pressure can cause sudden gusts of wind.
Thunderstorms: Gusts of wind can occur during thunderstorms, particularly in the vicinity of downdrafts or outflow boundaries. These gusts can be very strong and can cause damage to structures and vegetation.
Turbulence: Turbulence in the atmosphere can cause gusts of wind, particularly in areas of high wind shear or wind gradient. This is often the case in the vicinity of mountains or other topographical features.
Lots of factors create wind gusts, having ample depower available on your trim-line allow kiteboarders to safely absorb gusts. Picking the right kite size is important in very gusty conditions as riding too big of a kite will cause a rider to be over-powered and not allow anymore depower when hit by wind gusts and the proverbial tea-bagging may occur!