Any views on how this affects WS?
Where I live in Australia we had drought with falling water levels and quality in lake systems. Now we have severe storms which have washed rubbish and what not into our lake system. It has become routine now to check water quality before sailing and for government agencies to increase their clean up efforts and improve debris trapping.
Not claiming this is down to climate change (because el nino was a factor for sure), nor am I posting to debate causes or even whether it is over played. Only that the recent experience could be a pointer to how it might play out at a micro level if global warming takes hold.
All of the above being said, this has been a long season since the weather was unseasonably warm and winter was short, but it could as easily have swung the other way. And that is our long term forecast.
RE: Climate Change
Here are my thoughts.
First of all: climate change is not a new thing, it has already started since years. This last Winter just made it all too evident. Speaking of typical Central Italy coastal regions where I sail: usual average Spring to Summer weather, since I was a kid (now 46), was like high pressure setting in in April, with some fog early in the morning, clear skys once Sun is high, inland getting cloudy and maybe some rain during the afternoon and in the same time nice thermal winds at sea. This typical weather pattern used to get stronger during the season, with no more morning fog and stronger breezes in the afternoon, making it very nicely sailable in June, July and until the first Autumn storms came in during late August. Main wind was North Westerly (Maestrale).
From the early '90s this changed: we saw a lot of South Easterly winds bringing hot wet weather and typical Maestrale setting in later and later. One had to chase good afternoon thermal breezes in more "specialized" spots, until they were practically limited to a very few places such as Talamone. In the same time, Summer Maestrale got weaker and weaker, no more solid weeks of 20 to 30 knots, typically just a few good days in Spring and then 12 - 15 knots with another few good occasions in July.
During late years also typical Autumn and Spring Atlantic storm pattern changed. We rarely saw the classic strings of 2 or 3 days of warm Scirocco preceding the storm, we used to have lots of North Easterly winds instead with freezing air coming in from Russia. This pattern concealed the effects of warming here and gave some very cold Winters weeks. So, almost usual temperatures, but a weird wind pattern.
This last winter, for some reason, we had more typical wind pattern with lots of Atlantic weather (even if not much strong winds like in the past) and almost no cold air from Russia; and this let show a great temperature rise.
Now it is March 1, flowers are blossoming and thermal breezes already start to show up.
How does this affect windsurfing? Unreliability, due to changing weather; and probably the good things, such as constant good Summer weather with lots of thermals, are gone.
RE: Climate Change
You have hit the nail squarely on the head with the work 'unreliability'. The only effective response is to have flexible working arrangements cause the wind does not always cooperate during holiday time nor weekends. Same rule applies to other sports like snow skiing.
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