Initiative to install WeatherFlow Wind Sensor(s) on Ottawa River

As the marginal summer wind months are upon us, we are looking into getting more accurate wind sensors for our region. Through the recent community discussions, we can all agree that the current in-land sensors such as the one at the Ottawa Airport do not give us accurate enough readings for the purpose of kiteboarding on the river, and also do not provide the updates frequently enough. Having a sensor that's more localized for our purposes would be of great benefit and a time saver for a lot of us.

Over the past couple of months we've been discussing with WeatherFlow (company behind iKitesurf, WindAlert, SailFlow, iWindsurf) about the possibility of getting one (or two) of their sensors installed here locally through the IAS (Install a Station) project. Their stations update every 5 minutes and we can get it strategically placed where we receive more accurate readings for the purpose of wind related activities on the Ottawa River. To find out how we can get these stations, please read the details below.

Current Commitment Status from Members

Below is the current status of the committed members for this initiative. Please support this initiative by selecting one of the two following options (full details below). Please note that the below goal indicators are updated manually, therefore your committed support will not be reflected instantaneously.

Aylmer Marina
(Last updated: 2014-10-27 12:30 pm)

Support this Station  
Nepean Sailing Club (AHP)
(Last updated: 2014-10-27 12:30 pm)

Support this Station  

What are the Benefits?

Our current in-land sensors such as the one at the Ottawa Airport, do not provide accurate and frequent results for the purposes of Kiteboarding and Windsurfing. The wind that's reported at the Ottawa Airport will normally vary from what's actually happening on the Ottawa River, often due to the thermal effects. This will either result you missing out on a great session or wasting a trip to the beach.

Getting a WeatherFlow wind meter installed near the water (i.e. pier) would give us accurate wind readings every 5 minutes with lulls, average and gust lines. Having this kind of accuracy is especially important for people who often need to take time off work to catch a session, so that they do not come to the beach for nothing. WeatherFlow would be responsible for providing the equipment, installation and maintenance.

Below see an example of their station readings from Kailua Beach, compared to the current wind meter report from the Ottawa Airport.

Kailua Wind

Possible Wind Meter Locations

After some discussions, we are suggesting two possible locations for the wind meter(s). Our goal is to install both stations to cover all the wind directions, but that would require commitment from more members (which is possible with your help).

  • Aylmer Marina Pier (Best for W, SW, S, SE wind readings)
  • Nepean Sailing Club Pier (Best for N, NW, NE, E wind readings)

Below see the interactive Wind Statistics (per month) to best choose your option in the months you normally ride (or wish to ride). Please note that if we reach the target to get both stations installed, you will have access to both, regardless which one you choose to support (see below for details).

How Can We Get the Wind Meter(s)?

If you ever wanted to somehow contribute to the Ottawa Kiteboarding community, but didn't know how, here is your chance!

This initiative will require commitment on our part as a community for individuals to sign up for a WeatherFlow premium service in order to help cover their costs. Once we decide on the spot(s), to get each station they require 12 new Pro Members to sign-up with WeatherFlow (through the special links listed below) for each station. All who sign up through the special link below will get the Pro membership immediately until station is up and running. So you will be able to access the premium services for free until our station becomes available. Signing up will require a credit card to hold in queue until billing cycle actually begins. It's their assurance of commitment. Price is $9.99 USD per month for a 1 year term. If you can't fully afford it, get a friend to contribute.

To cast your committed vote (for the location of your preference), subscribe to the WeatherFlow premium service using the following links (please note that you will not be charged until the station is actually up, but you will still enjoy the benefits of their Pro Services until then):

WeatherFlow Wind Meter Details

Weatherflow Wind Meters

Each station is equipped with a vane, anemometer, barometer, main-board in a water tight box and a solar panel. A metal mast is used in places where needed to elevate the anemometer. Optimal height for surface observations is 10m or ~30ft. That is ideal but not required. They are self contained units that need no power cords or sources and they operate operate from a cell signal relaying info to their servers and back to you directly.

WeatherFlow generally partners with USCG and NOAA for additional support with local authorities. However they still may need a bit of our help to gather local information on permissions, but they generally find that most authorities work with them to get data in their hands for emergency management efforts. Generally a station would benefit everybody.