Is It Too Windy? Yes, It Is

Written by Jean-Michel DeVink
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Photo of Jean-Michel DeVink.Today, we were in the southcentral part of the province on some more rigorous transects that traditionally hold lots of water. Unfortunately, we had high wind conditions that pushed the Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP) limits. We received a text at 5:45 this morning from our pilot, Phil Thorpe, indicating that winds were exceeding his limits, so he wouldn’t be flying. However, we had hope that the winds were lighter further south, where yesterday, Phil flew transects that we need to ground truth this morning or tomorrow morning at the latest. Our SOP gives us a maximum of 48 hours to run our ground surveys on any transects counted by air. If by chance we had two days of bad weather that prevented us from running our ground transects, the pilot and observer would have to fly the transects again. So, we headed out, hoping the weather gurus were correct that things were better south of Regina. As we arrived at our transects after a 1.5-hour drive, the wind hadn’t let up. After a few checks and double-checks with our handheld anemometer (see picture), and some discussion with other crews, we made the call that it was too windy. We’ll have to come back tomorrow.

Sean Heap, one of Canadian Wildlife Service’s summer students, checks the wind speed with a handheld anemometer.

Sean Heap, one of Canadian Wildlife Service’s summer students, checks the wind speed with a handheld anemometer. Photo by Jean-Michel DeVink, CWS