Wind on the water, there’s an app for that

Wind on the water, there’s an app for that
Weather Flow sensor at Isle of Palms pier
Weather Flow sensor at Isle of Palms pier

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Whether you're chasing the wind or trying to get away from it. There's a company expanding in the Lowcountry looking to help you.

From kiteboarders to fisherman and sailors, they all keep an eye on the wind.

Chris Condon,  a fishing guide for Strike Zone Fishing, said, "Knowing which way the wind's blowing pretty much dictates where I'm going each day."

On the water more often than most, Chris Condon uses an app called Wind Alert. It helps him answer daily questions that come with the job.

"If it's really a windy day like to today. If I'm going up the creek, where can I go to get out of the wind? Where can I get some protection? It helps me catch more fish for my clients," said Condon.

App users in the area have the choice of tapping into data from five area weather stations. The information goes directly to apps made by a company called Weather Flow.

Before they came along, Condon stuck to older ways of doing things.

"The flags were always a good sign for me when I got out here in the morning to see which way they were blowing," said Condon.

This summer the company put up a weather station on both Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach.

"The need to expand in the Charleston area is mainly dictated by the need for improved data for the National Weather Service and NOAA," said Shea Gibson, weather forecaster for Weather Flow.

Gibson says knowing what to expect is crucial for those on the water.

"Wind conditions here, especially in the Charleston Harbor change so rapidly," said Gibson.

Wind chasers on Sullivan's Island know all too well the changing nature of the weather.

They're able to get wind conditions of the popular kiteboarding spot as a nearby weather station updates every five minutes.

Kiteboarder Spencer Hurteau said, "I could be just sitting at my house and all of a sudden I get a little ding, ding on my phone and that's telling me it's windy enough to go kite."

Weather Flow plans to continue their expansion with putting up more sensors later this year at the entrance of Winyah Bay, Edisto and Port Royal Sound near Hilton Head.

There are now sensors located on the Isle of Palms pier, Sullivan's Island, Fort Sumter, the Ashley River and the Folly Beach pier.

Gibson said, "As part of ongoing efforts, Weather Flow also has a public/private partnership with the United States Coast Guard in order to mount these weather stations to various navigational aides for the most optimal readings."

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