With all of the inconsistent weather that Texas has dealt us recently, we feel it’s appropriate to discuss weather related closures in this latest blog post.
When it comes to water and air temperatures and paddling, we comply with the American Canoe Association’s mandate of The Rule of 120°F. If the water temperature and ambient air temperature do not add up to at least 120°F, there is a possibility of cold shock and ultimately hypothermia if one gets wet and stays wet for an extended period of time. For water between 50-60°F (as it typically is this time of the year), that period of time can be as little as 1-2 hours.
Another deciding factor this time of the year is wind. Wind speed certainly, but even more importantly for our location, wind direction. As a general rule of thumb, any wind over 10 mph will make for more difficult paddling. Since we operate at the confluence of the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River, and paddlers have the choice of heading up either of the two forks, it is very important for us to monitor wind direction. For example, if the wind is blowing west to east (as it was this past Saturday), then it will be more difficult to begin the paddle but much easier on the return back to our location. In contrast, if the wind is blowing east to west, then it will be the return paddle that will be more difficult. The latter can be especially dangerous as it makes it much easier to paddle further than initially planned, resulting in a long and strenuous paddle back.
Another common weather decision we face is lightning. This one is simple; if there is a lightning strike recorded within 15 miles of our location, we do not send out any watercraft until it has been clear for 30 minutes. This is a fairly standard practice for all water sports.
So the next time any of the above is forecasted, give us a call at (817) 470-2613 and we will be able to give you an accurate weather update. On that note, the rest of Spring Break is looking rain free with low wind speeds, so get out there and paddle with us!