by Mike Godsey, Link to daily Baja forecast
Sometimes really big El Norte winds are crazy gusty. Other times they are just mildly gusty. There are 2 basic reasons for gusts.
1. Surface wind flowing around or over mountains and points often becomes turbulent creating eddies and waves that your wind or kite experiences as gusts or lulls.
2. When we have an El Norte there is often strong wind aloft. When the surface wind goes over warmer patches of land or water the rising air or when it goes over topograph some of the momentum from the winds aloft are transferred to the surface.
This first image shows the stronger winds 1000 feet aloft yesterday compared to the surface winds.
If the northerly wind is more NNE wind is mostly coming to us over water so both 1 & 2 are reduced. But if the northerly wind is more NNW it is partially coming over us over land so we experience more gusts.
This model output for yesterday below shows where there will be stronger gusts. Note how the gusts, marked in red, are strongest in the western edge of the Sea of Cortez. This is because the winds were more NNW outside yesterday. Fortunately, we had lots of blue sky to curve that winds to the beaches and to add a steading local sea breeze. Otherwise it would have been a very up and down day.