River Gorge: a Pacific Northwest windsurfing paradise | Photo: Gorge Windsurfing

The Pacific Northwest US windsurfers have reasons to be extremely happy.

There a new way to check if it's time to pack the boards and sails and hit the water. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has developed an animated map to deliver near real time wind speed and direction information for the Western North American soil.

Initially, the BPA wanted to understand the fluctuation of wind for managing transmission of power. But, soon after windsurfers discovered this meteorological application.

This forecast tool is quite complete. You can get additional info by mousing over the wind stations: speed, angle, temperature, pressure and humidity.

The online tool for the Pacific Northwest US windsurfers is available, here:

http://www.transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/Wind/WindAnimation.aspx