Knowing what to expect from the weather is an essential part of sailing. At Hunts we are fortunate to be able to launch in all resonable conditions. However we would not recommend going afloat when the average wind speed is above 20 knots, or the gusts are above 30 knots. If you are a beginner then we would recommend you only go afloat when the wind is less than 15 knots (unless you are taking part in organised training). Club boats may not be used when the average wind speed is more than 15 knots or the gusts are more than 25 knots.
Hunts is a small lake and so the prevailing conditions are gusty and shifty; this makes for some challenging, occasionally frustrating sailing at times, but is also great for learning wind awareness. By checking the forecast average wind speed against the maximum gust you can get a sense of how stable the wind is going to be. Direction is also important; a westerly or south-westerly wind blows offshore from our clubhouse so it can look less windy than it really is and our weather station will typically under read the wind speed in this direction. As the wind is coming over the town of St Ives it also tends to be slightly more shifty.
The most accurate forecasts for the UK can be obtained from the Met Office. They use a high resolution model specific to the UK. You can get a forecast directly from their website:
Windy.com obtains their forecasts from the ECMWF model which is focussed on providing accurate european forecasts over a medium timeframe. It is often useful to check forecasts from at least two different models (i.e. Met Office and ECMWF) to check how well they agree. If two different forecasts match well you can be fairly certain about what the weather is going to be like.
Windy.com - St Ives
WindGuru obtains forecasts from multiple different models and shows you an average. Visit their website to explore the individual models they use to do this.
WindGuru - St Ives