NE winds are most common in the morning and after a cold front passes through the Tampa Bay area. NE winds are warmer in nature than N or NNE winds, which are associated with a stronger cold front. It’s more common to see NE winds from October through December and February through April.
If you see NE winds in the forecast, make sure to clear your morning schedule. NE winds are strongest and most consistent from sunrise to about 11am. If the sun is out, the land will warm up quicker than the water causing a sea breeze to form. Sea breezes cause the wind direction to change to the NW and will occur during the afternoon. If the front is powerful and shows 20mph winds out of the NE all day then chances are it will overpower the sea breeze, but the wind will still be lighter than forecasted late morning through early afternoon.
There’s many awesome places to kiteboard on a NE wind in the Tampa Bay area, but the best places for the strongest, most consistent wind are the Skyway Bridge East and Fort Desoto East Beach. The wind on a NE has more time to travel across open water by the time it reaches the Skyway and Fort Desoto than a place like Lassing Park. Fort Desoto will provide the flattest water because I-275 acts as a barrier to break the water but is low enough that it doesn’t affect the consistency of the wind. Lassing Park works well on a NE wind too, but typically sees a few mph less wind than the Skyway and Desoto.
Remember, the best time to get out on a NE wind is early in the morning or later in the day.