January 24, 2008: This site is running the code developed by Tad Hurst.

Why not submit your favorite site? I need site name, lat, long, LZ and launch altitudes and the zipcode.

- Alan



KFGZ (alt)


18 OCT 2019

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Merriam Crater N 15 8369 W 12 9906 N 13 6913 N 8 7269 NE 9 8806 N 13 10890
Mingus SW 9 4912 SW 9 5342 NW 15 4912 N 10 5127 N 10 6193 W 12 6402
Apache Maid W 10 8628 SW 13 9817 W 10 8628 N 8 10228 NE 10 11653 W 12 12049
Aubrey Cliffs N 9 8630 W 14 10568 NW 16 7938 NE 9 8630 NE 8 13177 W 12 13377
Elden SW 13 5036 W 15 5036 NW 15 4174 N 8 4609 NE 10 5462 NE 13 6097
Squaw S 8 8152 SW 10 8951 NW 12 8152 N 9 8516 N 10 12372 SW 12 12372

DISCLAIMER: These estimates are intended to assist in daily site selection only.  No warranty is made concerning the accuracy of these estimates.  These estimates cannot be used to determine if conditions are safe for flying.  Conditions should be evaluated at the launch site by experienced pilots before launching.

Sounding: This is the site at which the weather balloon was released.  If the flying site predicted is far from the sounding site, the estimate is not valid.  Also, the sounding is done at 12Z (4AM PST).  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid. The sounding becomes less valid later in the day.

Thermal Ceiling: the lower of the height at which the thermal stops rising and the cloud level.  We can't fly into the clouds, so it doesn't matter how much higher the thermal goes.  Remember that we can't get to the top of the thermal because of our sink rate.  Our upper limit will be lower than the reported ceiling.

Soaring Ceiling: We will stop going up when the thermal is rising just fast enough to offset our sink.  It is estimated that this happens when the temperature difference between the thermal and the surrounding air is about 2 degrees F. This number is an estimate of the maximum altitude we might reach if we start at launch height, and should be more reflective of our chances of soaring than the thermal top. Please let me know how this compares with actually flying, and I will adjust it as necessary.

Above Launch: The difference between how high we might get and how high we start. This estimate does not account for ridge lift.

High Temp: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service website.  Puddle temperatures can exceed this temperature. 

Puddle Temp: This estimate is based on the High Temp and the National Weather Service estimate of cloudiness, and the angle of the sun.  When the sun is directly overhead on a sunny day, the puddle temp is esimated to be 25 degrees warmer than the high ambient temperature. This estimate now includes a rigorous calculation of the Sun Angle, and accounts for the seasonal differences in zenith and daylight hours.

Wind: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service website.

Thermal Type: Blue (no cloud formation) or White (Cloud formation)

Thermal Index: This is the maximum difference in temperature between the rising packet of air (the thermal) and the surrounding air.  The difference in temperature is responsible for the buoyancy of the thermal, and larger temperature differences mean faster rising thermals.  A value of about 10 F or greater often means that the conditions are soarable.  Values above 20 could indicate rowdy thermals.

Validity of estimate: Many factors (including strong wind, fronts, cloud shadows, incorrectly predicted temperatures, etc) can affect the validity of the estimates. 

Author: Tad Hurst

Supported By: Alan Crouse