Detailed Predictions for: Merriam Crater
Launch Altitude (f): 6800
LZ Altitude (f): 6000
Sounding

Station:

KFGZ

Date/Time:

16 OCT 2018

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast

Site Forecasts
Time
(Local)
High
Temp

Puddle
Temp

Wind
(mph)
Thermal
Ceiling

(ft)
Soaring
Ceiling

(ft)
Above
Launch

(ft)
Thermal
Type
Thermal
Index

(F)
6 AM Tue 35 35 N 12 0 6800 0 Blue 0
7 AM Tue 35 35 N 12 0 6800 0 Blue 0
8 AM Tue 35 35 N 10 0 6800 0 Blue 0
9 AM Tue 37 37 N 10 0 6800 0 Blue 0
10 AM Tue 37 37 N 9 0 6800 0 Blue 0
11 AM Tue 38 38 N 9 0 6800 0 Blue 0
12 Noon Tue 38 38 N 9 0 6800 0 Blue 0
1 PM Tue 39 39 N 9 0 6800 0 Blue 0
2 PM Tue 40 40 N 9 0 6800 0 Blue 0
3 PM Tue 41 41 N 10 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
4 PM Tue 42 42 N 10 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
5 PM Tue 42 42 N 9 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
6 PM Tue 41 41 N 9 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
7 PM Tue 41 41 N 8 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
8 PM Tue 40 40 N 8 0 6800 0 Blue 0
9 PM Tue 40 40 N 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
10 PM Tue 39 39 NE 5 0 6800 0 Blue 0
11 PM Tue 39 39 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
12 Midnight Wed 39 39 E 7 0 6800 0 Blue 0
1 AM Wed 39 39 E 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
2 AM Wed 39 39 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
3 AM Wed 39 39 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
4 AM Wed 38 38 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
5 AM Wed 38 38 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
6 AM Wed 38 38 NE 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
7 AM Wed 38 38 E 6 0 6800 0 Blue 0
8 AM Wed 38 38 E 7 0 6800 0 Blue 0
9 AM Wed 38 38 E 7 0 6800 0 Blue 0
10 AM Wed 40 41 E 7 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
11 AM Wed 42 43 E 7 7753 7149 349 Blue 2
12 Noon Wed 44 46 E 6 8791 7685 885 Blue 5
1 PM Wed 45 47 E 6 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
2 PM Wed 47 49 NE 6 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
3 PM Wed 48 49 NE 6 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
4 PM Wed 50 50 NE 7 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
5 PM Wed 50 50 N 7 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
6 PM Wed 50 50 N 7 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
7 PM Wed 49 49 N 7 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
8 PM Wed 48 48 N 7 9437 8683 1883 Blue 7
9 PM Wed 46 46 N 8 8791 7685 885 Blue 5
10 PM Wed 45 45 N 7 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
11 PM Wed 44 44 N 7 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
12 Midnight Thu 43 43 N 6 7753 7149 349 Blue 2
1 AM Thu 42 42 N 5 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
2 AM Thu 42 42 N 5 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
3 AM Thu 41 41 N 5 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
4 AM Thu 41 41 N 3 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
5 AM Thu 40 40 N 3 0 6800 0 Blue 0
6 AM Thu 40 40 NE 3 0 6800 0 Blue 0
7 AM Thu 39 39 E 5 0 6800 0 Blue 0
8 AM Thu 39 39 E 5 0 6800 0 Blue 0
9 AM Thu 40 41 E 5 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
10 AM Thu 41 42 E 5 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
11 AM Thu 43 45 NE 5 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
12 Noon Thu 45 47 NE 5 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
1 PM Thu 47 49 NE 5 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
2 PM Thu 49 51 NE 5 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
3 PM Thu 50 51 NE 5 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
4 PM Thu 52 52 N 5 10854 9566 2766 Blue 11
5 PM Thu 53 53 N 5 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
6 PM Thu 54 54 N 5 12079 10035 3235 Blue 13
7 PM Thu 54 54 N 6 12079 10035 3235 Blue 13
8 PM Thu 53 53 N 6 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
9 PM Thu 51 51 N 7 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
10 PM Thu 51 51 NW 7 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
11 PM Thu 50 50 NW 7 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
12 Midnight Fri 49 49 N 7 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
1 AM Fri 47 47 N 7 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
2 AM Fri 45 45 N 7 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
3 AM Fri 44 44 N 7 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
4 AM Fri 42 42 N 7 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
5 AM Fri 41 41 N 7 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
6 AM Fri 41 41 N 7 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
7 AM Fri 41 41 N 7 7150 7149 349 Blue 0
8 AM Fri 42 42 N 7 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
9 AM Fri 43 44 N 7 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
10 AM Fri 44 46 N 7 8791 7685 885 Blue 5
11 AM Fri 45 48 N 8 9437 8683 1883 Blue 7
12 Noon Fri 47 51 NE 8 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
1 PM Fri 49 53 NE 8 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
2 PM Fri 52 55 NE 9 12467 10747 3947 Blue 14
3 PM Fri 54 56 NE 9 12848 11406 4606 Blue 15
4 PM Fri 56 57 N 9 13397 12001 5201 Blue 16
5 PM Fri 57 57 N 9 13397 12001 5201 Blue 16
6 PM Fri 58 58 N 9 13982 12385 5585 Blue 17
7 PM Fri 58 58 N 9 13982 12385 5585 Blue 17
8 PM Fri 57 57 N 9 13397 12001 5201 Blue 16
9 PM Fri 55 55 N 8 12467 10747 3947 Blue 14
10 PM Fri 53 53 N 8 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
11 PM Fri 51 51 N 8 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
12 Midnight Sat 49 49 N 7 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
1 AM Sat 47 47 N 7 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
2 AM Sat 45 45 N 7 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
3 AM Sat 44 44 N 8 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
4 AM Sat 43 43 N 8 7753 7149 349 Blue 2
5 AM Sat 42 42 N 8 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
6 AM Sat 42 42 N 7 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
7 AM Sat 42 42 N 6 7170 7149 349 Blue 1
8 AM Sat 43 43 N 6 7753 7149 349 Blue 2
9 AM Sat 44 45 NE 6 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
10 AM Sat 45 47 NE 7 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
11 AM Sat 47 49 E 8 9582 8782 1982 Blue 8
12 Noon Sat 49 52 E 9 10854 9566 2766 Blue 11
1 PM Sat 51 53 E 10 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
2 PM Sat 53 55 E 10 12467 10747 3947 Blue 14
3 PM Sat 55 56 E 10 12848 11406 4606 Blue 15
4 PM Sat 57 57 E 10 13397 12001 5201 Blue 16
5 PM Sat 59 59 E 9 14544 12763 5963 Blue 18
6 PM Sat 60 60 E 8 15086 13251 6451 Blue 19
7 PM Sat 60 60 E 8 15086 13251 6451 Blue 19
8 PM Sat 60 60 E 8 15086 13251 6451 Blue 19
9 PM Sat 59 59 E 7 14544 12763 5963 Blue 18
10 PM Sat 57 57 E 7 13397 12001 5201 Blue 16
11 PM Sat 56 56 E 7 12848 11406 4606 Blue 15
12 Midnight Sun 54 54 E 6 12079 10035 3235 Blue 13
1 AM Sun 52 52 E 6 10854 9566 2766 Blue 11
2 AM Sun 50 50 E 6 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
3 AM Sun 48 48 E 5 9437 8683 1883 Blue 7
4 AM Sun 46 46 E 5 8791 7685 885 Blue 5
5 AM Sun 45 45 E 5 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
6 AM Sun 44 44 E 5 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
7 AM Sun 44 44 E 5 8592 7150 350 Blue 3
8 AM Sun 45 45 E 5 8692 7170 370 Blue 4
9 AM Sun 46 47 E 5 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
10 AM Sun 47 48 E 5 9437 8683 1883 Blue 7
11 AM Sun 49 51 E 6 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
12 Noon Sun 51 53 E 6 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
1 PM Sun 54 56 E 6 12848 11406 4606 Blue 15
2 PM Sun 56 58 E 7 13982 12385 5585 Blue 17
3 PM Sun 58 59 E 7 14544 12763 5963 Blue 18
4 PM Sun 59 59 E 7 14544 12763 5963 Blue 18
5 PM Sun 61 61 E 7 15467 13830 7030 Blue 20
6 PM Sun 61 61 E 6 15467 13830 7030 Blue 20
7 PM Sun 61 61 E 6 15467 13830 7030 Blue 20
8 PM Sun 59 59 NE 5 14544 12763 5963 Blue 18
9 PM Sun 58 58 NE 3 13982 12385 5585 Blue 17
10 PM Sun 56 56 NE 3 12848 11406 4606 Blue 15
11 PM Sun 53 53 N 3 11523 9710 2910 Blue 12
12 Midnight Mon 51 51 N 3 10146 9421 2621 Blue 10
1 AM Mon 50 50 N 3 9727 9277 2477 Blue 9
2 AM Mon 48 48 N 5 9437 8683 1883 Blue 7
3 AM Mon 47 47 N 5 9292 8584 1784 Blue 6
4 AM Mon 46 46 N 5 8791 7685 885 Blue 5
5 AM Mon 46 46 N 3 8791 7685 885 Blue 5

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 ac_soaring@yahoo.com