Feb 16, 2021
- Problems getting data from National Weather Service began on Feb 11 impacting operation of the Soaring Predictor software.
The service seems to be working again at about 75% as of this morning, Feb 16.

Backup data is being sourced from however, their free service is limited to 3 days. If you see a three day forecast for your favorite site, thank the WeatherAPI folks. The full 5-day forecasts are receiving input data from the National Weather service (thank them too :-).

RASP and Windgrams should not be impacted

See the southern California RASP Model The detail grid covers the San Diego sites, but the 4km grid covers most of southern California.

Instructional video on reading the RASP Model

Check out the WINDGRAMS Windgrams are available for most Santa Barbara sites from the more accurate RASP data



KVBG (alt)


12 MAY 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach WSW 8 77 WSW 9 184 WSW 8 77 WSW 13 0 SSW 10 0 W 12 77
Pine Mountain ENE 8 9224 NNW 10 6912 WNW 12 7603 SW 18 1696 WSW 17 1334 WNW 18 4609
Eliminator Skyport WSW 11 509 WSW 12 447 WSW 11 447 WSW 16 60 W 16 60 W 16 416
Ojai SSE 9 6428 S 9 4097 SW 8 3745 SSW 12 0 SSW 11 0 SW 10 0
Dunlap WSW 6 4129 W 6 3953 WSW 6 3602 WSW 8 0 WSW 6 0 WSW 6 0
Calabasas S 10 2274 SSW 11 2075 S 13 1927 SSW 16 1653 SSW 14 1576 SW 14 1865
Saddle Peak S 12 809 SSW 12 809 SSW 14 554 SSW 16 324 SSW 14 324 SW 14 554
Garlock SSW 14 10406 SW 16 10738 W 21 11227 WSW 21 7557 W 18 2737 W 19 8833
Blackhawk E 17 11101 E 12 11101 W 12 10100 SW 20 7732 W 14 2132 W 11 4800
La Cumbre Peak SW 7 6933 SW 6 4791 SW 7 4791
Slick Rock WSW 7 16143 WSW 7 15951 WNW 10 15758
Horseshoe SSE 16 8490 SSE 16 8490 SSE 17 10029 SSW 14 4619 NW 10 20 WNW 11 5246
Malibu - Castro Peak WSW 9 468 WSW 9 347 SW 11 205 WSW 16 0 SSW 13 0 SW 14 158
Cayucos WSW 9 1476 WSW 10 1747 WSW 10 1185 WSW 13 1136 SW 12 1577 W 12 1715

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 or website.  Puddle temperatures can exceed this temperature. 

Puddle Temp: This estimate is based on the High Temp and the National Weather Service or 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 or website.

Wind Gust: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service or 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