NEWS:

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 WeatherAPI.com 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


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


Sounding

Station:

KVBG (alt)

Date/Time:

17 APR 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu
Site
Name
Wind Above
Launch
Wind Above
Launch
Wind Above
Launch
Wind Above
Launch
Wind Above
Launch
Wind Above
Launch
Bates Beach WSW 8 1438 W 11 1459 SW 9 1566
Pine Mountain SSW 9 12335 NNE 7 13696 SSW 9 15039
Eliminator Skyport W 11 7955 W 15 11884 W 10 12083
Ojai SSW 9 9628 NNE 7 11052 SSW 9 12462
Dunlap SW 5 11051 W 6 12258 W 6 12459
Calabasas W 10 8459 NE 21 11431 WSW 11 11825
Saddle Peak W 10 8211 NE 18 13171 WSW 10 12975
Garlock NE 17 11200 NNE 22 11805 W 17 12807
Blackhawk N 14 9210 NNE 20 9210 NNW 8 11073
La Cumbre Peak W 11 10799 W 15 12005 W 10 12206
Slick Rock WSW 7 9946 W 7 12179 W 7 12581
Horseshoe NNW 10 11233 NNW 12 13386 NW 9 16426
Malibu - Castro Peak W 13 6822 NE 23 7834 WSW 12 9790
Cayucos NW 12 1524 WNW 8 5653 WNW 11 2988

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  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid.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 WeatherAPI.com website.  Puddle temperatures can exceed this temperature. 

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

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