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)


16 SEP 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach WSW 6 0 SSW 6 0 WSW 9 0 W 10 77 WSW 9 278 S 9 278
Pine Mountain SSW 8 8452 S 8 15260 SSW 8 11368
Eliminator Skyport SW 7 4291 SSW 6 3930 SW 6 4291
Ojai S 6 3303 SSE 10 2943 S 8 3303 SW 11 1834 S 11 2208 E 14 3303
Dunlap WSW 6 12998 SW 6 13442 WSW 7 12079
Calabasas SSW 12 2586 S 12 2785 SSW 12 2984 WSW 14 2885 SW 13 2984 S 14 4005
Saddle Peak SW 14 1197 S 12 1496 SSW 13 1596 WSW 13 1695 SW 12 1795 SSW 13 2277
Garlock SW 18 8159 SSW 14 5570 SW 18 5570 WSW 24 5148 W 16 4123 E 13 5148
Blackhawk SW 7 12505 SE 7 11616 NW 8 9704
La Cumbre Peak SW 7 5351 SSW 6 5006 SW 6 5351
Slick Rock W 6 3455 W 5 4155 W 8 2738 W 9 1253 SW 5 1253 W 6 4155
Horseshoe SSE 14 6971 SSE 20 5915 S 18 4786 WSW 12 5361 NNW 11 916 SSW 12 2905
Malibu - Castro Peak WSW 9 1951 SW 7 1951 WSW 9 2052
Cayucos SW 11 955 SW 11 1108 WSW 12 1108 WNW 17 955 NW 14 1415 W 10 1415

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  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid.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