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)


14 APR 2024

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach W 10 0 SSW 9 77 W 10 510 SW 8 659 SSW 8 1430 SW 9 324
Pine Mountain S 16 0 N 23 3742 N 13 6448 WNW 11 6855 W 12 7462 WNW 13 6652
Eliminator Skyport W 11 1465 N 21 4654 NNE 14 5696 NNE 9 6318 SW 9 6318 W 11 5696
Ojai SW 11 1524 NE 10 5173 NNE 11 7418 N 9 7621 SSW 9 7823 SW 10 7013
Dunlap SE 10 0 W 8 2183 W 9 5403 WSW 9 5815 WSW 8 6635 W 10 6430
Calabasas SSW 12 2357 WSW 11 5924 W 14 7354 SW 10 7964 SW 11 7354 SW 11 6744
Saddle Peak SSW 12 1128 SW 11 4498 W 14 5933 SW 10 6341 SSW 10 5729 WSW 11 4704
Garlock SW 26 2244 NW 24 5825 SW 18 7842 WSW 14 8432 WSW 17 8627 WSW 18 8627
Blackhawk WSW 13 5445 WNW 10 6697 NW 8 8730
La Cumbre Peak W 11 1302 NNE 16 4713 NNE 12 5967 NNE 9 6573 SW 9 6371 W 12 5552
Slick Rock SW 5 1107 W 5 3038 W 6 6157 W 8 6561 W 8 7366 W 10 7166
Horseshoe S 10 5355 NW 15 10069 NNW 12 11039
Malibu - Castro Peak SSW 13 0 W 11 2456 W 14 4152 SW 10 4572 SSW 10 3942 WSW 11 3096
Cayucos NW 12 1244 NW 12 3474 NW 11 5355

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 [email protected]