SOARING FORECAST, FEBRUARY 10 to 13

WEEKEND SOARING FORECAST, FEBRUARY 10 to 13, 2012

Some interesting conditions this period as several contrasting weather patterns push through.
Friday expect a continuation of above normal temps with gentle offshore north component wind. Should be some thermals around to pick off and some second ridge areas may start working.
Saturday a low pressure weather system quickly pushes across our area bringing with it a welcome return of westerly winds. Although the winds are forecast out of the west, the velocity aloft indicate wave potential.
Sunday and Monday clear high pressure weather quickly builds in again in the wake of the low. Again, look for wave especially Sunday with quite strong winds aloft forecast both days.




>> SATURDAY UPDATE:<<

I flew Friday and Saturday and both days seemed to agree for the most part with my outlook above.  We had a great time!

Friday:
I towed to the work camp and got off at appx. 7,500 feet and used a combination of broken thermals and ridge lift generated by northwesterly breezes of about 15 knots. Fun flight but it did require constant vigorous attention to stay up for about 1 1/2 hours. Attempting to penetrate wind to look for ridge lift at Baden Powel quickly cost me 1,000 feet in heavy sink and was not successful so stayed near Blue Ridge area and work camp.

Saturday:
Very steady westerly breeze all day appx. 10 to 15 knots directly out of the West as the next frontal system approached (made for nice short takeoff roll). Sunny with scattered strato cumulus. My tow to the punchbowl was pretty wild and despite leaving the gear down and putting on 10 degrees of flap both the towplane and I got tossed out of position a lot and eventually had to release at 7,500 over the punchbowl due to a loop of slack. A little lower than I wanted to be but I climbed out in various parcels of lift that felt at times like wave and then rough tight thermals. There was a low scattered cloudbase at 9,500 feet that capped lift for the day. It was quite a dramatic sky with dark storm clouds to the west, the entire area south of the mountains in heavy overcast and our area with dark scattered CU’s and rotor cloud in sunny weather. A dark rain squall with strong gust front attacked the field just as I was tying down my ship. Several pilots dashed in and landed to secure their ships before it hit. It cleared to the east in 30 minutes and we had ships flying in sunny weather for the rest of the day.

Sunday and Monday should be fantastic sunny soaring days with good chance of wave.




The National Weather Service is predicting the following local surface conditions for Friday through Monday:

FRIDAY:
Sunny. Temperature: 71 degrees
Wind: Northwest 5 to 10 mph.

SATURDAY:
Sunny, Temperature: 71 degrees
Wind: West 5 to 10 mph. becoming 10 to 20 later.

SUNDAY
Sunny, Temperature: 59 degrees
Wind: Southwest 10 to 15 mph.

MONDAY:
Sunny, Temperature: 57 degrees
Wind: West 15 to 20 mph. Gusty.

-Robert….

robert.settle@gmail.com