Saturday, 5/13/2023

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Saturday, 5/13/2023

Postby sd » Fri May 12, 2023 3:53 pm

Friday Afternoon look at the weekend:

Chris Gulden inquired about Plowshare for Saturday, so that was my initial research focus, but I also looked at other sites, but only for Saturday.
For Plowshare, Saturday looks like the better balance compared to Sunday. Sunday might offer more distance potential, but you could also get skunked on Sunday because the onshore flow pulls in early. Saturday looks more likely that we can get up and on-course, but we won’t have the benefit of Sunday’s tailwind.

There is stuff written about Plowshare, including my 30-year-old notes at:
and Don Taber’s 35-year-old notes at:

Chad has the current PG open distance record. I think he landed at Cal Trans? About 55 miles. Logan has flown to the Sand Pile, about 51 miles? If Willy wants to come out the HG distance is further, past Lancaster, about 120 miles.
Light wind, good lapse rate, and no high clouds.

Saturday is the peak heat day (inland) with the Cuyama Valley temps in the upper 80s. There is some weak offshore push early that gives way to upriver onshore flow in the afternoon. We want to be on-launch by 10 and ready to go by 10:30, but we may not launch until 11 or 12. The later we launch the easier it will be to get up at launch, but if you are too late (after the onshore flow pulls in) then you are too late.

If we make the initial connection to get up at launch and move upriver to Miranda Pine, then we are in the game and the altitude is good, rising to 12K by early afternoon. Eastbound from McPherson Peak (behind New Cuyama) to Fox Mt and Santa Barbara Canyon is an iffy connection. If you can dribble upriver to the clouds at Pine, base is 14K mid-afternoon, lowering some later in the day as the development thickens. Slow going as the east wind backs off and gives way to light flow from the NW.

If pilots get to Pine, I would expect Chad’s 30+ year old PG record to be extended. There are some obstacles, like getting on course at launch, and rounding the corner across Santa Barbara Canyon toward Pine, but if you can get to Pine then the day is more clock limited than course limited. From Pine you can reach past Ojai toward Piru or continue past Lockwood for the Antelope Valley. Nice clouds at Pine and Lockwood, but the Antelope Valley looks blue. Note that Hwy 33 is closed, so chase will need to go through Lockwood Valley and Frazier Park.

There are other options besides Plowshare on Saturday.
Ojai looks really good for a noon (or later) launch from the Nuthouse. Expect to get over 10K in Ojai (11 or 12K). You can bench back to Pine for bigger altitude or time the Santa Clara river sea-breeze convergence and try to bridge across toward Kagel.

Figueroa might also work but is closer to the ocean and a bit lower than Plowshare, so the certainty is reduced. Garcia is much more knowledgeable regarding Figueroa. There is an offshore / onshore convergence rolling through late morning to mid-day that might be a ticket get up and on course. Going east from Fig is more of a commitment while Plowshare has a road. You can get to launch at Fig a lot faster than Plowshare, so I you can’t make the 7:30 meet time at East Beach, it might be a good option.

Fillmore looks good by 1 PM, but too much east wind for an early launch. There is a convergence pushing up the river with big altitude over 10K, but timing is important. You can align with the convergence time from the Nuthouse, but from Plowshare you will get there too late.

Santa Barbara looks iffy. Inverted down low but the lapse rate gets better above 3K, so you might be able to launch from EJ a 11:30 and get up in the La Cumbre Peak convergence, then go OTB with the light SE flow before the quenching west comes in?
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