Mid March Weekend 3/10-12/2017

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Mid March Weekend 3/10-12/2017

Postby sd » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:37 am

Monday Morning Update

Looks like the low level marine air might have been too much for Santa Barbara on Sunday, preventing the surface temperature from reaching the forecasted highs? Looks like it got plenty hot in Ojai, but I don’t think anyone opted to hike in the heat.

Saturday Afternoon Update

I might consider the Nuthouse Sunday but would need to get an early start because it will be hot and I’m an old rickety guy who struggles with the climb. If you are interest, give me a call or send me a text so we can carpool? http://truax.org/3/a_tom

Friday was a bit on the weak side with most pilots hanging on down low, but Dave Bader was able to tag 4500 in multiple spots. Saturday was better? Early Saturday flights were a struggle, but by midday pilots were gliding to the beach and it reportedly got nice late the afternoon as a little west wind pushed through.

The lapse rate continues to improve on Sunday near the coast, but the improvement is mostly due to more NE flow clearing out the marine air (which has its pros and cons). Will still likely be marginal down low early in SB, but better after noon. Not a stellar lapse rate but good enough and a little better on paper compared to Saturday? There is some light west that pushes through below ridge line later in the afternoon. Inland still looks better than SB (as expected) tomorrow (Sunday). Not much change inland from today (Saturday). Perhaps a little warmer at all altitudes.

With more NE flow affecting SB on Sunday, it might be better to launch in Ojai and fly back to SB. The Watershed Divide Convergence might work, but not very robust. Max altitudes on the front range might be in the mid 7s around the Topa Bluffs, a thousand lower over Whiteledge? And maybe 85 to 9K over the Watershed Divide and Pine Mountain. Pine might be reachable via the Watershed Divide route, but I would rather have and extra thousand or two before committing into the wilderness. Matt Henze has done it much lower (below ridge line), but on a developed day. http://paraglide.net/log/amigo/matt_henzi/2015_02-23_skyport_to_san_joaquin_valley.htm
Friday Look at the Weekend

Lucas, I suspect the flying will be good at all the So Cal Sites this weekend, including Santa Barbara which might offer “more colorful” flying than Marshall, but of course I’m a local and biased. Marshall will have a stronger lapse rate and better altitude potential, but there is some concern about possible northeast wind?

The NWS Forecast Discussion SYNOPSIS...
High pressure and weak offshore flow will persist through Monday with much-above normal high temperatures for many areas. http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=LOX&issuedby=LOX&product=AFD&format=txt&version=1&glossary=1

Santa Barbara isn’t in the Katabatic Drain Path, so we tend to be sheltered from east off-shore winds. Marshall and Kagel do sometimes have stellar days when the offshore / onshore convergence line pushes up to their launches. At Kagel, you can sometimes launch the north side to connect into the convergence before the onshore flow pushes all the way into the basin, but I don’t think Marshall offers north side launch options? Santa Barbara of course has numerous north side launch options that have enabled many outstanding XC flights.

The attached skew-T graphs seem to show a better lapse rate inland (as is typical this time of year). I would hope that the weak offshore flow would clear out the stable marine air, but since SB is protected more from the offshore flow, and is close to the ocean, it will likely have some marine influence down low, so I’d recommend launching high and holding the high ground? The zone forecasts are calling for some marine influence even inland in the morning before getting hot. Might not be able to launch early. Need to let it heat up. You want to be in the air late in the day.

The surface temps and lapse rate increase through the weekend with Sunday looking like the strongest day. If you combine Sunday’s okish lapse rate in SB, (much stronger inland) with the potential for convergence, then some sites will likely post impressive altitude numbers because there isn’t an overlying capping inversion.

The east flow seems to increase through the weekend with Sunday being stronger? Marshall looks good today, stronger on Saturday and Sunday, but the weekend also presents some potential for northeast wind.

You can likely get high in Ojai and fly back to SB, but XC pilots flying Ojai would need to hike up to the Nuthouse (1000 vertical). If you opt to hike the Nuthouse Trail, start early before it gets too hot. Sunday might be the better day due to less wind and hotter temps, but Saturday might be better for an out and return from Ojai to SB and back toward Fillmore? Look forward to reading reports of stellar flights from multiple sites this weekend.

I didn’t add clarifying notations to the attached skew-Ts because I didn’t have time. Look at the file names and the times. They are for Marshall, Ojai, and Santa Barbara, for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 1 PM.

Note that the skew-Ts show more potential for high clouds today (Friday), and less so on Saturday and Sunday
nam_2017_03-10_12z_for_marshall_ojai_sb 10-12_21z.zip
skew-T forecast sounding for weekend
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