Weather outlook for SB fishbowl for 5/26/18

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Weather outlook for SB fishbowl for 5/26/18

Postby DTM » Fri May 25, 2018 8:54 pm

This is my first time giving a day's weather outlook an honest go, so please don't blame the messenger if I'm totally off base. I'm still trying to learn all this stuff. :cry:

With that said, let's talk about the weather...

Tonight shows persistent offshore flow on the NAM (5km), ECMWF (3km), and GFS (22km) models from the surface all the way up to way higher than we care about for our local range (6400ft+). This should in theory help to mitigate the marine inversion layer that likes to set up in the morning (a good thing for us).

By the early morning tomorrow (Saturday), the offshore breeze should have largely subsided at the surface level on the coastal plain. The day is predicted to be clear, and this should help with ground heating quite a bit.

I am not yet confident in my ability to accurately analyze Skew-T graphs, but in looking at the NAM model sounding from ARL, it appears that there is a predicted inversion at 1k in the morning, eventually dissipating by 2pm. I am hoping that the actual inversion is less pronounced than this, but nevertheless, I think if you fly early, then you will want to stay high (above 3k). If you are still in the air after 1pm, you probably won't need to worry too much about an inversion. Likely, a good time to launch from Skyport will be around 10 or 11am, assuming the mountains are blocking the north wind. EJ may take a little more time to block, but might be an option as well.

Speaking of wind: all 3 models are in loose agreement that there will be a north(ish) wind in the mountains for us in the early day, turning more west in the afternoon. Below 5k, the winds appear to be predicted to be mostly manageable (under 10 mph), but if I am worried about one thing tomorrow, it is how the wind will actually play out. We shall see if she blocks (I think she will). This certainly isn't a day where you will be flying super high on our front range, I don't think.

As for XC flying potential, I think the call is to launch from SB and head eastbound until you can't head east any more. Ojai is perhaps a potential, but I have trouble predicting the lapse rate accurately for the pass between SB and Ojai, so I don't know how the crossing would go. I think it will be challenging on the first half of the course to get to the power lines. After that, it's anyone's guess. If you can make it to Ojai, then I think you can make it to Upper Ojai and maybe even Fillmore, though I don't think I like the looks of the wind in the Santa Clara River Valley in the afternoon, so I don't think I would venture past Santa Paula Peak, personally.

I think the Nuthouse might be an option for the Ventura and Ojai crowd, but your XC potential on the front ranges is more limited, as I don't think crossing the pass westbound is the in the cards tomorrow.

We shall see what the day actually brings. I'm hoping to wake up to relatively still conditions on the ground and clear skies. Cumulous clouds may develop over our range and help us out while flying, but I don't think it will over-develop, and I think we should have decent heating all day with the otherwise clear skies.

I am still working on my forecasting skills, and I have a really long way to go, so please forgive the inevitable errors that will be apparent in hindsight with my forecast. Still, I figure something is better than nothing.

If all goes well and it's not super windy in the morning, I think 9:30 or 10am would be a reasonable Parma meeting time.
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