Cuttoff Low Exit / Mid March 2020

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Cuttoff Low Exit / Mid March 2020

Postby sd » Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:42 am

3/12/2020 Thursday Morning Perception

Our current macro scenario is somewhat unusual, so the weather models are struggling. Confidence is low in what will happen next, but one thing that all the models seem to agree on is that it is not static so expect conditions to change radically through the day.

The day starts out blue with increasing vertical development in the afternoon with a chance of rain showers later in the day. Most models are calling for significant wind from the east up higher, but some lighter flow (pull in) from the SW down low along the coast and perhaps NW in the Santa Ynez Valley (down low). The east wind is stronger earlier and less so this afternoon. The lapse rate is good (Santa Barbara) to stellar (inland to the east), so there may be potential to launch on the east end of the course and fly westbound.

I’ve been disappointed numerous times driving to Fillmore in light Santa Anna. Fillmore works better in a pre-frontal SE. This event is something in-between so I don’t have confidence that Fillmore will or won’t work. If it isn’t too windy at launch the lapse rate numbers look good, but if the east wind it too strong it is hazardous to launch and go OTB through the lee side turb to cross the river. Fillmore might offer the best potential, but also a significant possibility that you might have to wait on launch for the east flow to back off. Perhaps a hike-up launch on the west side of the river? Or better yet permission to drive up to the San Cayetano saddle?

A more conservative option would be the Nuthouse, which blocks a NE flow well and a SE prefrontal less so. With this event, the wind seems to be up higher, so the Nuthouse launch itself should be below the wind. I think the wind issue should be manageable at the Nuthouse, but there is the potential for overdevelopment. If we choose to launch from the Nuthouse the strategy would be to stay low and plug east to the Pyramid or Nordhoff (at least to Spine One), then go higher into the east wind to cross Hwy 33. Expect some turb climbing up into the east wind.

The easy option with less potential would be launching from Santa Barbara, which should work at the Brotherhood early or the lower launches later. Going east would be problematic due to the increasing east wind with increasing altitude and going west is a short course with lower level flow from the west later in the day.

Friday (tomorrow) looks good in SB down low (up to about 2500) as the marine layer moves in, then inverted at the mountain launch altitudes By “good down low” I’m looking at the lapse rate. There is a moisture concern down low. Best potential on Friday is likely Elings? Thursday (today) is SW down low and East up higher but Friday flips to SE flow down low then flow from the west up higher.

Saturday has a deeper marine layer, all the way up above ridge line. A good lapse rate, but wet. Not rain wet but perhaps some drizzle… Saturday is also SE down lower with flow from the west up higher.
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