Mid-March 2020

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Mid-March 2020

Postby sd » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:42 am

Thursday 3/19/2020 dawn update

For those pilots who opted to watch yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) flights from the sidelines, you missed out on some wind and sharp strong air with frequent hard edges, but the good news is it looks good through at least Saturday with lighter wind and an OK to good lapse rate.

Today (Thursday) might OD and rain, but you can likely get in some quality airtime before the OD and it should be smooth in the shade. Base wind is mid-single digits from the west. Chance of rain is only 20%

Tomorrow (Friday) should also work in SB, but for Max distance potential you might want to start from Oat Mountain in Fillmore? Base wind is light from the east. Perhaps a bit drier than Thursday, but looks like some high clouds might dampen the heating and limit the potential?

Saturday looks like a good day in SB with the wind forecasted to clock around and come from the west (base wind is currently forecasted to be mid-single digits). The day looks drier and the high clouds are less of a threat, so you might be able to get on course eastbound? (added note: Pilots flew from Fillmore westbound past Refugio on Saturday, so the east flow timing lingered into the weekend).

For those of you who remember Ron Faoro, he would have been 66 today…
Wednesday 3/18/2020 pre-dawn Update

The forecast for today is pretty much on track. Ballistic lapse rate with the thermals going high. There is some increasing wind to contend with. More wind along the coast than in the mountains, and much less wind through Ojai. The strategy is to get over Casitas Pass before the west wind builds. Launching early might be problematic due to north wind early but we expect the lower launches to block. The lapse rate in Fillmore looks good with thermals going to 6K midday, and a little weaker late in the day.

The forecast for tomorrow (Thursday) is looking better than it was on Monday. Weaker lapse rate but still good and not as much coastal wind. More wind up high, but there is a high capping inversion above 6K that should shield the lower altitudes. More moisture tomorrow.

Friday and Saturday are also looking promising. Today still looks like the best day for distance, but it also has the most wind. Friday might be a good day to fly back to Santa Barbara from Fillmore

Monday Morning Outlook through Mid-Week (Mid-March 2020)

We have continued instability for a few days with incremental drying each day through Thursday. Expect some cloud development and possible showers, but likely some windows that offer good flying.

Santa Barbara is likely the preferable mountain launch through the period for a number of reasons.

Wednesday looks like the most promising day?

Monday (today) Expect moist flow from the south, increasing with altitude, and rain. Likely a no go in the mountains due to clouds, wind, and rain. Bates should work for HGs if you enjoy flying in the rain.

Tuesday still has significant moisture with possible rain. Drying some later in the day, but perhaps over-development in the mountains? The lapse rate looks good. You might be able to scoot along under cloudbase and then tower up for a glide out mid-afternoon? The skew-t graphs are forecasting local flow below ridgeline to be light from the SE, but the marine forecast is calling for mild flow form the SW, building to possibly ridge soarable velocities in the afternoon.

Wednesday is drier but still has a good lapse rate. Should be able to launch from the Santa Barbara lower launches early (the upper launches might have some wind from the NW). Forecasted wind starts out light from the SW (down low) then builds into the low teens in the mountains in the afternoon, so recommend launching early and getting over Casitas Pass before the wind becomes a problem. The forecasted wind isn’t excessive, but enough to demand your attention. Less wind in Ojai, but also more cloud development with likely eventual OD, so you want to get through Ojai before it shades in too much. The development could grow into afternoon showers. The OD will likely encompass Santa Paula Peak, but perhaps drier toward Fillmore and the river valley?

Thursday is drier still, but the lapse rate fades above 3K. Below 3K the lapse rate looks good so the Santa Barbara mountains should work. The skew-t soundings are forecasting light flow from the SE in the mountains and the marine forecast is calling for light flow from the west

Friday is looking a little flat but it’s pretty far out...
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