Early September 2020 Heat Wave

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Early September 2020 Heat Wave

Postby sd » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:06 pm

Sunday Morning dawn update

Saturday was likely a better day for big miles due to wind at altitude (Jeff Longcor flew from Fillmore WNW past Plowshare, about 83 or 84ish miles / still need to review his IGC). Jeff got to 16.5K a couple of times and estimated cloudbase to be 17Kish…

Today (Sunday), looks like a better day for recreational boutique flights due to much less wind at altitude. Sunday may have a slightly better lapse rate at the lower altitudes compared to Saturday. Max altitudes look similar.

You can likely reach the back range (Pine Mountain Range) from the front range, but Saturday was a struggle down low, especially early in the day. The day starts out with some flow from the southeast that eventually clocks around to come from the SW then from the west at lower to mid-altitudes. By Monday it will have clocked even more to come from hard from the north.

Pine Mountain looks like the most direct route to big altitude today. With a strong lapse rate and some lingering flow from the SE early at launch altitude, there is the potential for strong cycles on the south launch. The NAM skew-t is calling for 4 to 5 from the SE at 11 am and 2 to 3 from the SSW at 2 PM, but that is often amplified on launch by the strong thermic draw. The flow is forecasted to continue clocking around and to come from the WNW by the end of the day.

The west Antelope Valley is showing flow from the East through mid-afternoon, so not a good day to go very far east or west, but a great day to get high, do a lap, and fly to the beach (similar to 3 weeks ago but drier and higher cloudbase).

Not sure that you can make it to Divide from Santa Barbara due to some east wind up higher and an inversion down lower? Going OTB direct from SB looks like a problematic route today with building west flow later in the day and a low inversion the Santa Ynez Valley…

You can likely get to Pine from Fillmore today, but based on yesterday’s observations I think it would be better to launch at noon than 11 (we launched at 11 on Saturday), to facilitate the initial climb up San Cayetano Ridge through the lower level inversion. The west is eventually forecasted to come upriver today, but it never really did yesterday (Saturday). We tend to launch early to avoid the upriver flow, but it is easier to climb up San Cayetano Ridge launching later.

Caution: Record high temperatures today (even hotter than Saturday). Recommend plenty of water, an apple, a hat, and a network so you can get help if needed.
Saturday morning pre-dawn update:
The models haven’t changed much so still on track with prior projections. Maybe a little less lower level wind forecasted in the SB Channel compared to last night’s forecast? One thing I didn’t mention previously is the increasing south wind at altitude relaxes some later in the day. Numerous locations including Santa Barbara look like they will work good late in the day.

Sunday still looks like the better day, but the 11 am launch conditions from Oat (Fillmore) look good today (Saturday). Monday looks like it’s too windy from the north for PGs, but if you are flying a HG you might be able to reach Santa Cruz island?

We currently have about a dozen pilots reporting onboard for Fillmore today (Saturday) with a couple of vehicles including the Eagle Van and a couple of drivers. Logistic details posted on the SBSA Telegram Chat

Friday afternoon update

The best day of the weekend still appears to be Sunday but there are pilots going to Fillmore on Saturday; 8:30 at East Beach, 8:50 in Carp, downtown Fillmore around 9:40 to be on launch by 10:20 and ready for takeoff by 11.

Fillmore is mostly a P2/H2 drive up site with a super easy launch similar to our Elings T-Hill, but the midday conditions on Saturday might be a bit much for novice pilots due to strong lift, sharp edges, increasing wind at altitude, variable draw, and possibly some sheer.

Saturday is problematic from a big distance perspective due to increasing wind at altitude with a direction reversal down below 2500. SB looks like it will be protected enough from the lower onshore flow to work, but as you climb expect to encounter increasing wind from the SSE. Fillmore likely offers more protection from the ocean air, but down low it will likely draw upriver by midday, hence we are planning to launch at 11 am to avoid the lower upriver flow. Fortunately, San Cayetano Ridge faces SSE and works early.

Probably too much wind to launch from Pine on Saturday, but you might be ok if you are already airborne with comfortable terrain clearance? I may opt for limited expectations and be satisfied with a flight back to the beach.

The forecast is calling for quite a bit of wind from the SW in the channel on Saturday, but the hot air might block the cooler ocean air just off the beach? I do expect the lower level onshore flow to pull up the feed paths like the Santa Clara River.

Didn’t hear any reports from pilots flying today (Friday), but expect more wind and a better lapse rate tomorrow (Saturday)

Sunday continues to look like the better day from a fear factor perspective as the wind backs off and most altitudes.

Monday looks windy from the north, perhaps too much to fly the north side of Pine?

If you are on-board for Saturday, please check in via Telegram, private message, or phone. We won’t necessarily stop at the meet spots unless pilots raise their hand. We currently have maybe 5 or 6 pilots and perhaps a couple of trucks. Not sure about ground crew yet…

Thursday evening look at the pending holiday weekend.

Dangerous record high temperatures. You may not need you gloves but bring plenty of water and a hat. It is forecasted to get hotter in Ojai (110 on Saturday and 111 on Sunday) than the desert.

I didn’t try to project out through Monday because it is too far off. Both Saturday and Sunday look promising with Sunday being the better option (due to less wind) if you can only fly one of the days.

Friday looks like a transition day. No so good in the local mountains due to an inversion up to 3Kish in SB with light onshore flow below 3K and stiff ESE wind above. If you are insistent on flying the mountains on Friday, Pine might be your best option. The lapse rate looks good up to big altitude, but there is some wind from the SE, 6 knots at launch altitude, 8-10 knots at 10K, then increasing wind up higher, which seems manageable, but Pine often amplifies the SE so it might be gusting significantly stronger on launch. If you do go to Pine on Friday (tomorrow), I recommend going early before it gets strong? Or maybe late in the day?

By Saturday the onshore flow is mostly blocked so the inversion is squashed down low enough that soaring pilots can likely stay above it in SB, but the flow is from the SE so if you want to fly XC then I’d recommend starting upwind. I think the road to Chiefs is still closed (never opened this season?) but Fillmore looks promising. The lapse rate at Pine is good on Saturday, but some wind from the SSE looks like it might be too strong to launch a PG (stronger than Friday). You might be able to hike up to the Nuthouse if you are a strong athlete in training, but the excessive heat puts it out of my reach, so my preference for Saturday would be to start in Fillmore. I took a look at Figueroa, but the skew-t forecasts indicate some low level onshore flow from the west resulting in a strong inversion up to about 2K.

By Sunday (which is a long way off, so confidence is low) the wind at Pine backs off and the lapse rate looks strong. The lapse rate for SB and Fillmore also look good on Sunday, but Fillmore has less of an inversion and the wind is still from the SE. Figueroa continues to look inverted down low. Pine might be the best bet, but we might be able to get to Pine from Fillmore. We should know by Saturday afternoon if we fly Fillmore on Saturday.

So, my recommendations. Pass on Friday, or perhaps hope the sea-breeze is good enough for the coastal cliffs or Elings, or give Pine a look.

On Saturday, I’ll likely try to fly from Fillmore. SB also looks soarable from the high launches, but you can likely fly back to SB from Fillmore?

On Sunday, SB, Pine, and SB will likely work with Pine currently being the surest bet, but you might be able to get to Pine from Fillmore, so I’d wait to see how pilots do on Saturday before deciding where to go on Sunday

I’ll try to line up some Saturday logistics for Fillmore and post an update sometime Friday…
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