Moderate early Fall Santa Anna 2020

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Moderate early Fall Santa Anna 2020

Postby sd » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:12 pm

Thursday Morning Update:

Today (Thursday) looks like the best day of the week. Same strong lapse rate as yesterday (Wednesday) shifted a little hotter across the profile without the wind.

Note: the SB winds aloft forecast is calling for light and variable across the profile this morning , and the NAM skew-t is calling for locally light flow from the east, but the actual early observations are showing a stiff drainage with a north component, weaker down low near the beach but stronger across the ridgeline and foothills. We might need to wait for it to block, but we don’t want to wait too long because there is some west forecasted to push in on the western end of the course.

Looks like we are course limited on the east end of the course, but Ojai looks good late in the day and the west does eventually push back the light east flow in Ojai late in the afternoon. Don’t expect to go much past Fillmore, which is east all day, with some lower level upriver flow late in the day.

With some forecasted early flow from the east I took a brief look at the route OTB toward Figueroa, but there is more west toward the west, so I think that route is problematic today due to the wind direction plus the lower level west is cooler ocean air. The Santa Ynez Valley is forecasted to be very hot, but they are forecasting west wind in the afternoon for Santa Ynez.

I prefer flying downwind. It does look like a classic day to start in Ojai and go downwind westbound with big altitude for a turnpoint in SB and then back eastbound toward Fillmore, but I don’t think anyone is up for a hot hike in 100+ degree temps when we can drive up a paved road?

Don’t recommend leaving your vehicle at Parma. Parma will be excessively hot. If you choose to land mid-day, I suggest landing near the beach which will be much cooler.
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Wednesday Morning Update

The good news is the katabatic (contracting, dense, heavy, and descending) flow has pushed the stubborn marine air (cool, heavy, and stable) offshore a bit. An issue is the north wind at ridgeline and the “descending” part (we prefer air that is going up).

The lapse rate looks impressive in Santa Barbara, but the north wind along our ridgeline might be problematic for PGs (not so much of an issue for HGs). The NAM skew-t forecast is calling for low teens at 8 am, then backing down into the mid-single digits this afternoon before building back again at the end of the day. The winds aloft forecast (for a more general area) is calling for north wind in the mid-teens. Reporting stations indicate its currently gusting into the mid-20s along our ridgeline (behind SB)… Less wind in Ojai with the NAM skew-t forecast calling for light and variable by mid-afternoon.

The mid-channel buoy is reporting WSW at 11 but the island are all reporting north in the mid-teens, so perhaps the north can’t push the low cool slug of mid-channel air that is “trapped” by the islands?

Hopefully the strong lapse rate will block the north enough that we can get some exciting flights. Go to Know? Don’t need an early start. Looking to carpool from Carpinteria around 9:15 to 11ish? Meet at East Beach or Padaro? If we choose to launch it’s not likely we’ll need to land at Parma.

Looks like less wind tomorrow (Thursday)?
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Late Monday Afternoon Perception
of the pending moderate high-pressure Santa Anna driven heat wave that started today further to the southeast away from the ocean.

Today (Monday) was a bit of a contest between the offshore flow and the stubborn marine air with the boundary up the Santa Clara river around Piru. Ojai was hot, but the marine air ruled closer to the ocean. The SB mountains seemed to be inverted with wind from the east, likely not flyable in the mountains? Carpinteria was overcast until the sun made a brief appearance for a few hours in the afternoon before clouding over again around mid-afternoon.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) looks hotter everywhere but there is a morning inversion along the coast that needs to burn off. Today's local east wind in SB gives way to local flow from the west. Ojai is forecasted to reach 100, but significantly cooler in Santa Barbara. SB will likely work from the high launches above the inversion, but some ocean air pulls in from the west in the afternoon with the potential to dampen and break up the thermals at the lower altitudes. Ojai looks robust tomorrow if you can claw past Carpinteria along the lower Castle Ridge stretch. You could launch from the Nuthouse on Tuesday, but with flow from the west you might not get past White Ledge on a westbound leg…

Tuesday night is calling for some offshore flow from the NE locally and along the central coast, which should help scour out the stubborn marine air in Santa Barbara, so the early inversion on Wednesday should be much lower compared to Tuesday… so on paper…

Wednesday looks better than Tuesday with a better lapse rate. There will likely be some wind from the NE at ridge line early so we might need to wait for a block or plan on checking out the Brotherhood launch? Santa Barbara is still somewhat exposed to the ocean air which should pull in from the west in the afternoon, but we might be able to avoid the west if we can launch early enough to get past Castle Ridge ahead of the west flow?

Thursday, the temps fade a bit, but not much. The NAM skew-t forecast for SB is calling for some early lower flow from the west with flow above ridgeline from the east, then the west pushing through at all altitudes later in the day. Thursday looks good for an out and return from the Nuthouse with a western turnpoint dependent on the how early you can launch and where you encounter the building flow from the west. The strategy would be to stay high in flow form the east on a westbound leg and perhaps lower on the initial eastbound leg after rounding a western turn point… If you opt to fly the Nuthouse, I’d recommend getting an early start to avoid hiking the hotter part of the day.

Ojai should work all week if you can get there from SB or hike up.

The offshore/onshore battle plays out in the Santa Clara River. Likely too much east for an early launch in Fillmore, but you might be ok launching later in the day. The offshore doesn’t look strong enough to hold back the afternoon ocean air, but don’t expect to go much further upriver than Fillmore. You might be able to bridge across the river on the moving offshore/onshore seam, but the flow is forecasted to be somewhat of a layered sheer with east wind above and ocean air pulling upriver underneath…

Friday: The temps cool off more and are back to normal by Sunday.

I’ll likely sit on the sideline Tuesday then fly from Santa Barbara on Wednesday and maybe from the Nuthouse on Thursday?
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