4th January Weekend 2021

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4th January Weekend 2021

Postby sd » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:48 am

Sunday Morning Perception Update

Not a lot of adjustment from yesterday afternoon’s assessment so I’ll be brief and only discuss the evolution. The day is looking better with perhaps a tad less wind and the ability to launch earlier. The early and late day lapse rate is also perhaps a tad better on paper but the difference is minimal. Still expect trouble later in the day with mid-level cloud development. Still need the morning inversion to break, but being able to launch early is helpful if you are trying to go past Fillmore because the day looks time limited rather than course limited. Dress Warm

There is significantly less wind in Ojai, and the west is forecasted to build some from the west in the afternoon… so… we recommend going east to avoid the afternoon west wind… There should be stiff wind mid-channel, but not sure how much will pull into the beaches and coastal cliffs.
Saturday Afternoon look at Sunday (1/24)
Sunday looks like a potential fly day in the local mountains with potential go medium distance to around Fillmore-ish. The atmosphere briefly dries out toward mostly sunny but there are likely some mid-level clouds in the upper teens that develop as the day heats and the mid-level clouds then build ahead of the next system moving through Sunday night.

The wind is moderate OTB from the north at ridgeline early but confidence is high that it will block at the lower altitudes by late morning and then pull in from the west in the mid to upper single digits in the afternoon and be more from the NW up higher, increasing in velocity with altitude. Ojai is more sheltered from the NW wind up higher and should draw in from the SW down lower. Fillmore is also protected from the NW and should draw upriver from the SW.

The lapse rate starts out inverted down low but improves to positive by mid to late morning and continues to improve toward robust at the lower altitudes by early afternoon, then fades some late in the day as the building mid-level clouds shade the surface. The lapse rate in Ojai might be marginally better than SB, but it has the same problem with mid altitude overdevelopment as the day ages. The Fillmore lapse rate looks ok mid-day, but by the time you get there the day will likely be shutting down. Dress warm, freezing level is about 6K. The surface high is forecasted to be in the low to mid-60s.

Confidence Is high we should be able to launch from the Skyport by late morning or earlier. The ridgeline may be launchable on the south side later, but by then the lapse rate is good down low so there is no need to launch high unless you aren’t comfortable with the Skyport profile. If you want to launch high on a shallower profile, you might consider West La Cumbre. The Alternator is our best NW facing launch but is currently overgrown for most pilots.

The coastal cliffs may work on Sunday but confidence in the inner water forecast is low. There will likely be more wind to the west so if it’s light consider Wilcox and if it looks like it is building take a look at Bates.

Monday looks too windy in the mountains for PGs and a bit much for HGs. There might be a narrow window for Bates to Ventura but there is potential for strong wind in the afternoon and the direction looks iffy. I’d recommend alternate activities on Monday.

Tuesday looks possibly flyable. There is wind up high but also a capping inversion offering protection. The lapse rate looks robust down low so we might be able to stay under the wind. There is potential for high clouds which can be a wild card but the lapse rate looks good enough that it will likely still work with some shade. The coastal cliffs look good on Tuesday, but they might get blown out for PGs in the afternoon with more wind on the coast than in the mountains.
Partial Summary for Saturday (1/23)
Saturday was a good day that trended wet. SBSA Telegram Chat photos show snow on the Skyport and Liminator as Hammer was setting up for his flight to La Conchita. Pilots were getting over launch at the Elings T-Hill before they shut down (due to rain?). Wilcox reportedly had a sweet window. Not sure about Bates, but from my house (mid-Carpinteria) it appeared to possibly have a short weak window, probably not as good as Wilcox. Nice rainbow in Carpinteria as a little sun popped out around 4 PM.
Partial Summary for Friday (1/22)
Friday was a good work day in the mountains. Willy flew earlier from the Liminator and Mike Harrington was set up but don’t think he launched and then it started raining harder. Cloudbase was around 3K early but lowered later in the day.
Elings T-Hill was reportedly fun. The wind came up into the sweet zone for Wilcox and Bates. Carter was back in the air at Bates
Partial Summary for Thursday (1/21)

Congratulations to multiple pilots who had their personal best (longest SLOFD / Straight Line Over Flown Distance) flights from Santa Barbara on Thursday, including (but not limited to?)
Dilan Benedetti (longest SLOFD of the day), about 62.4 miles from EJ to La Cumbre Peak to just short of Interstate 5
Brian Kaiserauer, about 57.6 SLOFD miles from the Skyport to just east of the Ventura / LA county line
Reavis Sutphin-Gray, about SLOFD 56.8 miles the Skyport to the RnR to just short of the Ventura / LA county line
Nicholas Giguere, about SLOFD 53 miles from EJ to La Cumbre Peak to Piru
Sarah Lockwood, first flight to Fillmore? About 45.5 miles from the Skyport to the RnR to the Vons LZ in Fillmore
Dave Patterson, his first flight into Casitas Pass (Noon Peak). No inReach but Dave reports he landed at Cate School. He flew further to Bates on Wednesday (his longest SLOFD flight from SB) but I think Noon Peak on Thursday was the furthest east he has gone on the range.

I suspect there are other pilots who had their personal longest flights from SB yesterday, but I didn’t get home till late last night and have a full day or work today so I’ve only had time to glance at the inReach tracks. Eric Stratton flew from EJ to Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai, but don’t know if that is his PB from SB? Blake also flew to Ojai but I think he might have gone further previously?

From my quick review it appears we had at least 10 pilots over or into Casitas pass with at least 7 of those pilots reaching Fillmore and beyond.

The day lit off early but some west wind came up in SB so there were some sharp edges late morning through mid-day. Despite multiple reports of spankage some pilots (Chelsea) opted to go back up for round 2 and found lower altitudes but mellower air and had nice flights downrange to various places including Summerland.

Altitudes were good with reports over 6K early in SB and the mid to high 7s at the Topa Bluffs

Personally, I launched late (last) from the Skyport and got to the RnR but didn’t like the wind so went east and got stuck low in the wind at the Thermal Factory. Turned into a parachute stall spinny thing over the rocks had had to reboot with a full stall to recover. Eventually go up enough (38) to go east and was ahead of the wind at Montecito Peak The high ground along the back ridge through Casitas Pass seemed to be working better than the front points. Same thing in Ojai. There were some good thermals over the Ojai front points but they weren’t dependable. Santa Paula Ridge was strong but easy with pilots getting into the high 6s early and the low 6s later. Both Sara and I came in quite low near the bottom of Santa Paula Ridge but with a little wind it was a quick surf up to the top. I Landed in Piru near Nick. Logan landed a few miles further up Hwy 126.

Super big thanks to our teammate Geoff (Jeff) who provided valuable and timely retrieve support. I made my standing Thursday dinner date with my Daughter in Goleta at 5:10. A big crew on a long course with no pre-arranged logistics and everyone got home early.
Thursday Morning Perception

Today (Thursday) looks like the best day for our local mountain through the weekend

Yesterday (Wednesday) started late due to wind OTB, but the lapse rate was good and the wind backed off mid-day then came in from the SW at the Skyport through late in the day. BK went OTB from the VOR but turned back just before Santa Cruz Creek to land at the main Sage LZ. Dave Patterson launched from the Skyport a bit after noon and appears to have had Ojai within reach but opted to angle out from Snowball’s Daddy somewhere in the mid-5s to land at Bates. Ryan (might have the name wrong?) from Oregon launched from the Skyport late and got up. Someone was still up at the RnR at 4:20 and appeared to fly out toward the beach. The afternoon wind yesterday was from the SW in the upper single digits but appeared to back off late in the day.

Today (Thursday) the lapse rate is good and the wind is light from the west. Should be able to launch early. The west pushes upriver toward Magic Mountain. The lapse rate is good in Fillmore through early afternoon, but fades late in the day, so the day is clock limited rather than course limited. The wind is already showing signs for some west, so if you choose to launch high we recommend you consider West La Cumbre.

Tomorrow (Friday) is different day. There is a marine layer up to about 3K with an inversion above and a slight chance of light rain later in the day. It might be soarable down in the marine layer so perhaps a good day for Elings?

Saturday, the lapse rate looks good but it will be overdeveloped with chance of rain. If it stays dry it might be sweet smooth lift in the shade.

Sunday dries out with an okish lapse rate and some mid-level clouds. Wind is mid-to upper single digits from the west.

Shout out to BK for his weather evaluation for yesterday (Wednesday). He conveyed his perception to me on Tuesday night but didn’t post?
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