2nd Wednesday of Feb 2021

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2nd Wednesday of Feb 2021

Postby sd » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:01 am

Wednesday Morning Perception update
See also the SBSA telegram chat for prior discussion

As Chris Lorimer noted, today (Wednesday) may be the better day of the next 4.

The weather is in transition with a thicker marine layer to our east. The marine layer is giving way to higher pressure and short term drying before lower pressure, more moisture, and high clouds move back in from the west tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

This morning's marine stratus was expected but should be gone by late morning. There might be another temporary layer a bit higher as the moisture lifts.

The lapse rate starts out inverted down low but improves through the day which is a double-edged sword. With no capping inversion the good lapse rate will likely result in vertical mixing which tends to pull the stronger upper level wind down to our lower soaring altitudes. There is some north wind that is problematic, and with no capping inversion we don’t have a lot of protection. Fortunately, the upper level wind isn’t scary strong and is forecasted to wane through the day, but due to vertical mixing our local SB mountains could see more wind later in the day?

There is a low stubborn layer down low, so we don’t expect the wind to make it all the way to the beaches. There is much less wind to the east away from Point Conception.

As Chris Lorimer noted in his discussion, getting past Castle Ridge could be problematic because it has less protection from both the north wind and the ocean.

If you can get past Castle Ridge and into the rising terrain over Casitas Pass, then there is more protection from both, and the altitude should get better. Ojai and Fillmore both look like they should work good with a good lapse rate and light wind late in the day.

Timing will likely be important if you want to fly from SB. Likely best to be neither too early nor too late. We want to time for the period when the lift has gotten strong enough to block some of the north wind, but we also want to get past Castle Ridge before the vertical mixing pulls the north wind down to lower altitudes.

As Dave Patterson noted, there is much less wind in Ojai so it is arguably a conservative call to hike up and start there, but as Chris Lorimer noted there is more distance potential if you can make it work from Santa Barbara, and we have a paved road to the launches.

Expect to launch low to avoid the north wind.

Tomorrow (Thursday) less wind early but the lapse rate doesn’t look as good and high clouds build later in the day ahead of potential light rain Thursday night and Friday morning.

Friday has early moisture then continued high clouds and some north wind but a robust lapse rate down low with a sharp capping inversion to protect against the north wind. Friday might have some good flying in the afternoon with the high cloud shade yielding even heating and smoother lift?

Saturday is pretty far out, but it currently appears there will be some degree of high clouds with a slight chance of light precipitation
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