Last Week of October 2021

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Last Week of October 2021

Postby sd » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:11 am

Sunday Early Morning Update.

The forecast continues to align with previous models runs.
A poor lapse rate combined with building high clouds and limited heating do not equate to instability and thermic soaring, but the hiking conditions look good with mild temperatures and some protection from the sun. The wind is light and the air should be smooth.

Early Stratus and low clouds pushing into the valleys (Ojai) look they will burn off slowly but earlier in Ojai than the Santa Barbara foothills, and perhaps not at all closer to the beach in Carpinteria. The high clouds will thicken through the day. Recommend a compass in case the burn off is slower than expected.

If you don’t like today’s forecast, tomorrow looks similar and maybe worse?

My 2 cents (comments) regarding today’s Hike and Fly. I’m not the producer, and I don’t hike, but I do fly and have invested a day’s work into cleaning up a couple of the launches for today's event, so I do have limited standing to comment? for what it’s worth:
It would be nice to have different weather but:
the weather
cannot be bought
nor voted upon
the moment
is there as is
never before and never again

I would not send contestants to Nordhoff (today). It is a 7-1/2-mile hike from Nordhoff to Chiefs. From a non-hiking pilot's perspective, it would be nice to mix in more flying and less hiking?

I think a better option is to make the 1st turn point at the Repeater with a 2nd turn point being the main Chiefs legacy launch…

The raw hiking distanced (no flying) to Chiefs via the Repeater is similar to the route via Nordhoff Peak but the Repeater route is slightly shorter (1 to 2 miles shorter from the same start point depending on the hiking route) and less altitude gain despite getting to a higher launch because you don’t do as much up and down. Nordhoff would be a better (shorter) option if it was soarable and you could fly to Chiefs from Northoff...

The Repeater is high (700 feet higher than the Chiefs main legacy launch) offering launches facing north, west, or south, which aligns with today’s forecast. The Repeater should be launchable and from there you can glide most of the way or all the way back the Chiefs launch (1.3 miles west of the Repeater Launch) on glide for an upwind landing on the road, or the little valley behind Chiefs launch if you can extend your glide, or a side-hill landing on the south face in front of Chiefs. If you start at the Repeater, it is all down-hill and doable. On their initial hike, pilots can opt to use the upper Chiefs Slide Launch to cut miles off their trek.

The Chiefs Slide Launch is about the same altitude as the Repeater Launches, so 700 feet higher than the Chiefs main legacy launch. It won’t likely be soarable from the Chiefs Slide Launch, but pilots can fly part way to the Repeater and top land on the road and then get the rest of the way to the 1st turn point on foot?

Friday and Saturday Summary Pending
Friday Morning Update

Yesterday (Thursday), pilots had good flight to various destinations from the Santa Barbara launches, but I haven’t seen details or reviewed Thursday's weather. 2nd hand reports indicate the east wind at altitude was less than forecasted and manageable eastbound from Santa Barbara up to somewhere around Santa Paula Ridge, which one visiting pilot reportedly tagged before flying out into the Santa Clara River offshore flow back toward Ventura. Other pilots flew to Ojai and some did out and returns from Santa Barbara. Did not hear of anyone flying from Ojai.

The forecast has evolved such that the high clouds and marine layer are arriving later than expected, so don’t expect much in the way of high clouds today. The clouds will thicken over the weekend into Monday, but not as bad on Saturday compared to Sunday. The low-level stratus is also thinner on Saturday than previously forecasted but expect stratus on Sunday.

Today, (Friday) the offshore east flow has relaxed considerably compared to yesterday (Thursday), but there is still a little push from the east early. It does switch and pull in onshore and upriver from the west later in the afternoon.

Today’s lapse rate is ok but not robust. Getting past Castle Ridge might be a struggle. There is an argument that starting the westbound leg in Ojai offers more potential for the day. We may choose to delay launch slightly. Soarability should improve through the morning but if and when the onshore flow arrives it will quench the lower altitudes and weaken the lapse rate so timing is an issue.

Pine is looking good today for both mid and late day flights. Conditions are also favorable for a convergence over the Watershed Divide

Thursday morning review through Sunday

Period Summary: A classic Santa Anna event peaks today then begins to switch onshore Friday with building marine layer and high clouds through the weekend.

Today (Thursday) offers potential for flights back to Santa Barbara from Ojai. The offshore flow will hold off quenching onshore flow and the east wind relaxes some in the afternoon so it should work good late in the day today in both Santa Barbara and Ojai. High pressure blue sky but some sharp edges mid-day…

Ojai is generally good at blocking the Santa Anna flow, but the east wind might be a bit much for P2 pilots early. Will likely need to use the Nordhoff Peak launch. The lapse rate in Ojai looks better than SB.

Santa Barbara looks like it might work good in the afternoon after the east wind relaxes some. The lapse rate isn’t as robust as Ojai, but it looks good enough and seems to get better into the late afternoon.

The Coastal Cliffs: The offshore east flow continues out into the Santa Barbara Channel above the surface, but down low Windy dot com thinks there will be some onshore filling flow draw from the SW to feed the good lapse rate, so the coastal cliffs might work?

Friday (tomorrow) is a transition day from offshore to onshore. The day starts out with some light east offshore flow then switches to onshore flow. Friday looks clear in the morning before morning marine layer stratus, and high clouds build through the weekend. The lapse rate holds through mid-afternoon Friday but then deteriorates into the weekend.

Santa Barbara looks good on Friday for all skill levels with light flow from the east early then building but light flow from the SW in the afternoon. The lapse rate looks good from early morning through early afternoon. The Nam Skew-Ts show some light high clouds starting late morning, but not as thick as the coming weekend. Flights to the interstate look possible?

Ojai has a better lapse rate on Friday than Santa Barbara, but you can likely fly to Ojai from SB so no need to expend the additional expense of getting to launch, but it should work fine for all skill levels if that is your preference. The flow starts our light from the east and switches to come from the west, so an out and return might be a good option. The light high clouds are regional and will be similar to Santa Barbara.

The Coastal Cliffs look weak-ish, but the flow is onshore from the SW and might be enough?

Saturday, the lapse rate tanks as the cooler marine air dominates. The flow is onshore from the SW. The high clouds thicken through the day.

Santa Barbara's mountains should be flyable after any low stratus burns off, but the lapse rate is weak, and the high clouds will limit the heating.

Ojai looks similar with more protection from the ocean and little better lapse rate.

The Coastal Cliffs appear to be on weak but the direction is good and might work mid-day.

Sunday, the Ojai Hike and Fly Day, starts out inverted with an improving lapse rate though mid-day, but maybe not enough due to limited heating under thick and thickening high clouds. Morning marine stratus is supported by onshore flow.

Ojai looks like the better options in the mountains, but the hike and fly might have more hiking than flying? Probably good to be loaded light in the weak smooth air. With some early light flow from the NW up higher and afternoon SW, the Repeater looks like a good launch early (with launches facing N, NW, W, SW, and South) but Nordhoff looks iffy with launches facing east through south? Expect Chiefs to be launchable and landable from late morning through the afternoon.

Santa Barbara’s mountains look flyable if and when the morning status lifts and or burns off, but the lower level lapse rate below 3K is poor and the thickening high clouds will limit the heating.

The Coastal Cliffs look weak, but the direction is good and might work mid-day through mid-afternoon?

Wednesday Activity Review: I didn’t track the weather on Wednesday, but based on Telegram reports it appears the NE might have been an issue in Santa Barbara while Pilots did ok in Ojai?

Posted by Chris Turek at 1:35 PDT
I am walking on Ojai Ave from Soule Park golf course back to Nordhoff

Posted by Fast Eddy at 5:10 PDT
Great technical day in Ojai. Lots of learning
5k alts
Eddy added verbally that 5 pilots flew and were getting about 500 over Chiefs launch, but it was difficult to get around the corner at Bruces's Point (the SW point below Nordhoff Peak). 2 pilots made it to the High School, 1 landed at the golf course, and a couple others landed near Topa Topa brewery...

Posted by Patrick Finnegan at 5:16 PDT
Flew with this guy for about 15 minutes today at Ojai. He spent a while about 10' behind me.
Soaring with an Eagle over Ojai

Tuesday Afternoon Review: I didn’t track the weather through the day, but based on Telegram reports it appears to have blocked down lower in Santa Barbara (the Skyport?) with pilots getting to 4K flying low performance gliders to the beach. Pilots opting to Go to Know were rewarded.

Posted the SBSA Telegram Chat on Tuesday

By Blake Hanson at 1:47 PDT
Looks like pilots are stinkin high in our local range...excited to hear some flight reports from y’all!

By Chris Garcia at 2:20 PDT
Nice flight out to the beach on the tandem today. 4000 at the thermal factory and a nice tail wind all the way out. Logan reported 4500 and about 12mph NW.
Tuesday morning perception for the coming work week

Thursday and Friday look like the best 2 days for flying the mountains this work-week. Thursday has significant flow from the east while Friday is a transition day switching back toward onshore flow and possibly some building high clouds. Warming under dry blue sky building high pressure trending toward a Santa Anna event with more wind from the east peaking on Thursday. The Coastal Cliffs are looking weak from Wednesday through Friday.

Today (Tuesday), still has quite a bit of residual post frontal north to NW wind, increasing with altitude. Maybe ok for HGs, but likely too much for PGs in both our local mountains and Ojai? A lot of west to NW wind mid-channel with more wind to the west and some blockage further east toward Bates. Windy dot com thinks More Mesa looks cross from the west while Bates might be weak initially, then progressively cross from the west, eventually clocking around to come from the NW as it cools off.

Wednesday (tomorrow) looks better than today in both the local Santa Barbara mountains and Ojai. The wind clocks around to come from the NNE. There is offshore katabatic flow down and out the Santa Clara River that switches down low and pulls upriver mid-day. The offshore flow is stronger further east toward Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, and Malibu

Santa Barbara might have an issue with local NE flow increasing with altitude. The Brotherhood looks like it might work.

Ojai is looking more protected from the NE wind down lower, but there is significant variation between the various models with the ECMWF showing more wind from the north up near 6K while the NAM thinks the wind will be lighter and come more from the NE with less north. If you want to fly Wednesday, Ojai looks like the higher probability option. The lapse rate in Ojai looks robust, much better than Santa Barbara.

Thursday is a typical full-blown Santa Anna event with strong katabatic offshore flow out the Santa Clara River and into the Santa Barbara Channel. It does relax some on the surface in the afternoon, but just above the surface it rages all day. There is some low-level west wind in the Santa Barbara Channel, but up at 3K it is stiff from the east with more wind over the channel and less in the mountains. There is variation in the models with the ECMWF showing more east wind along the course and the NAM showing better blockage in the mountains.

Ojai looks like the best option to maximize the day (Thursday), but there is more east wind toward the east so it might be a bit much for P2 pilots. Likely need to launch from Nordhoff Peak. Thursday’s lapse rate in Ojai looks good, improving through mid-afternoon, so it might be better and more P2 friendly later in the day.

Santa Barbara might be good depending which model prevails but trying to fly eastbound will likely be upwind. The lapse rate in Santa Barbara looks good on Thursday.

Friday is a transition day from offshore to onshore flow. The wind is much more relaxed. The lapse rate still looks good. There might be some building high cloud influence, which can help moderate the heating and offer smoother air. Looks like a good day for P2 pilots. Friday is still pretty far out, but both Ojai and Santa Barbara currently look promising. The lapse rate is a little better in Ojai, but with light flow from the west I’d recommend launching from Santa Barbara and flying to Ojai and beyond?
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