Mid-November 2021 Santa Anna Event

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Mid-November 2021 Santa Anna Event

Postby sd » Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:12 am

Sunday Morning Update

As noted in the NWS forecast discussion, another chamber of commerce day.

The offshore gradients from the NE continue to relax, but the forecast as evolved to delay the cool down. SB is a little cooler than the prior couple of days but not as much a previously projected. Ojai looks a tad hotter, but that is all on paper. Looks like some flow from the east up high, but only mid-single digits. Go to Know

Ojai, SB, and Pine should all work.

Santa Barbara might have a bit more east wind on the course eastbound, but there has been less wind than forecasted the past few days. Castle Ridge could be a struggle, but if can get past it to the Powerlines the altitude gets better going over Casitas Pass (pilots were getting into the mid 6s over Casitas Pass on Saturday). There could be some light east wind up higher. Carter likely took the podium yesterday with a flight from SB to Nordhoff and back to SB…

Ojai looks like a sure thing and should work good late in the day again. The late day air yesterday (Saturday) was sweet in Ojai. Austin Cantrell pulled a buoyant glide in smooth air from the Topa Bluffs all the way back to the high school football field at the end of the day.

Pine looks good, but the altitude might be a little lower than yesterday early, but it does get better through the day so you might get high enough for the glide back to the front range. We were getting to 10Kish at Pine yesterday. 3 of 4 pilots made the glide to Ojai and the 4th, Kayla, a newish P2, had a stellar flight coring her 1st thermal up over 10K.

Tomorrow, Monday, it is still weak offshore early but in the afternoon the door opens up toward Fillmore, but there could be a slight smattering of high clouds and the lapse rate is a little weaker.

Tuesday is a little inverted on the coast with some high clouds overhead.

Saturday Morning Update:

Similar to yesterday with subtle variations. Different models will yield different projections, so go to know? Offshore gradients and wind continue to relax but it will still be a hot offshore day.

Yesterday had less wind than the light wind forecast, and the lapse rate was good enough for most pilots to get past Castle Ridge without too much effort, then they got higher going over Casitas Pass. The thermals were weak in places, but the lack of wind let them stay organized. Santa Barbara worked later than expected likely due to minimal quenching onshore flow. The Ojai Pilots launched late (after noon because we encountered multiple delays getting to launch) from Nordhoff Peak. It was light downwind from the east up to Hwy 33 and then light upwind from the west west of Hwy 33 (mid-day). Multiple pilots flew from EJ to Ojai yesterday. I think all the eastbound pilots reaching Ojai chose to fly out rather than being forced out due to…?

Pine, Ojai, and Santa Barbara should all work today. The lapse rate starts out robust and then fades some in both Santa Barbara and Ojai. As typical, it looks better away from the coast and should work later further inland also. Pine looks like a potential option to get back to the beach. I think we may be able to launch from the south side, but the north launch is an alternate option. There are various ways to get to the beach from Pine, like getting high and pulling a glide, or working along the Watershed Divide, but today all you need to do is reach the front range and then work up over Casitas Pass. Altitude at Pine looks to be almost 10K, which should be good enough with a light tailwind from the NE up higher.

My personal preference would be to launch from Pine today, but I’ve already had a bunch of flights over Casitas Pass. Pine is more effort to get to launch compared to SB (but easier than Ojai?), and perhaps a bit more out of our typical playlist, but I like the variation and it’s a another fishbowl day. Jeff Longcor gambled on launching toward the far west end of the course yesterday and it payed off…

Friday Morning Update:

Today (Friday) looks similar to yesterday (Thursday) with minor variations that make the day look better on paper. The flow has clocked around to come a little more from the east. The offshore flow is peaking but the event is more to the east. Ojai and SB block the Santa Anna NE flow well. There is less wind overall (away from the Santa Anna flow) and less of a north component. Pine looks doable but you would likely need to use the north launch, which I don’t expect anyone to do with good flying closer to home, but the Watershed Divide might be worth a bench back to big altitude? Top of the lift in Ojai looks like 8 or 9K and should work good late in the day. SB should work good enough mid-day but there is some quenching west flow late that will likely make a late day westbound leg problematic near the coast?

Thursday Morning Perception:

Synopsis: Building high pressure through today and lingering through the weekend equates to clear blue skies, compressional heating that increases the lapse rate by increasing the temperature down low to near record levels, and Santa Anna winds off to the east of our region. There is persistent east wind on the east end of the course and west flow on the west side trending north up at high altitudes.

The lapse rate looks better away from the ocean, but the course is a dead end toward Fillmore. The sweet spot seems to be over Casitas Pass, which you can likely get to downwind from either Santa Barbara or Ojai. Up at 6K the trend is more NE but down lower it is from the west in SB and from the east in Ojai. With increasing west wind to the west, Santa Barbara will likely be progressively more difficult to the west, so confidence in Sana Ynez Peak is low. Launching from Santa Ynez Peak might extent your course, but there is the risk that it might be have too much quenching flow from the west? Recommend the east end of the course late in the day.

There is no capping inversion so you can likely get higher over higher terrain, but there is likely too much north wind up higher for Pine. You might be able to get a little extra altitude benching back from Casitas Pass to the Watershed Divide, then coming back out front above the front range with a tail wind?

There are some day to day variations but they are subtle enough that projecting the finer details out too far is not certain as they vary with the different models, so Go to Know?

There is a cooling trend starting on Sunday, but that is relative, and Sunday still looks like it has some offshore Santa Anna influence.

In Summary, both Santa Barbara and Ojai look good through Sunday. Santa Barbara will likely work earlier in the day while Ojai will start out later and work later. You can likely do out and returns from both Santa Barbara and Ojai through Saturday, but Ojai will likely be easier to get back to in the afternoon.

Today (Thursday)
Santa Barbara: Debbie is reporting some NW wind at La Cumbre Peak early, but expect that to block by mid-day. The Skyport will likely be launchable earlier. With some flow from the west you might consider West La Cumber if you choose to launch high? North side Alternator could be an early high option but is currently overgrown and needs cleanup unless you are confident in your ground handling and launch skills.
In Ojai, the afternoon lapse rate looks robust. There is some early NE flow indicating Nordhoff Peak is likely the better launch early, but the northeast backs off enough that Chiefs will likely work better in the afternoon. Top of the lift appears to be in the mid to upper 7s.

Friday (tomorrow) appears similar to Thursday with some minor variation. Friday appears to be the peak heat day.

Saturday looks like another good day in both Santa Barbara and Ojai.

Sunday starts a cooling trend with more east flow pushing in to Santa Barbara, so you might be better off starting in Ojai, but Sunday is too far out to project with confidence.


Tuesday and Wednesday Summary pending...
Tuesday Morning 11/9/2021 Evaluation:

Synopsis: A weak cold front is passing to our north bringing SW wind and rain to the central coast but petering out south of Point Conception. The cold front is followed by a common postfrontal progression with building high pressure and stiff north wind on Wednesday that clocks around to come from the ENE by Thursday, developing into a Santa Anna event that lingers into the weekend. Due to compressional heating the lapse rate looks better later in the week.

Bates may offer a window today while Thursday through Saturday look good in the mountains.

Today (Tuesday). It is mostly dry south of Point Conception. We may get a spritz by not likely enough to keep things wet for long. Likely too much west wind in the mountains for the lackluster lapse rate, increasing with attitude (40 knots at 9K). The area forecast is only calling mild wind (15 knots) in the Channel, but Windy dot com is more bullish in the 20 range. Windy is painting a nice graph for Bates around mid-day through early afternoon, but it is just a model and the models might be having a hard time calculating the split in direction around Point Conception and the blockage offered by the islands?

Wednesday (tomorrow) the north wind continues and will likely be too much for PGs but maybe ok for HGs from the Brotherhood? The area forecast for the Channel is calling for more wind than Tuesday, but it seems to be mostly off to the west around Point Conception while Windy thinks our mountains will block the north wind down low near Bates, so overall, Wednesday might be a good day to pass and wait for better weather the next few days?

Thursday and Friday develop into a conventional Santa Anna event of the NE variety, which is good for both the Santa Barbara Mountains and flights back to Santa Barbara from Ojai. Being only about 6 weeks out from the Solstice, the diurnal ebb is not as robust as it is closer to the equinox. Expect some afternoon onshore draw near the coast in Santa Barbara, but not so much away from the coast in Ojai.

Saturday looks like a continuation but fading some while
Sunday is fading more but maybe still good before the onshore flow returns on Monday.

In Closing Summary, hoping for Bates today. Maybe pass on Wednesday, while Thursday and Friday look promising and the good but high-pressure bumpy flying will likely continue into the weekend but fade some toward the end of the period.
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