Xmas Extended Weekend Active Weather 2021

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Xmas Extended Weekend Active Weather 2021

Postby sd » Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:11 am

Sunday Morning Update:

We seem to be in an every-other-day pattern, post frontal today, rain tomorrow, post frontal again on Tuesday, then more rain on Wednesday.

Today (Sunday): There is significant wind up high, but a pronounced capping inversion between 6 and 10K should offer some protection from the 125 knot winds above. There is a lot more lower level wind to the west, then more protection and much less wind to the east. The models vary on where the line will be, but at dawn La Cumbre Peak was light enough (gusting into the upper teens from the NW) that it seems like our lower launches should block due to the ballistic lapse rate down below the inversion.

The local lift doesn’t go very high, maybe the mid 4s in SB and the lower 5s through Ojai. The sink will likely also be robust. Both Ojai and Fillmore look good late in the day. Assuming we can get on course from the Skyport or lower, the interstate looks reachable.

The days are short, but the downwind speed should be good and with the day working late, Jeff Longcor’s current 1st place position for the LFSD 2021 challenge could be in jeopardy? Don’t recommend going too far west as it will likely be blowing OTB through San Marcos Pass.

Dress warm. Freezing level is down near the Skyport.

Bates will likely offer a window, but it might be narrow sometime around mid-day with the potential to get too strong in the afternoon. There is more wind along the coast than in the mountains.

Monday (tomorrow) looks like a wet and windy no fly day

Tuesday looks post frontal but quite different than today without the protection of a capping inversion to shield the lower altitudes

Wednesday looks nasty wet and windy.

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Saturday Morning Update:

The exciting dynamics continue to evolve and iterate quickly. The overall scenario steering the pattern is forecasted to continue through the coming week.

Today (Saturday, Xmas)
The skew-t forecast soundings along with the observations and associated expectations have evolved significantly since yesterday morning’s perception of what would happen today.
We are currently under a deep moist layer up to about 6K. The trend is toward pre-frontal, so the wind has switched from north to south. The lower level lapse in the moist layer is ok to good, but the instability is more than the ok lapse rate would indicate due to the cold temperature of the layer, with freezing level about 6K at dawn and falling. There is a capping inversion and dry airmass above 6K.

My suspicion (guess) is the moist layer will clump when heated by the sun (clear skies above). There might be a late morning through early afternoon window in the mountains. I expect (another guess) cloudbase will start out low, then rise some through mid-day?). We might have a continuous wall of clouds along the front range with a leading edge. With wind from the south it may continue to build rather than iterate as it does when some north wind will clear out the OD some when the draw relaxes.

The mountain crew was a little late yesterday, launching at 11:45ish.

The mountain wind is currently light from the south and is expected to increase in velocity through the day from the SW.

The coastal cliffs look weaker than yesterday, but the direction looks better and may offer a nice mid-day window. Launching from Rincon Mountain may be a good choice if you have access to those logistics?

The James Web Space Telescope successfully launched this morning!

Sunday (tomorrow) is trending post frontal after rain later today and tonight. The wind clocks around to come stiff from the NNW but fades some during the day so there might be a mountain window from the lower launches around mid-day through early afternoon. More wind along the coast late in the day than in the mountains. Bates may offer a window, but the direction looks cross and the velocity could get strong.

Monday looks like a no-fly day with stiff wind and rain all day

Tuesday is pretty far out, but currently appears to be post frontal and quite cold with some wind from the NNW. The low-level lapse rate is robust so it might work in the mountains if you have a good set of spurs and a tight grip on the reins? Advantage HG...

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Friday Morning Update:

Today, (Friday): The main moisture plume has moved past us, but the wet ground and cold unstable airmass will yield scattered development. There is some stiff west to NW post frontal wind that is forecasted to back off some through the day, but maybe not enough for PGs in our local mountains? Advantage HGs. The forecast is for less wind down low (single digits at the Skyport altitude), increasing with altitude.

The Coastal Cliffs are currently cross from the west, but as the mountain thermal activity kicks off the draw should help clock the direction around as the filling flow pulls in. As Karl noted on Sunday, Bates may offer a window today. Windy thinks the velocity will back off and the direction will improve this afternoon, but confidence in Windy is low. Go to Know?

Saturday (tomorrow, Xmas day) looks good for mountain flights early but expect likely OD by mid-day due to the cold unstable airmass. Much less wind down low than Friday but blowing over 150 knots in the upper atmosphere.

The coastal cliffs are in transition as the surface flow clocks around to come light from the SE later in the day (prefrontal) and SW higher up, increasing with altitude. Rain likely late in the day with snow levels down near the Skyport altitude.

Sunday looks like robust post frontal with too much wind from the NNW for PGs in our local mountains. Bates may offer a window for PGs sometime around late morning to early afternoon as the wind builds. Advantage HGs again.

Monday looks wet and windy through early afternoon then some post frontal clearing late in the day.

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Wednesday Morning Evaluation:

We are entering a period of unsettled wet weather that will rapidly evolve and iterate through at least the beginning of next week. There should be some short window boutique opportunities, but timing will be an issue along with the potential to get wet and muddy. There will also be times where the wind exceeds our penetration capability.

Today (Wednesday): The local wind is from the WNW, light down low but increasing with altitude. The lapse rate is ok-ish, but not a lot of sun getting through clouds at various levels. The mountains will likely be flyable from the lower launches, but not sure we will have enough heating fuel? Rain likely at some point later in the afternoon and tonight. Today looks better than tomorrow. The coastal cliffs look weak. Austin reports Elings is open today (but will likely be too wet and muddy for the rest of the week after today?)

Thursday (Tomorrow): looks wet and windy, from the SE down low and from the SW up higher. Likely a non-flying day? (but back in the day, we flew on the weekends, calm or windy, rain or shine…) I recall a day flying ridge lift at the USCB cliff in the pouring rain and strong SE wind, until campus security insisted (complaints from the SBA control tower?), we land, on the front lawn of a dorm building (not as many buildings back then).

Friday starts out wet but might offer a mid-day window, both from the local mountains and our coastal cliffs. Confidence in the timing is low (but Karl called it days ago on Sunday?). We could have a short period of drying. Wind is light from the west down low but blowing over 100 in the upper atmosphere.

Saturday (Xmas) also might have window early before more rain later in the day. The James Web Space Telescope is currently scheduled to launch no sooner than 4:20 am PST from French Guiana (near the equator) atop an Arian 5 rocket on Christmas day (about 10 years late).
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