New Year Weekend: 2021-2022

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New Year Weekend: 2021-2022

Postby sd » Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:43 am

Saturday Morning Update:

The airmass should continue to dry through the weekend. There is some offshore flow that is currently from the north at dawn but is forecasted to clock around to come more from the NE later today and from the SE tomorrow (Sunday). The lapse rate starts out weak but the airmass is on the cold side (but not super cold) and the lapse rate improves through the day.

Today (Saturday, New Year Day): There is some local NW wind gusting into the upper teens coming over the ridge line at dawn, but I would expect it to block sometime around mid-day or earlier. Santa Barbara and Ojai are good at blocking N to NE wind. The lapse rate is trending better through the day. The surface temperature was chilly last night so we will need to wait for the morning inversion to break. Mid-day to early afternoon conditions look good both in Santa Barbara and Ojai with the lift going a little higher in Ojai and over Casitas Pass compared to Santa Barbara. SB appears to top out in the low to mid 4s with Ojai a thousand higher but perhaps lighting off a little later due to colder inland overnight temperatures resulting in a more pronounced morning inversion. There is a capping inversion limiting the top of the lift.

Sitting on the fence about the Nuthouse? Looks like you can get back to Elings, but I don’t like the hike and you can also likely do an out and back from SB, maybe not all the way to Ojai but part way?

Sunday (tomorrow): The wind continues to clock around to come from the SE. Santa Barbara is not so good at blocking a SE wind (compared to NE) but the lower level lapse rate looks good. The wind appears to be manageable but could slow down eastbound legs.

Monday switches to onshore flow and fading conditions but still flyable and soarable.

Tuesday looks weak and windy from the north.

Thursday Morning look at the coming New Year Weekend:

There is a “cutoff low” about 50 miles south of Point Conception this morning that is spinning CCW and moving SSE. The result is wet south flow on the front (east side) of the low over Los Angles and the San Gabriel Mountains, but east flow over the top (north side) of the of the low over Santa Barbara. As the low-pressure circulation broadens and moves out of our area tomorrow, we will be on the back side of the circulation which equates to building north flow transitioning into a weak dry Santa Anna event over the coming weekend.

Today (Thursday) has a lot of clouds at various altitudes but no wide-spread rain locally (Thursday night correction, there was widespread light rain most of the day along the coast). There is potential for scattered showers due the moisture and a decent lapse rate yielding convective activity. The wind is from the ESE down at our soaring altitudes and from the SW higher up. The current reporting station observations indicate the wind is fairly stiff but the various forecast models disagree with the ECMWF and the GFS calling for more robust wind and the NAM suggesting it might back off in our local mountains with more wind down lower out front? My guess is the east wind will be an issue today.

Friday (tomorrow) is drier but still has some potential for a few thin high clouds. The mid-day lapse rate looks good to robust up to about 4K locally, but the wind is building from the north, which could be a problem. There is more wind up higher. The lower launches might block. Ojai looks like it has more protection from the north wind and the altitude goes a little higher. Likely not a record distance day due to a short soaring window.

As with most post frontal days, Bates may have a window, but the various models are not in agreement and Bates can be fickle.

Saturday (New Year Day) is trending weak Santa Anna to the east, but Santa Barbara does not appear to be in the flow path. The lapse rate looks week down low and inverted up higher. There is some north wind above the ridge line, increasing with altitude, but the local thermals likely don’t go that high. The lapse rate and altitude look a little better in Ojai, and it will likely be downwind westbound over or Casitas Pass, so if you can get to Elings (traditional New Year T-Hill goal) from SB you can likely also get there from Ojai?

Sunday looks like a continuation of the weak Santa Anna with light east flow down low and SW up higher. The lapse rate looks ok-ish down low but weak to i
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