First Weekend in March / 2022

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First Weekend in March / 2022

Postby sd » Sun Mar 06, 2022 7:58 am

Sunday Morning Update
The scenario is in transition from frontal to post frontal to Santa Anna. Today is mostly post frontal with some early wind, but we get better protection by mid-day and more protection from the north wind on Monday.

Today (Sunday) dawns with significant wind across the ridgeline but not much on the surface as the low level airmass is more stable early so there isn’t much vertical mixing down low. The 6K temperature is cold (0C). As the day warms the lower level lapse rate improves toward robust and the mild inversion rises to give us some capping protection around 4.5 to 5K. Blockage isn’t a sure thing, but I think it will block mid-day for flights from the lower launches (the Skyport). Less wind in Ojai (and further east away from Point Conception) so if you can get over the pass under the wind, then Ojai should work with altitudes a thousand higher than SB. You can go past Ojai, but the day is limited by the north wind up high and a late start.

Bates looks iffy but More Mesa might work?

Tomorrow (Monday)
Looks like a good day in Santa Barbara, and even better in Ojai if you are willing to hike as the Santa Anna develops. Still some wind up high, but it clocks around to come more from the NE and we typically block a NE when the lapse rate is good, which it is. Ojai looks good for an out and return.

Saturday was very unstable and cold at altitude, but too windy for PGs

Saturday morning perception:
Today (Saturday), the lapse rate is trending ballistic, but it appears blown out for PGs and likely too strong to most of the old timer HGs.

Tomorrow (Sunday), we get some protection from a mild capping inversion. The lapse rate is robust, so I suspect we have a good change of blocking the stronger upper level north wind mid-day.

On Monday, the capping inversion, upper level wind, and lapse rate, all relax as the airmass continues to warm significantly, so the balance is likely similar with a potential mountain window mid-day but warmer and less robust.

Tuesday’s lapse rate continues to fade but is still positive. The capping inversion is not there early but builds through the day, so the balance continues to look favorable for mid-day blockage.


Friday was a good day in the local SB mountains early but blew out late in the day. Bates was slow to come in. Bates was in and out and then finally came in hard and cross from the west. Randy Liggett got 700 over launch at Bates, but not enough wind to stay up when he got to La Conchita. Several pilots flew to Bates from the Skyport, and the Eagle thermal clinic pilots were scattered between Parma and Padaro.
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