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Mid-April (Big Sur) Weekend 2022

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 9:52 am
by sd
Saturday Morning Perception Update:

The forecast is following the Friday’s model projections, but the timing may be slower by a few hours.

Yesterday (Friday) Johannes reported flying from the Nuthouse to Fillmore and pilots also flew from the La Conchita Gas Plant Launch, but the Gas Plant was a “tad too weak” to stay up.

Today (Saturday) is a much more robust day. There is significant wind to content with, but on paper it does not look nuclear. I expect Bates and the Gas Plant will work for flights toward Ventura. The early lower level wind is light (the mid-channel buoy was only gusting to 16 at 8:40), but it is forecast to build from the west through the day (from the NW up higher). If you want to jump the freeway from Bates to La Conchita it is usually best to be airborne before the wind gets strong. Once at La Conchita you can handle more wind, giving ground by falling off down the coast, but Pitas can be problematic because it sticks out, good for front side lift, but it can have a big lee side down area. Expect more wind landing on the beach in Ventura (river mouth venturi) but with plenty of beach you can land backing up.

Our mountains are more problematic today with stiff NW flow along the ridge line that backs off some as the day heats. A strong lapse rate coupled with low pressure should yield plenty of thermal activity but navigating the wind can be hazardous. The clouds are forecasted to build through early afternoon with low-ish base then dissipate and dry as the atmosphere trends more stable later in the day. Not an open distance day due to obstacles, but the more advanced pilots might be able to use a lower launch and reach out to the Rincon Coast?

Ventura Avenue might be too windy? And unlike the Rincon coast, you don’t really have the option to fall off downwind.

Big Sur looks wet but eventually clears later in the afternoon for possible ridge soaring on the beach cliffs…

Tomorrow (Sunday) is much more stable. Inverted but likely flyable in Santa Barbara. Ojai looks weak but better than SB, so the Nuthouse might be a good call? Sage, Happy, Ventura Avenue, and Fillmore will all likely be ridge soarable in the afternoon.
Big Sur looks flyable on Sunday

Monday looks un-impressive but flyable in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday is more unstable and active again.

Friday Morning look at the extended weekend

A fading cold front is passing to our north on Friday and Saturday, bring light to mild rain to our north and some instability and moderate wind to our South Coast followed by a more stable profile on Sunday and high clouds on Monday. The higher launches (Pine) look too windy through the period.

Today: Friday starts out with a weak eddy along the south coast. The La Conchita Gas Plant looks ridge soarable this morning. East flow typically fades as the day ages and clocks around to come from the west. The local mountains look flyable. Weaker than yesterday (Thursday) but likely soarable before some light west wind builds in the afternoon? The coastal cliffs might work but will likely be weak in the afternoon SW flow. Elings will likely offer its typical soaring window as it switches from the morning SE to the afternoon SW… Big Sur will likely be flyable from the higher launches but maybe a tad windy? The lower cliffs will likely be ridge soarable. Fillmore, Sage, Happy Canyon, and Ventura Ave will likely be ridge soarable this afternoon.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is an active day. Big Sur will likely have rain followed by post frontal clearing later in the afternoon with possible ridge soaring conditions on the lower beach cliffs. The Santa Barbara mountains might offer an early window for advanced pilots with a robust lapse rate but also significant (and hazardous) wind from the west. The coastal cliffs will likely work but may get too strong in the afternoon. Bates looks promising for flights to Ventura. Elings might “blow out” early.

Sunday looks good for Big Sur. Santa Barbara looks inverted but flyable with light wind through early afternoon then some flow from the NW later in the day. The coastal cliffs look iffy, but Fillmore will likely be ridge soarable and Ventura Avenue might be soarable.

Monday looks inverted in SB but flyable from the lower launches with some wind from the WNW up higher.