Late April Cold Front 2022

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Late April Cold Front 2022

Postby sd » Wed Apr 20, 2022 7:32 pm

Sunday Morning Update:

The Santa Anna Event is more established compared to yesterday. The onshore flow from the west still pulls in later in the day, more so than yesterday toward the west (Santa Barbara) but less so up the Santa Clara River. There is less north influence than yesterday. The altitudes on the front range look lower than yesterday but still good. The altitudes OTB look higher than yesterday. The Watershed Divide convergence looks promising by early afternoon (around 1 PM-ish). With less north influence it might be possible to bridge back toward Pine via the Watershed Divide, get high (11.5K) and then come back out at altitude on the E/W convergence line that pushes a bit east of the Watershed Divide later in the day.

With less north wind, launch times look earlier than yesterday, but with more west wind in the afternoon on the west end of the course, it will be good to move east before the west wind builds? The lapse rate looks good, but perhaps weaker down low so Castle Ridge might be a struggle.

You can likely reach the Watershed Divide via Santa Barbara or Ojai. SB has a paved road, but it will be downwind earlier from Ojai and the altitude in Ojai looks better. If you opt to hike the Nuthouse, recommend an early start to minimize the heat.

If you launch from SB, you might want to do a short westbound leg then turn and run east. Ojai offers a longer westbound leg and higher altitude early going over Casitas Pass. I personally think the Nuthouse offers a longer course. The Nuthouse is not a beginner site due to the need to climb out at launch and more advanced LZs if you don’t.

Attached are some photos (with notes) of a 2014 flight back to Pine via the Watershed Divide from Ojai
and another flight to the Watershed Divide from Santa Barbara

Saturday Morning Update:

The progression continues toward Santa Anna with robust diurnal flow (offshore katabatic drain night and morning then onshore adiabatic draw in the afternoon) fueled by a good lapse rate. The lapse is not as robust as yesterday, but good enough. The day lights off a little slow with stiff laminar north wind across our ridgeline at dawn, but I expect that will block by mid-day and draw onshore from the SW along the coast and up to Santa Paula or Fillmore. The temperatures are warming and trending toward hot by Sunday, fueled by high pressure compressional heating.

The trend continues though Monday before the return of cooling marine stratus on Tuesday

No need to go extra early due to the north wind and limited course eastbound (unless you are attempting an out and back on a fast 2 liner, but a return leg westbound late in the day will likely be upwind at the lower altitudes). Stay high on your westbound legs and low trekking east (under the NE wind above).

The Nuthouse still looks like the optimal option to maximize the day both today and tomorrow, but I’ll opt for paved road to launch today (Santa Barbara) and maybe try the Nut on Sunday when the Santa Anna East has a bit more dominance?

Friday Morning Update:

Skip happy hour, manage your diet, get to bed early, strap on your spurs, and be ready to rock n roll this weekend. A late season cold front came through last night leaving a cold airmass and robust lapse rate behind. The north flow backs off some and clocks around over the next few days as we transition from robust post frontal NW flow into Santa Anna East flow with drying and building temperatures.

Yesterday (Thursday): offered some nice flying along our local front range. Cloudbase was lowish and eventually lowering, starting out in the low 2s, then raising in places to the mid-3s before eventually lowering down into the teens. There was stiff NW wind above (well over 100 knots), but a mid-day capping inversion offered enough protection for fun flying at the lower altitudes below a tattered and varied cloudbase. There was some west wind to contend with at times that would block in places. The lift was not persistent and pulsed with the filtered sun and OD iterations. The ocean was calm early, then built some later in the day, but not consistent. Dylan showed up at Bates around 4ish and Angela (lightly loaded?) reported nice flying conditions late in the day when it all settled down and the breeze became more consistent.

Today (Friday) starts stiff Post Frontal from the NW on the heels of last night’s light rain. The lapse rate is robust and might offer a mid-day mountain window for advanced PGs (I’m going to engage in other task). Advantage HGs. Locally the thermals should go highish (6K+) and even higher to the east (8 to 9K). It is blowing hard up high but a pronounced capping inversion starting around 10K should offer some lower level protection, more so to the east. Ojai and Fillmore look flyable for PGs this afternoon.

Tomorrow (Saturday) starts to clock around toward Santa Anna flow, but more so on the east end of the course.

Santa Barbara starts out with some early east flow, then by mid-day draws onshore from the SW down lower with stiffer NNE up above our back ridgeline. The lapse rate improves through the afternoon, but the SW wind also builds into the upper single digits down lower and the low teens from the NW up higher.

Ojai sports a more robust lapse rate and more east wind early, but the east backs off by early afternoon and yields to the diurnal onshore lower level flow from the west. Top of the lift in Ojai looks like 6 to 7K by late morning then 8 to 9K approaching mid-afternoon with some north wind above increasing with altitude.

Fillmore has diurnal offshore downriver flow in the morning that backs off and switches up-river down low late in the day, but up higher the NE is persistent. Max altitude looks good (8 to 9K?), but you might need to try and bridge south toward Thousand Oaks if you get high in Fillmore?

There is an argument that the Nuthouse offers the longest course, but if you aren’t striving to maximize the day you can likely launch from SB a do a shorter westbound leg then come back eastbound, staying low avoid the upper NE wind above, and still get to the big altitude in Ojai and Fillmore later in the day…

Sunday continues to warm as the Santa Anna is more pronounced but still seasonally diurnal. There is more of an argument to hike the Nuthouse on Sunday compared to Saturday?

Santa Barbara starts out with mild flow from the east that backs off and gives way to onshore flow from the west. The lapse rate is a weaker but still good by late morning. The west builds through the day and might be problematic later in the afternoon.

Ojai has a robust lapse rate with more NE flow than SB that persist later in the day. The thermals don’t go as high as Saturday, but still above 6K. The east wind does eventually give way to the west but not until later in the afternoon. Ojai is more sheltered from the west wind than SB and looks like it will work good late in the day, much better than SB.

Fillmore has a good lapse rate up to about 6K, but the east wind is more persistent. It does back off later in the afternoon. It does not look like it will nuke downriver, but I wouldn’t expect to go further east up-river. You might be able to bridge across toward Moorpark on a convergence line? But the altitude is not as good as Saturday.

Monday is warmer yet as the lower level flow continues to clock around and come more from the SE than the NE. SB and Ojai look flyable and soarable but not as good as Saturday or Sunday. You might be able to launch from San Cayetano Ridge (Fillmore), but Oat will likely be too windy from the east until later in the day.

Thursday Morning Update:

At dawn the day looks clear with mild wind OTB along the ridgeline, but expect it to cloud up with lowering cloudbase through the day. The lapse rate is good and getting better with snow levels (tonight) down low enough that our higher peaks (Casitas Pass and Ojai) could see a dusting. Recommend and early launch today. Dress warm. Go to Know?

Stronger post frontal wind tomorrow (Friday)
Wednesday Evening look at the remainder of the week...

Some exciting weather as a late season cold front is forecasted to pass through later Thursday into early Friday morning.

Today (Wednesday 4/20/2022). Had some good flying in our local SB mountains (see Garcia’s report on Telegram). Wilcox worked. Bates was from the SE early with multiple pilots soaring the west end, then it backed off as it clocked around to come light from the SW, good enough for several pilots to get limited late afternoon soaring flights, including Joe Greblo (who has been flying HGs since 1972) and his wife. Joe top landed at launch after boating around for a while.

Tomorrow (Thursday), the lift goes higher, but low clouds and lowering cloudbase through the day will likely be an issue with possible light rain later in the day. If you can get off and on course early enough you might be able to stay ahead for the weather approaching from the NW. The coastal cliffs might work.

Friday has a robust lapse rate but also hazardous post frontal wind from the WNW. There might be a mid-day mountain block window for HGs and advanced PGs. Less wind in the mountains than along the coast

Saturday the lapse rate fades some but still good enough. The wind starts to clock around and come from the NE, which Santa Barbara typically blocks. Likely course limited toward the east due to east wind at our soaring altitudes on the east end of the course (but drawing onshore and upriver on the surface). You can likely reach Fillmore later in the day. Multiple course options look possible, including, direct to Fillmore from SB, out and return flights either direction, but starting from the Nuthouse (to SB and back toward Fillmore) might offer the longest course? Mitch Riley holds the out and back record from Nordhoff with a flight to Painted Cave and back ... n_back.htm

Sunday is too far out for detailed scrutiny, but it will likely have a fading lapse rate and looks like another good day with Santa Anna influence but drawing upriver from the west to about Santa Paula in the afternoon.
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