Is it too early to start thinking of the weekend?

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Is it too early to start thinking of the weekend?

Postby gracecab » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:24 pm

I'm not liking the weekend prognosis so far...

Can anyone give some good news about Saturday next?
Chris Ballmer aka gracecab
Ventura, CA
UP Kantega XC2 / Gin Verso
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Re: Long Range

Postby sd » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:49 am

gracecab wrote:Can anyone give some ... news about Saturday next ?

The current long range forecast for next weekend (Feb 14-15) is for a double frontal passage with rain Friday night into Saturday followed by post frontal late Saturday into Sunday followed by more rain on Monday... ( similar to this weekend ? )

but... looking out that far is stretching the transition between weather and climate, plus with a forecasted frontal passage the weather will be rapidly evolving so expect some adjustments to the timing even if the events evolve similar to the current forecast models.

I posted my perception of the tea leaves for the remainder of this week under the flight discussion at http://scpa.info/bb/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3147
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Re: Tea Leaves

Postby sd » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:26 am

sd wrote:The current long range forecast for next weekend (Feb 14-15) is for a double frontal passage with rain Friday night into Saturday followed by post frontal late Saturday into Sunday followed by more rain on Monday...

On a recent bus ride up to the Skyport, someone asked me how often the forecast are "right" or "wrong". My response was that it is typically gray. We aren't ever 100% correct because there are too many variables, and we don't completely know what happened even on the days we are airborne during the day with a good view because we can't see all the micro meteorology going on.

We can't get an exact picture because the reporting stations don't cover the micro scale, and they all have local fudge factors (calibration, trees, sun/shade flow paths, etc). The recent addition of numerous reporting stations has the potential to be a good thing, but there are few standards so their fudge factors are all over the map. Most local pilots look at the evolving temperature spread between La Cumbre Peak and Montecito because they learn the correlations. Just a few years back we had far fewer weather reporting stations, but we had the fudge factors pretty well honed. It's not realistic to correlate the fudge factors of the multitude of new reporting stations, but some will likely prove useful to various users.

You can enhance your tea leaf performance by reviewing the weather "after" your flights, comparing what you think happened to what the reporting stations recorded.

Some trends are slow moving and more predictable while others can have wide variations with only slight changes in the timing or track. Generally, Santa Anna Events develop and change slowly while frontal systems can sweep through and change conditions quickly.

Last weekend demonstrated how just a slight change in track had huge implications for us locally. This weekend's current forecast shows how unreliable long range forecast tend to be. Last week's forecast for this weekend was calling for rain from the system to our south, but it now appears that the system will break up and present a radically different scenario. Most pilots don't bother to look too far out because the long range forecast are unreliable. Sometimes you need to get up early and look out the window, and last Sunday you needed to stay cocked and ready through the morning because the day unfolded much better locally than the morning forecast. / or you could follow Neal and move to a location where the forecast looks more certain.
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