Weather outlook for the weekend of April 20-23, 2018

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Weather outlook for the weekend of April 20-23, 2018

Postby sd » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:37 pm

Link to tracking

Friday night Update for Saturday.

We currently have 5 pilots in 3 vehicles going to Ojai; Neal, Logan, Sarah, Tom, and Susan (Susan and I are going to attempt to launch tandem). We will leave a car in the Ventura parking lot across the footbridge over the freeway from the pier (Vista Hwy 126 bus stop). The old slow hikers depart Carpinteria at 8 am and will leave car in Ventura. The younger fast hikers are planning to leave Carpinteria at 9 am.

The forecast for Saturday is on track with earlier model runs. Saturday continues to look like the better day for this weekend as the temperature aloft continues to warm. The quality of lift in Ojai also continues to look much better than SB. Saturday is the switch day. The day starts out draining offshore from the east, but then switches onshore from the west. By Sunday, the onshore flow is more established. Switch days are good because a little offshore flow often pushes out the cooler low-level ocean air.

The lapse rate in Ojai looks better early, but it still looks good later in the day. In SB, the lapse rate looks better later in the day, so if you launch from SB, don’t be discouraged by early flow from the east. Once the west starts pushing in you want to run east to stay ahead of it. The altitude will get better if you can get past Castle Ridge and into the rising terrain along Power Line Ridge.
Weather outlook for the weekend (as of Mid-Day Friday)

Yesterday, (Thursday) looked unstable visually, but I didn’t have time to check the reporting stations, so not sure if the wind was manageable above ridgeline? In Carpinteria it was mostly calm until around 2 PM when the vertical mixing pulled the upper wind down and blustered pretty strong.

A little left-over wind above ridgeline today (Friday), and more stable. The temperature profile looks anemic down low, which might be a good thing because it won’t support vertical mixing, so it might be flyable below ridgeline? Bates started to stir before noon, but then it went calm.

Saturday is looking much better. The north wind is mostly gone, and the lapse rate looks better. Good in Ojai, and Okish in SB. The lapse rate seems to be trending better through Saturday afternoon, then by Sunday it looks inverted down low, especially near the coast.

The wind on Saturday starts out from the East before some flow form the west is pulled in. Toward the west end of the fishbowl, when the onshore flow starts to pull in it will be low before progressively transcending up to the top of the lift by the end of the day, with more of a SW component down low and NW up high (late in the day). Toward the east end of the course, the flow is from the east through all altitudes within our soaring range early, then midday it is light form the east up high and from the SW down low. By the end of the day the onshore is pulling in similar to SB (but a much better lapse rate), from the SW down low and light from the NW up high.

You might be able to eke past Castle eastbound from SB, but the better call to maximize the day is to launch from the Nuthouse for an early westbound leg, then turn and fly back to Fillmore or Piru. Ojai surface temperatures are forecasted to be 12 to 15 degrees warmer than SB. SB has a much weaker lapse rate, but you might get a little on-shore/offshore convergence midday above the ridge line for an extra boost.

Max altitudes on Saturday crossing Casitas Pass look pretty good, maybe 6K or better. A kink in the temperature profile (capping inversion) is above achievable altitude, so the higher the terrain the higher the climb… Maybe 7 to 8K at the Topa Bluffs in the afternoon, then lower around Fillmore, but still good enough to bob along to Piru? Or you can try to avoid the cooler river air by staying deep (if you are a confident hiker).

You might consider benching back toward Old Man Mountain to boost a little higher along the Water Shed Divide Convergence, but max altitudes look like 10K at best, so it may not be worth the detour. It will likely be a slightly upwind uphill connection from the Casitas Pass peaks, but possibly doable? Its not a record setting day, so we can afford to poke around and explore. We don’t need to stay focused on race mode. If you opt to go through Ojai, I recommend detouring back to the Topa Bluffs for max altitude and the wilderness view.

I haven’t been up to the Nuthouse in years. My last hike was challenging, and I’m not getting any younger, so I’ll start early, before 9 at the trail head for a launch time somewhere between 11 and noonish. Later launches will be better for climbing, but you can reach further west by launching early. It is warm in Ojai, but not searing hot. The forecast is in the mid-80s, so the hike won’t be excessively hot.

We will want some inflight condition reports from SB as we come over Casitas Pass. Our altitude westbound over Casitas Pass will likely result in initially being above the lift on glide toward Castle, so if we know we can get back to the Pass after a turnpoint, we will be more willing to continue reaching west.

Afternoon VISA 126 weekend Bus departures from the Senior Center in Fillmore are 4 PM and 5:15. You want to get off at the Ventura Pier (4:50 and 6:05 pm) and then walk over to Santa Clara and Oak to catch the Coastal Express at 5:48, or if you are coming down Hwy 33 you can board a few minutes later on Main Street just east of the Ventura River.

For those that haven’t flown Ojai yet, here is a fun photo from 4 years ago:
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