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Santa Barbara Weather

Aaron LaPlante's Two Cents

Copied from: http://scpa.info/bb/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2842
Posted by by Aaron Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:37 pm

I have a hard time predicting the weather and enjoy my mini flights in the sb backyard, so I pretty much figure that if it is too windy that will be apparent and therefore only focus on one thing.  That is the real time temps/wind of Montecito foothills which are at about 1600 ft and La Cumbre at 3900 ft.  I have found over the last couple years that if the temp is 7+ degrees cooler at La Cumbre then I have a decent chance of staying up high (4000ish), 10+ degrees cooler we are definitely getting up and getting around, 13+ degrees cooler and it is crackin.  I don't quite understand the discussion but I know when it mentions a cold air mass then we get a lapse rate instead of a collapse rate.

If temps are even or hotter at La Cumbre than at Monticito, then it is often soarable in the marine layer down low, and often on those days it is more buoyant later in the day.  I know 13 degrees over 2300 feet isn't that much but it seems to make Santa Barbara go off.  I also look at the pressure at La Cumbre on the same chart (1013 millibars is normal sea level).  I find anything under 1020 at La Cumbre to be low pressure and if the temps are right, lift will be abundant and all over the place.  I find that over 1020 seems high pressure around here which if the temps are right we can get rocket small cores at the usual spots and the glides are easier and smoother because of the stability allowing us to get around better.   Its odd to me that La Cumbre rarely says below 1013 at 4000 ft and when it does it is often raining.

Those are just my amateur observations for having an idea of what I am getting myself into that day.  I put it out there, so feel free to tear it apart as I am curious about the whole weather mystery too.  I use the wind alert app on my phone and favorite all the Santa Barbara wind stations so I get a quick glance at any moment.  Make sure to look at the times as Montecito only posts every hour.  The times need to be close to get an accurate temp difference.

Aaron