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Thread: Soaring on March 9th

  1. #1
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    Soaring on March 9th

    Soaring should be good on our first Valley Soaring Assoc. (VSA) Race Day - but keep in mind that "good " is a relative term!

    Considering we haven't had many opportunities to do thermal soaring or fly very much cross country (X-C) so far this season, our opportunity is quickly approaching - but then again, it is only March.

    We know about the solstice (Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion) (June 21, for 2019), but little regard is given to the equinox (spring equinox is March 21) (comes from Latin and means “equality of night and day"). This next Saturday is only 12 days short of the equinox, and it looks promising. BTW - daylight savings time goes into effect the very next day - 3/20.

    Granted, the ground is not being heated very much now, not like it will be, after things dry out and the sun is higher in the sky, but the equinox should be considered the start of the thermal soaring season.

    In this thread, I will talk about the opportunity to fly X-C on March 9th, our first VSA Race Day for 2019. I invite, and encourage others to post your opinions and thoughts about the soaring conditions that you are anticipating for next Saturday, 3/9. And, while you are at it, suggest a cross country or a task that you believe might be possible - given the forecast.

    Until we get to Andy's two day RASP on Friday night, we can't be very certain of what the conditions will really be on Saturday, but we certainly should start taking a look at how the atmosphere is evolving. The NorCal 7 Day RASP is now available, thank you Val.
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    Looking at the Nor-Cal 7 Day RASP ( https://rasp.nfshost.com/norcal-coast/ ) for Saturday, 3/9, and limiting the discussion to the short cross country area, for ease of analysis...

    Here is the short X-C area (inside the blue lines) as illustrated on the VSA web page :
    https://www.valleysoaring.net/weathe...-reading-rasp/

    Click image for larger version. 

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    some of the charts I have captured for 1400 hours on 3/9 (a 7 day fcst):

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    From these few images I have formed an opinion.

    There are two tasks that seem to be achievable

    Task #2 (Tree farm, Sheet Iron, Bear Vly, Tree farm)
    and
    Task #10 (Tree farm, Rumsey, Indina Ranch, Tree farm)

    We'll need to watch and see how soaring conditions develop.
    Peter Kelly

  3. #3
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    So as to keep things in perspective, I have a few further comments about prep for this coming Saturday.

    pilots should


    For those new to the race series, here is how it goes...

    Most pilots will have their ships almost ready to go - before the pilot meeting - just like in a contest. After the meeting, typically, pilots will sit around before launch and share opinions about flight plans for the day. The more experienced pilots may not share too much since they will not be selecting a listed task until they are in the air, and they may not even fly a listed task at all. If it is poor, they will fly conservatively, and may not even attempt a task, or, if it is really good, they may just head out, making the most of the day, not actually flying in the race series and thus will not be submitting a GPS flight record.

    My advice to pilots new to the Race Series is...
    ... "curb you enthusiasm" on this - the first soaring day of the season.
    • Flying skills are rusty and they need to be polished up,
    • the days are still short,
    • the sun is not as hot as it should/ will be next month, and the ground is wet.
    • Any off field landings will prove to be very messy and may even damage the glider, which may cause pilots to miss the best part of the coming season.


    It is best to approach this first race day with a lot of reserve and good judgment. This is the warm-up for a good season.

    I will post more comments about the conditions we might expect - primarily for the purpose of illustrating the weather resources that could/ should be reviewed before flight.
    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    Tuesday mid-day look. Looking only at Windy.com products:

    Saturday still looks like a good day to fly, but chance of showers in the afternoon as the low pressure moves southeastward.

    Big Picture with surface isobars, and rain in blue // Fcst 9 am to 6 PM // Closer view of possible rain showers.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-07-2019 at 12:40 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  5. #5
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    Thursday morning outlook for Saturday. Just looking at the soundings for 1300 hours, for Williams, 3 Sisters and Goat on the 3 Day Williams RASP.... it is not looking very good.

    Williams:
    Attachment 5060
    Three Sisters:
    Attachment 5061
    Goat:
    Attachment 5062
    Peter Kelly

  6. #6
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    And you ask... But how does the 3 Day Williams RASP forecast compare to the 7Day Norcal RASP model????
    They were both run this morning, Thursday, 3/7/2019.


    Glad you asked. Here is a random side by side comparison of one of the maps looking almost 3 days into the future. Tursday morning run, looking at forecast for 1 PM conditins on Saturday. Here is the predicted cloud bases for Saturday at 1300 local time about 3 days into the future:

    First - the 3 day Williams RASP:
    Attachment 5063
    Attachment 5064


    And, here is the 7 day Norcal RASP for the same area and time:
    Attachment 5065 Attachment 5066


    What do YOU think??
    What is you opinion? ... Using this random sample of a forecast for this coming Saturday.
    Which is more accurate?
    Which is easier to read?

    FYI - the grey areas on each product are areas where the data was not incorporated into the map - for whatever reason.
    The grey boxes help you to comprehend the accuracy of a 4 km resolution.
    Peter Kelly

  7. #7
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    Re: the above comparison.

    More importantly - is this a valid comparison? Should we compare other products, other than cloud base? would it matter?

    I am not questioning the accuracy of either product, just comparing the similarity of the forecasts ! or the non-similarity!

    Are they each predicting the same thing?
    Peter Kelly

  8. #8
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    The wild card is the high clouds on Saturday which is very visible on the NAM blipmap forecast.
    Tomorrow looks much better.

    Ramy

  9. #9
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    Re: Soaring on March 9th

    Friday night update - 8 PM

    It is NOT looking good for tomorrow. I've never seen such a blue BS map before!

    What are the backup plans???? Readers should refer back to the thread which announced this event to see if there are any updates...
    See.... https://www.williamssoaring.com/news...y-March-9-2019

    Are existing seminars hard scheduled?

    Early cocktails during some impromptu/ organized discussion groups?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-09-2019 at 06:11 AM.
    Peter Kelly

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