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Thread: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    It's that time of year when you see these juicy charts come up like this:

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    Warm, 50% humidity, no wind. This means early clouds, clouds aligned along the Mendos & Cascades, no wind to slow xc speeds. Sunset around 8:05p that day. Possible 1000K triangle day. The next day, Friday looks also very good, but a bit drier in the southern Mendos to start with.

    Will watch.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  2. #2
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    Today's charts for next Thu, May 4, look very similar to two other "Crater Lake" days:
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    Light OD, no wind, strong heating for this time of year, and an early start. My guess is 12K+ bases past the OR border. In the past, this setup has yielded 14K bases and late climbs under the small OD clouds for maximum distance.

    For those new to the group, we've had about 4 of these days in the last 10 years, all in late April / early May.

    Will continue to track, but I'd keep Thursday open....
    Last edited by Kempton; 04-29-2017 at 09:57 AM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #3
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    And further, to compare the WX of my two previous Crater Lake flights:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	3749 May 8, 2007 Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	3750 April 21, 2009

    The '07 flight was 2-3C cooler, drier and windy in the Crater Lake area, blowing out the thermals there.

    The '09 flight was similar heat to this coming Thu, drier, and windy in the Crater lake area. This flight is where Charlie and I got to 14K+ north of the Trinity Alps.

    Hmmm...
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  4. #4
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    Kemp ~ Thanks for the heads up!

    I have penciled Thursday in for soaring.

    Standing by for further updates...
    Pete Alexander -- 98

  5. #5
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    Sorry for the delayed update. With the first Wed charts up, and new 3-6 day outlook, the forecast has gone from a possible A grade to a B- grade...

    Wed looks to be the best day, however, there's an early NE flow of cool air that inhibits early thermals:
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ID:	3757 but it gets better in the afternoon: Click image for larger version. 

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    The problem for a long flight on Wed is the spectacularly low bases in OR, like 7-8K in spite of the heating:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That the soaring forecasts are so far off from my 4-10 day indicators leads me to believe that the saturated ground is a factor. Looking out for Thu, the RH is good, with light OD in the Sac valley, so looks to be a possibly good valley day:
    Name:  gfs_rh_3e_May04 crop.gif
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Size:  7.0 KB and up into the mountains, similar to last April 23 of last year with storms passing thru the valley, but great lift all day. The weekend has a low pressure system sitting right on top of WSC then moving south, so a valley day from Thu thru Sunday.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  6. #6
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    rather than "saturated" ground... as you said above...


    ....forecasts are so far off from my 4-10 day indicators leads me to believe that the saturated ground is a factor. Looking...
    Rather than saturated, there is a lot of snow - top of Snow Mtn, Hull Mtn, Yolla Peak, see T Alps in the distance.,, even Sheet Iron in the foreground. It's cold on the mountaintops for sure. I snapped those photos yesterday. Second photo below has the wing tip on Snow Mtn.

    I might fly on Thursday, or maybe Friday. Might OD a bit over, and west of the T Alps on Thursday...

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    Peter Kelly

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    Thursday is shaping up to be a great day. Start early, at least trinities and back. OK, you might have to dodge scattered OD on the way home, but it doesn't look organized. I wish I were not working...

    John Cochrane

  8. #8
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    The only catch for Thu is the wind. Thu is FANTASTIC day to go straight out to N Idaho. Not me, too much work & family stuff, but someone should consider!
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  9. #9
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    Re: Thermal Watch: Thu May 4

    Nice day to fly.
    Jim-S was a happy co-pilot as we went along the Mendos. never above 10,000 ft.
    Cloud bases were a bit ragged, and lower than preferred.
    Ray-7V went to the Trinity Alps, Jim-1B turned T-15 at 11,500 feet!
    Pat turned T-15 in OJ. Russ turned Alder and Willows! and made it home to WSC, along I-5, into the headwind. Way to fly Russ.


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    Peter Kelly

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