Next Soarable Ed Levin?

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PRGazis
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby PRGazis » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:35 pm

Karl's right. The technology for flying Ed Levin in the summer seabreeze weather pattern is take off at 1100, turn left, and try to get up in the bowl in front of the 1200 and 1500. If you're lucky, and the seabreeze front chooses that moment to push through, you'll get an hour flight about 500' above launch. Timing is everything -- once the wind starts to turn north at launch, it's about 15 minutes to late. In general, it seems best to launch early and hope for the best, since the window is too narrow for any kind of strategy.

In general, the odds of hitting the convergence are low -- no more than 1 in 3. But they're somewhat higher in the spring, and my very first flight off the top at Ed Levin, back in May of 1987, was an hour-long flight above the 1500'. I landed wondering what all that fuss was about 'Sled Heaven'. Ho ho! 11,206,754,762 sled rides later, the ugly truth became apparent...

Paul

P.S. It's also possible to get up at Ed Levin in mid-afternoon on some spring post-frontal days by launching around 2PM, heading out over the LZ, picking up a thermal in front of the 300'-600' ridge, and carrying it back over the golf course -- that's how my ridiculous flight from Ed Levin to Gilroy began -- but it's very hard. And the thermal will drift south very rapidly, which means that after 15 minutes or so, you'll face a choice between leaving the park to go XC or heading back upwind and trying to catch the next thermal before you flush.

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Ryan
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Ryan » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:59 pm

Hmmm, Sunday looks nice ;)
And that's post #666 on the BB :twisted:
Love the lift you're with!

Karl_A
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Karl_A » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:59 pm

Sunday 4/5 still might be a good Ed Levin day, Monday 4/6 is starting to look good also as the forecasted arrival of rain gets later. Don't let them go down the drain. Unless you can fly someplace better, like Diablo.

SHOWERS COULD REACH OUR DISTRICT AS EARLY AS MONDAY...ALTHOUGH THE LATEST RUNS OF THE GFS AND THE ECMWF BOTH KEEP THE UPPER LOW FARTHER WEST LONGER WHICH WOULD SUGGEST THAT RAIN IS MORE LIKELY TO BEGIN LATER IN THE DAY MONDAY

Seems like the rain is sliding into Monday but Sunday 4/5 looks like it might be The Day.

SHOWERS WILL BECOME LIKELY MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...MODELS ARE HINTING AT THE FIRST BAND OF SHOWERS ASSOCIATED WITH A COLD FRONT MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...WITH ANOTHER CHANCE OF SHOWERS ON TUESDAY INTO TUESDAY EVENING AS THE MAIN UPPER LOW MOVES CLOSER TO THE COAST

Karl_A
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Karl_A » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:25 pm

Hope Fading for Sunday 4/5

SATL IMAGERY IS SHOWING A DEVELOPING UPPER LOW WEST OF THE CENTRAL CA COAST NEAR 140W. IN RESPONSE TO THIS DEEPENING LOW A RIDGE IS BUILDING JUST OFF THE COAST. THIS RIDGE WILL BRING DRY AND MILD CONDITIONS TO THE DISTRICT RIGHT THROUGH MONDAY.

'DRY AND MILD' is bad and Sundays high temp of 74 compared to todays (Saturday) 68 is also bad because both indicate high pressure, stable air. Too bad because I'm going to Ed Levin Sunday anyway. I'll check the weather, make a last guess and be there early.

As for Monday 4/6? Maybe.

MODELS CONTINUE TO HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME WITH THE UPPER LOW OFF THE CA COAST. IT APPEARS THAT A COLD FRONT WILL SWEEP ACROSS THE DISTRICT SOMETIME MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY...FOLLOWED BY THE UPPER LOW LATE TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. ...THERE IS MODEL DISAGREEMENT ON THE TRACK OF THE LOW. THE ECMWF BRINGS IT TO THE NORTHERN CA COAST...THE NAM TRACKS IT TO MONTEREY BAY...WITH THE BULK OF THE PRECIP SOUTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE...AND THE GFS TRACKS IT WELL SOUTH TO PT CONCEPTION (about 40 miles west of Santa Barbara).

Karl_A
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Karl_A » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:13 am

BIG Sunday?

The Sunday morning 4/5 WOR Soaring Forecast shows the -3 TI (rule of thumb top of lift) above 6000 feet! That is so good (and unexpected) that it's worth going to Ed Levin just to see what happens. I'll be there about 9 am.

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Ryan
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Ryan » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:00 pm

Epic, as predicted. :shock:
Love the lift you're with!

PRGazis
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby PRGazis » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:59 pm

This was beyond epic. This was ridiculous. When the first thermal went to 3000', I thought, "Hey, I can live with this!" When second went up to 4000', I thought, "What an epic day!" Half an hour later, climbing through 5000', it was clear that some fundamental law of the universe had ceased to apply. At 6000', drifting back towards Mission, I was busy trying to remember the boundaries of the Class B airspace for SFO. The one with the 6000' ceiling runs from the towers to somewhere around the bend in 680. East of it, one is free to climb to 8000'. I only got to 7000', but somehow, I couldn't find it in myself to complain.

Rough timeline of the day
2:30: Wind sock on launch and the 600' are both out of the south. Wind 8-15 (???) with some thermal activity. Rotors, thermals, and way too many gliders along the ridge, but strong bullet thermals south the the 1200' hill that went to 3500' while drifting N and slightly behind the ridge.

3:00: Thermals behind the ridge are topping out around 4500'. According to GPS, winds aloft are 16 MPH roughly parallel to the ridge. NOTE: It's freaky to fly directly over the south tower and look straight down.

3:30: Definite signs of convergence behind the ridge -- widespread lift mixed with rowdy air, and regions of massive (>1500 FPM down!) sink. Lift is topping out near 6000'.

4:00: Big convergence running east of the ridge, safely east of the towers and SFO's Class B airspace. Combination of convergence and what may have been thermals from the big quarry blast right through 7000', but these are drifting toward SFO's airspace, so I must leave. NOTE: It's quite easy to get back from behind Mission to Ed Levin if you start at 7000'.

4:30: Land. After a fashion. Windsock on launch is still out of the S but by now it's blowing N in the LZ, Question: when did it turn in the LZ? Was it around 3:30 when the convergence began to develop?

Midnight: Paul Clayton finally lands. Assuming he's not still flying as I write these words...

Lessons learned: 1) I believe this same late afternoon ludicrous convergence thing happened on a similar day 2-3 years ago, with strong SE winds, blue skies, and a morning inversion that seemed to suggest a high pressure system. Remember this weather pattern, keep an eye open for it, launch between 2:30 and 3:00, make a beeline for the south side of the 1200-1500' ridge, and be ready to struggle for the first 5-10 minutes. 2) Memorize the Terminal Area Chart for SFO.

Matt Isaacson
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Matt Isaacson » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:12 pm

Karl, please provide a link to the soaring forecaster you were looking at this morning. The one I managed to find (http://www.soarforecast.com/) didn't seem to be showing me anything about a 6000' top of lift, or maybe I'm just clueless about how to use it. :?

And ... what about Monday? More of same perhaps? :)

Karl_A
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Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Karl_A » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:54 am

http://www.wingsofrogallo.org/weather/scast.html

Today (Monday 4/6) looks a bit different from yesterday, more like 5000 feet but with lighter wind.

I'll be there a bit after 9 am.

Karl_A
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Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:00 am

Re: Next Soarable Ed Levin?

Postby Karl_A » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:04 pm

Lies! Lies! All lies!

Prediction of 5000 feet for today turned out to be completely bogus. On a brighter (orange) note, there is a new windsock on top of Ed Levin.

MODELS STILL IN RELATIVELY GOOD AGREEMENT IN BRINGING IN THE RAIN ABOUT 8 AM TOMORROW - bad timing

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT CONSECUTIVE MODEL RUNS SHOW THE NEXT TROUGH FOR EARLIER NEXT WEEK DIGGING FARTHER BACK TO THE WEST. THIS HAS BEEN THE TREND AND IS PROBABLY IN RESPONSE TO THE MJO MOVING INTO THE INDIAN OCEAN WITH VERY STRONG CONVECTION. AGAIN WITH THE CONVECTION THIS FAR WEST IN THE INDIAN OCEAN THIS CAN IMPACT ROSSBY WAVES AND PRODUCE TROUGHING ALONG OR OFF THE WEST COAST. IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME TO SEE ANOTHER GOOD CLOSED LOW OFF THE COAST IN ABOUT A WEEK.

Who would have thought that soarability at Ed Levin is controlled by what happens in the Indian Ocean? I know this is the Age of Globalization but I never imagined it would go that far.

MJO must be the Madden-Julian Oscillation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MJO


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