Feb 16, 2021
- Problems getting data from National Weather Service began on Feb 11 impacting operation of the Soaring Predictor software.
The service seems to be working again at about 75% as of this morning, Feb 16.

Backup data is being sourced from however, their free service is limited to 3 days. If you see a three day forecast for your favorite site, thank the WeatherAPI folks. The full 5-day forecasts are receiving input data from the National Weather service (thank them too :-).



KTUS (alt)


23 JUN 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
South Mountain SSW 6 10808 W 12 11063 W 9 13224
Oatman Mt S 12 5348 WSW 10 8794 WSW 10 9846 WSW 8 10659 W 5 11944 E 8 11097
Shaw Butte W 11 4097 WSW 10 8526 WSW 9 9768 SW 5 10491 SSE 4 11543 ESE 8 9768
The Y W 14 3494 SSW 14 7128 SW 16 8958 SW 16 11658 SSW 14 11658 S 18 11457
Phoenix Regional W 11 4128 W 9 9653 W 8 10876 WNW 6 11738 WNW 6 12156 E 9 10607
Humbolt WSW 14 3738 SW 11 6695 SW 11 8180 WSW 6 9952 NNE 8 11092 E 10 7730
Miller Canyon W 11 10302 W 16 11972 WNW 17 12970
Box Canyon W 12 7454 W 13 10526 WNW 13 11736 NW 11 11736 ENE 10 11736 ESE 16 10526
Mustang Mountain W 11 6041 W 15 10918 WNW 16 11734
Whetstone Mountain W 11 6059 W 15 10943 WNW 16 11759
Mt Lemmon W 12 3258 W 13 7959 W 12 8807 WNW 12 9433 ENE 9 8807 ESE 16 7746
A Mountain NW 7 4410 WNW 15 9719 NW 12 10874
Rainbow Valley WSW 6 6988 WSW 12 8538 W 10 9460
Pinal Peak WSW 13 9192 WSW 17 10011 WSW 15 11015
Harquahala SSW 13 12186 SW 11 12384 SW 8 13181
El Tiro Gliderport WSW 8 2277 W 14 9216 NW 10 9779
Mt Ord SW 17 3899 SW 14 7206 WSW 13 9758 WSW 10 10379 NE 9 10586 ESE 12 7206

DISCLAIMER: These estimates are intended to assist in daily site selection only.  No warranty is made concerning the accuracy of these estimates.  These estimates cannot be used to determine if conditions are safe for flying.  Conditions should be evaluated at the launch site by experienced pilots before launching.

Sounding: This is the site at which the weather balloon was released.  If the flying site predicted is far from the sounding site, the estimate is not valid.  Also, the sounding is done at 12Z (4AM PST).  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid. The sounding becomes less valid later in the day.

Thermal Ceiling: the lower of the height at which the thermal stops rising and the cloud level.  We can't fly into the clouds, so it doesn't matter how much higher the thermal goes.  Remember that we can't get to the top of the thermal because of our sink rate.  Our upper limit will be lower than the reported ceiling.

Soaring Ceiling: We will stop going up when the thermal is rising just fast enough to offset our sink.  It is estimated that this happens when the temperature difference between the thermal and the surrounding air is about 2 degrees F. This number is an estimate of the maximum altitude we might reach if we start at launch height, and should be more reflective of our chances of soaring than the thermal top. Please let me know how this compares with actually flying, and I will adjust it as necessary.

Above Launch: The difference between how high we might get and how high we start. This estimate does not account for ridge lift.

High Temp: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service or website.  Puddle temperatures can exceed this temperature. 

Puddle Temp: This estimate is based on the High Temp and the National Weather Service or estimate of cloudiness, and the angle of the sun.  When the sun is directly overhead on a sunny day, the puddle temp is esimated to be 25 degrees warmer than the high ambient temperature. This estimate now includes a rigorous calculation of the Sun Angle, and accounts for the seasonal differences in zenith and daylight hours.

Wind: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service or website.

Wind Gust: This estimate is taken from the National Weather Service or website.

Thermal Type: Blue (no cloud formation) or White (Cloud formation)

Thermal Index: This is the maximum difference in temperature between the rising packet of air (the thermal) and the surrounding air.  The difference in temperature is responsible for the buoyancy of the thermal, and larger temperature differences mean faster rising thermals.  A value of about 10 F or greater often means that the conditions are soarable.  Values above 20 could indicate rowdy thermals.

Validity of estimate: Many factors (including strong wind, fronts, cloud shadows, incorrectly predicted temperatures, etc) can affect the validity of the estimates. 

Author: Tad Hurst

Supported By: Alan Crouse [email protected]