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 :-).

RASP and Windgrams should not be impacted

See the southern California RASP Model The detail grid covers the San Diego sites, but the 4km grid covers most of southern California.

Instructional video on reading the RASP Model

Check out the WINDGRAMS Windgrams are available for most Santa Barbara sites from the more accurate RASP data



KVBG (alt)


2 AUG 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach W 10 0 WSW 10 0 SW 10 0 WSW 10 0 WSW 9 0 WSW 10 0
Pine Mountain SW 11 12712 SW 11 13822 NNW 12 13278 N 12 11236 WSW 12 10736 SW 12 8505
Eliminator Skyport WSW 14 7622 WSW 10 7884 NW 13 7884 W 11 3071 SW 9 2525 WSW 10 1024
Ojai SSW 8 7962 SSW 8 6903 SSW 8 6601
Dunlap SW 9 7153 W 6 7849 WSW 6 7503 W 8 6287 WSW 6 6553 WSW 8 6553
Calabasas SW 14 9698 SW 14 9442 WNW 14 8334 SW 14 4823 SSW 14 3067 S 14 2605
Saddle Peak SW 17 7905 WSW 13 7524 W 14 4412 SW 14 2286 SSW 14 996 S 14 811
Garlock WSW 11 17153 WSW 12 17627 W 18 19253
Blackhawk W 9 13036 NE 9 13036 W 11 14666 SSW 17 14132 SW 14 12092 SW 13 8628
La Cumbre Peak W 10 8545 W 9 9226 WNW 13 9644
Slick Rock W 9 7707 W 8 8393 WSW 8 7707 W 6 6324 WSW 6 6658 W 6 7012
Horseshoe SE 8 14897 SSE 10 14702 SE 17 15297
Malibu - Castro Peak WSW 13 1668 W 13 1668 WNW 13 1108 WSW 12 357 SSW 12 116 S 13 4
Cayucos WNW 10 1646 WNW 10 1646 WNW 12 1461

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  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid.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]