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)


25 SEP 2022

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 12 835 WSW 9 1632 WSW 10 835 WSW 10 475 WSW 10 278 WSW 10 0
Pine Mountain SSW 7 19016 SSW 8 18458 SSW 8 18271
Eliminator Skyport WNW 11 3800 W 12 3896 WSW 10 5116 WSW 10 3129 SW 10 299 SW 10 9
Ojai SSW 7 12365 SSW 8 11770 SSW 8 11571
Dunlap W 5 2284 W 5 2284 WSW 6 1992 WSW 5 1603 WSW 5 1797 WSW 5 1603
Calabasas W 12 6789 W 14 8268 SW 13 6789 SW 13 4736 SSW 13 2425 SW 13 1923
Saddle Peak W 12 5359 W 13 4214 WSW 13 4119 SW 13 1397 SW 13 644 SW 12 185
Garlock SE 6 12268 SE 6 12070 S 11 12070
Blackhawk NNE 9 7526 E 13 7526 WSW 9 4969 NNE 10 4969 SSW 9 4969 N 8 3967
La Cumbre Peak WNW 11 6616 W 12 7097 W 12 7097 WSW 12 2714 SW 11 2327 WSW 11 2230
Slick Rock W 7 11463 WSW 7 11264 WSW 7 10866
Horseshoe SSE 11 2052 SE 12 2052 S 14 6680 SSE 12 3520 SE 11 3520 SSE 12 3520
Malibu - Castro Peak W 13 1507 W 11 1507 WSW 12 3798 SW 12 166 SW 12 96 SW 11 49
Cayucos WNW 10 1756 WNW 11 2204 NW 11 2204

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  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid.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