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)


21 SEP 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach WSW 10 285 W 11 285 W 12 285 W 9 285 W 10 285 W 10 285
Pine Mountain ESE 23 4048 SSW 9 2805 SSW 11 1348 E 10 1937 SSW 10 1051 SW 10 448
Eliminator Skyport SE 12 3326 WSW 8 3655 WSW 9 2602 WSW 9 2457 WSW 9 992 WSW 9 168
Ojai ESE 20 4355 SW 9 3204 SSW 9 1702 S 11 1849 SSW 10 1259 SSW 10 1111
Dunlap ENE 6 1896 SW 9 2042 ENE 5 1308 WSW 6 1749 WSW 6 1161 WSW 6 353
Calabasas ENE 19 6171 W 6 6452 SW 11 4176 SSW 13 4033 SW 11 3006 SW 12 2369
Saddle Peak ENE 17 4304 W 8 4590 WSW 11 2645 SW 12 2645 SW 11 839 SW 11 556
Garlock NE 13 3288 W 20 3863 E 10 3577 E 12 3863 SSE 11 2997 S 12 2110
Blackhawk E 6 5281 W 7 8626 WSW 7 6237
La Cumbre Peak ESE 13 3284 WSW 6 4154 WSW 11 2414 WSW 10 2268 SW 9 1830 WSW 10 1684
Slick Rock W 9 2967 W 12 2674 WSW 5 1541 W 5 2378 SW 5 1245 SW 5 949
Horseshoe SE 17 762 ESE 16 1052 ENE 12 469 E 13 762 SE 13 175 SE 12 0
Malibu - Castro Peak ENE 20 2923 W 9 2696 WSW 10 0 SW 11 0 WSW 10 0 WSW 10 0
Cayucos ENE 5 0 W 9 0 W 10 0 WSW 10 0 WSW 10 0 W 11 0

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]