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)


15 MAY 2021

Temp/Wind data from:

NOAA Digital Forecast
Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Wind Above
Bates Beach WSW 10 0 SW 10 0 WSW 9 278 WSW 10 506 W 16 278 WNW 24 986
Pine Mountain WSW 12 4540 NW 12 2084 NNW 12 6089 NNW 19 6712 WNW 19 3349 NW 24 1615
Eliminator Skyport WSW 13 3304 SW 7 2626 SW 9 3021
Ojai SW 11 941 SW 10 688 W 5 1662 WSW 11 4547 WSW 12 1662 WNW 16 1153
Dunlap WSW 8 11670 W 6 8957 W 6 12636
Calabasas SSW 10 2698 W 12 2534 SW 9 3285 SW 14 4101 WSW 17 3884 W 23 3884
Saddle Peak SSW 8 1304 W 12 1200 SW 9 2092 SW 14 2702 WSW 16 2511 W 25 2702
Garlock WSW 22 13895 WNW 19 9751 W 16 13696
Blackhawk W 13 12748 WNW 9 6355 WNW 9 9247
La Cumbre Peak WSW 13 5175 SW 7 3004 SW 9 4750
Slick Rock W 10 1726 WSW 6 442 W 8 1726 W 8 3976 W 8 838 W 10 35
Horseshoe W 18 8070 ENE 12 1332 N 16 6514 W 14 10314 WSW 18 7050 W 18 4147
Malibu - Castro Peak SW 11 2453 SW 8 1251 WSW 11 2347
Cayucos WSW 10 2354 WSW 8 3174 W 10 3276

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  If a front comes through, the sounding is no longer valid.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