Finding Ridge Soaring Days

It’s fall time here in the Pacific North West. The main soaring season is behind us. Most of us have put their glider away for the winter while a few of us keep an eye out for those rare days when the wind hits Mt Pilchuck the right way to allow ridge soaring or even wave flying. Windy.com provides a nice interface to check for favorable conditions. In this post I show you how to quickly asses favorable conditions.

Remember: For Mt Pilchuck to work, we like to get at least 10 to 15 kts of wind at a SW to SE direction with no clouds below 6,000 ft.

Go to windy.com and type “Mt Pilchuck” in the search bar. Windy will zoom in on the mountain and open a weather forecast overview. Click the “Airgram” at the bottom of the page. The lower window now shows a 5-day forecast. The lower half indicates clouds at altitude along with colored bars to indicate precipitation. The upper half shows wind speed and direction at altitude. You want to looks for days with no clouds below 800 hPA (~6,000ft)  and >10 kts wind coming from the south. You can further adjust the wind presented on the main map by moving the slider on the right from “surface” to 850 hPA.

windy

 

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