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 JUL 2024

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 12 397 W 13 278 WSW 6 0 WSW 6 856 SW 5 1363 SW 5 1363
Pine Mountain NW 11 8341 NNE 12 7715 N 11 8133 NW 12 8341 N 13 8757 NNE 12 9171
Eliminator Skyport WSW 9 1064 WNW 11 725 W 5 1544 NE 5 3932 NNE 5 5767 NNE 5 5287
Ojai W 8 12640 N 10 4618 SSW 8 4618 SSW 8 12619 SSW 6 12640 SSW 8 12682
Dunlap SW 5 4777 WSW 6 4777 WSW 6 3238 WSW 6 4295 WSW 5 5710 WSW 6 12743
Calabasas WSW 5 2113 WSW 5 1397 WSW 9 2113 WSW 9 2683 WSW 9 4922 WSW 8 3344
Saddle Peak WSW 5 226 WSW 6 33 WSW 9 381 WSW 8 885 SW 8 1219 SW 6 1052
Garlock WSW 12 12743 W 14 13465 SW 13 12693 WSW 12 12985 SW 11 13465 SW 11 13941
Blackhawk WSW 10 7888 W 12 8513 WSW 12 9754 WSW 10 9754 W 8 9960 SW 8 10165
La Cumbre Peak WSW 9 2749 WNW 11 1082 W 8 4747 WNW 8 6148 WNW 8 13371 NNE 5 13371
Slick Rock WSW 5 12364 W 6 12364 W 6 12300 W 6 12342 WSW 5 12391 WSW 6 12945
Horseshoe ESE 7 11674 SE 17 12676 SSE 15 12477
Malibu - Castro Peak W 9 182 WSW 9 52 W 9 52 W 8 312 WSW 8 446 SW 6 377
Cayucos W 10 1090 NW 11 1090 W 9 1422 WNW 9 1565 WNW 10 1592 W 10 1540

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]