Rio Grande Soaring Association Forum
Rio Grande Soaring Association Forum
This will be an ongoing topic now, with updates each week. I hope it's useful to you all! I'll give several predictions next week, since Presidents Day has become a traditional date to rendezvous at the Guadalupes. Here is my prognostication for this weekend.
This weekend, Feb. 7-9, shows conditions better than I expected. The jetstream will be over us all weekend long, with winds at the 10,000-ft level (700 mb) strong and west/northwest. However, the winds at launch heights will be more westerly, and milder. This makes Dry Canyon, Little Floridas, Agave Hill, Lee's Lookout and La Luz all possible for foot launching, and tow operations at the Sod Farm should be OK as well. (I wouldn't bet on Magdalena Rim - it doesn't work well in a west wind, according to Bill Cummings. Experience is a good teacher.) There will be precipitation in the Southwest at last, but it will probably be well north of us, mostly in Colorado. We've had cold weather lately, but it gets warmer over the weekend, into the 60's. All in all, this one looks pretty good for flying. I'm probably going to be busy with family obligations myself, but don't let that stop you! Get some airtime if you can, and be safe.
PS - Happy birthday, Bill!
Hi, folks! For those of you contemplating a trip to the Guads this Presidents Day weekend, it's the best forecast (so far) I've seen in years. Warm temperatures, and moderate westerly winds from Saturday through Monday. (Friday looks like north winds.) I'd certainly like to see a crowd there again, and I think it's going to be good. Hope to see YOU there!
Presidents Day Weekend, Feb. 14-16:
This is a pretty good looking weekend for flying. Temperatures will be warm and the skies will be mostly clear. On Friday the winds will be moderate to strong out of the northwest. On Saturday the winds will be fairly strong out of the west. The winds will be moderate to strong out of the west/southwest on Sunday, and lighter out of the west on Monday (Presidents Day holiday). This means that most of our foot-launched sites should work OK: Dry Canyon, La Luz, Lee's Lookout and Agave Hill, Little Floridas, and of course the Guadalupes, a traditional gathering place for pilots over this weekend. Magdalena Rim might be good on Sunday and Monday, but I think it will be too windy from the west for good flying on Friday and Saturday. Good luck if you launch, and be safe!
This looks like a fairly windy weekend for us. The good news is, no precipitation! The bad news is, no precipitation… Temperatures should be warm, around 70-75 degrees for the high each day. The winds on Friday are predicted to be 10-15 mph at launch heights (6000 ft MSL) out of the southwest. This should be ideal for Dry Canyon, La Luz, Magdalena Rim, Little Floridas, Lee’s Lookout, Agave Hill and Kilbourne Hole. Winds aloft (10,000+ ft MSL) will be a good deal stronger, though, out of the west for the whole weekend. For Saturday, the winds at launch heights will be 20-25 mph, west/southwest, which might work for La Luz and Dry Canyon, or might be a blowout. I wouldn't bet on Magdalena Rim or the Little Floridas or the El Paso sites. Winds on Sunday should be similar, but all the models show them tapering off in the afternoon to 15-20 at launch heights. This would make Dry Canyon a good bet for a late-day flight. Contact me if you’d like to fly one of these days; I could go for Dry Canyon on Sunday afternoon. If you fly, keep an eye on the wind strength, and be safe.
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 2, 2014
Like last weekend, this one could be windy. Unlike a week ago, though, there is a possibility of precipitation in our area; we might get some rain on Sunday afternoon. Mostly, though, we'll see clear skies or high overcast. I expect winds from the west/northwest on Friday, moderate to strong; La Luz, Dry Canyon, Agave Hill and Kilbourne Hole might be worth trying. On Saturday it looks like a blowout; 15-20 mph surface winds, which means 30-40 mph at mountain launch heights. They should be out of the southwest, though, if that makes you feel any better. If you go out real early, it's possible that Magdalena Rim, La Luz, Dry Canyon, Little Floridas, and the El Paso sites might yield some airtime. Be careful! On Sunday (if the rains don't come) the winds should be moderate to strong from the west. Almost all of our sites should work in that case. With the jetstream overhead I don't know if Hadley will want to do any PG training at the Sod Farm in Santa Teresa. I may try to do some hang glider mentoring on Sunday afternoon. We had some fine flying at Dry Canyon last Sunday, so I'm willing to wait a few days for more good conditions. Keep in touch, and be safe if you decide to take to the air this weekend.
FORECAST MARCH 7-9, 2014
This weekend will not be that optimal for foot-launched flying. Friday looks the best, with west winds moderate in strength. On Saturday it looks like northwest winds, moderate to strong, and on Sunday they turn east. We may get rain on Saturday or Sunday, too, but it will be very light if we get it at all. Friday, consider Dry Canyon, La Luz, or the Little Floridas. Maybe Agave Hill and Lee's Lookout as well. Training at the Sod Farm might be all right. On Saturday, La Luz is your best bet for airtime, or towing somewhere. (Again, it looks consistent enough for towing at the Sod Farm.) On Sunday either towing, or Anapra, may be your best bet. Good luck! It doesn't look like especially hazardous conditions this weekend, but it might be one to look into training flights or equipment maintenance.
MARCH 14-16, 2014
This weekend should be flyable, but it's not as good as we usually get. First of all, precipitation: There may be some in New Mexico on Friday, but not in the southern part where RGSA likes to launch. Sunday afternoon there is a possibility, but I wouldn't bet much on it. Still, if we get some, I'll be pretty happy about it, despite its impact on our flying. Now, for the winds: Friday actually looks pretty good. Winds will be fairly strong this day, out of the southwest and the west at our launch heights. But if you catch it early, you could find some fine soaring at Dry Canyon, La Luz, Magdalena Rim, Lee's Lookout and the Little Floridas. Kilbourne Hole might be good, as the winds get stronger later in the day. Towing at the Sod Farm should work, too, until things get strong in the afternoon. On Saturday a huge high pressure system approaches from California. Since high pressure swirls the winds in a clockwise direction, this will result in northwest winds in our area. Most of our foot-launched sites face west/southwest, but the La Luz northwest launch might work really well and be soarable. On Sunday the winds get strong, north and northeast. I'd expect some cooling temperatures. Again, La Luz might work, but you'll be dealing with some cross winds at launch, and I don't think you'll get any ridge soaring. It might be better to work on your equipment that day. Or watch the Super Bowl - wait, that's over, isn't it? It's hard to pay attention when you're basically an air-head... I might be up for flying Magdalena Rim tomorrow (Friday) if some other air-heads want to join me. Otherwise I'll be in Albuquerque at the State Gymnastics Finals. If you fly, keep an eye on the winds, and be safe!
WEEKEND WEATHER, MARCH 21-23:
This should be a fairly good weekend for flying. Winds will be westerly to southwesterly, moderate to strong through most of the weekend - though Saturday looks like it could be fairly mild. I'd recommend Dry Canyon or La Luz for foot-launched flights in our area, and go early if you're flying a PG. Late Sunday the winds look more southerly at our launch heights, so Dry Canyon is probably your best bet for that day. As usual - no precipitation. Be safe!
MARCH 28-31, 2014:
This looks like another flyable weekend for everyone in RGSA country. No precipitation is coming (no surprise there). The winds on Friday are expected to be moderate to strong, from the west/northwest. The La Luz site NW launch may work for foot launching, and towing at the Sod Farm ought to be OK. On Saturday the winds should be much lighter, south during most of the day and edging to southwest by day's end. I would look at Dry Canyon for a good flight, PG or HG. On Sunday the winds get considerably stronger, and more southwest. Most of our sites should work that day for hang gliders: Dry Canyon, La Luz, Magdalena Rim, Lee's Lookout, Agave Hill, Little Floridas. Just be there early and ready for the wind to pick up. Paragliders should go early, if at all. Sod Farm towing, lower down, might be good, however. Be careful and give it a try, if you have the time!
APRIL 4-6, 2014
Well, it's another weekend for flying, if you choose the right launch site. Any moisture will miss us yet again, and you can expect fairly strong winds on Friday and Sunday. Saturday looks the best for us, with mild southwestern winds - this makes Dry Canyon, La Luz, Magdalena Rim, Lee's Lookout and the Little Floridas a pretty good bet for both PG and HG. Friday the winds will be stronger, and at launch heights, probably from the south and southeast. In that case Dry Canyon could work for hang gliders, but I'd recommend being there fairly early, just in case. I wouldn't bet on any of our other foot launched sites, except possibly for Kilbourne Hole. On Sunday, the winds shift to strong northwest. La Luz NW launch is probably good for that day, with hang gliders; it's probably too windy for PG's and they're hard to inflate at the NW launch in any case. I would like to go flying on Saturday at Dry Canyon, if anyone's interested in joining me. Keep in touch about it! 575-541-5744.
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