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Region 4 South - Noon report

After yesterday’s task was cancelled, a number of pilots did choose to fly – and they mostly found useful soaring conditions, albeit ones that would probably not have been suitable for a safe & fair contest task.

The really interesting feature was wave, in which some were able to climb to over 11,000 ft.  But the “windows” of clear air had a tendency to close with little warning, requiring care to avoid being trapped on top.  Ridge winds became reliable late in the day, and a number of pilots completed the “tunnel run” (a 120-mile round trip southwest to the Big Walker tunnel on Interstate 77).  Baude Litt (who is known to be rather good at this sort of thing) managed a 400-km flight that included a stretch on Peters Mountain, some 10 miles northwest of New Castle.  Peters Mountain is here often referred to as “the main ridge” as it’s part – a notably well-shaped and useful part – of the famous Appalachian Ridge route that carries gliders from Pennsylvania to Tennessee (and sometimes back again).

Today’s weather is unfortunately looking troublesome.  Thanks to the cold front passage, we have a good airmass that will require only modest temperatures to produce good thermals.  But the high-pressure area to the north is generating easterly winds, which are bringing in cool and moist air, producing low cloud that may seriously limit heating.  So it’s a day that should be somewhere between very good and unflyable.

Posted: 9/17/2013


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