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Region 4 South - Practice Day 1 - Saturday

Mid-September already and another New Castle contest is underway with a markedly larger field than last year, now numbering 30 or so pilots, even after some had to drop out to mind Irma damage to their properties.  Today was the first of two informal practice days and following an unpromising forecast we assigned a one-turnpoint MAT, more with the idea of exercising the scorer and scoring system than challenging the pilots. As it turned out a surprisingly good airmass produced frequent good climbs to about 5,000 ft under most clouds, even with the unhelpful presence of an overcast at about 8,000 ft.

This evening we are treated to the traditional spaghetti welcome dinner and the equally traditional fire, although the latter seems unappealing as I write, with dewpoints in the mid sixties and temperatures in the upper seventies.

This year we are trying the experiment of encouraging pilots to come to New Castle and fly in the “OLC” class. The expectation is that participants will fly for the pleasure of flying at this marvellous site, without any real or perceived pressure to do battle with the sometimes imposing terrain.

Tomorrows weather looks rather similar as would be expected for the almost becalmed conditions prevailing.

Today’s weather is of some interest and for anyone interested I am including the Roanoke radiosonde data:

 Photo #14190 | P1 Sounding

Based on an expected high of ~78F this sounding generates a mixed layer to about 8,000 ft, A surface T/DP difference of ~16F gave cu at about 5,000 ft. The inversion at ~8,000 ft capped the growth allowing the NW flow aloft to spread essentially every cu into its own strato cu. By mid morning we had the spectacle of towing cu growing straight up and funneling moisture into a stratocu.

 Richard Kellerman

Posted: 9/16/2017


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