Current Weather ASOS
The RASP forecasts are the most refined and accurate soaring forecasts available for regional areas. We are lucky to have two RASP enthusiasts that build and maintain systems to provide pretty detailed forecasts up to 4 days out.
These tools will save you many gallons of gas and hours of frustration if you learn which parameters to pay attention to and when. Mid winter wave, summer convergence, spring Post-frontal cu, all are accurately predicted sometimes days in advance.
Key Values to be aware of are covered below.
Bart's Avenal RASP
Focused primarily on the Temblor range and up to Panoche, Bart's RASP is generally very accurate. BL Max Up/Down is a fantastic tool for predicting the convergence on any particular day.
Bart's Sierra RASP
With Bart providing a fairly tight view of things, Alex's RASP provides a larger picture and includes some of the Southern Sierra for those of us keen on crossing the valley and getting into the Sierra.
Alex's Super RASP
In December 2012 Alex created a super RASP covering much of the western region. Should be an interesting experiment.
Key Values to look at on the RASP:
BL Top - The Boundary Layer Top. This indicates the top of the convective layer predicted. Typically this would be higher than you can thermal. In our mountainous terrain and with the influence of the convergence this often provides an accurate assessment of how high the thermals will go in the mountains or in the convergence.
HCrit - This is the height of Critical Updraft Strength. Typically the max you'll routinely be able to thermal to. This is generally pretty accurate for the valley and flat land areas.
BL Max Up/Down - This is the magical Convergence predictor. Looking at this for warm colors will typically show you where to expect the convergence.
Vertical Velocity - 850 and 700mb vertical velocity will often show wave bars when we have wind events. Avenal experiences wave from SW and N/NE winds. Typically SW wave sets up straight over the field.