Weather

Knowing and understanding the weather is an important part of gliding. When it comes to gliding there are two main questions:

1) Is the weather good enough to fly (Is it a flyable day)

2) Is the weather good enough to find lift and have long flights (Soarable Day)

Pre-solo pilots are mainly interested in the first, while post-solo are mainly interested in the latter.

 

Weather for pre-solo pilots (Flyable Days)

In the UK the official weather forecast is issued by the Met Office, The nearest forecast is given for  Waresley 3km from the airfield. The Met Office does a 5 day forecast, although their 3 day forecast is more accurate.

Typically in the UK most days are flyable, but more days are flyable in the summer and fewer days are flyable in the winter.

Weather Considerations

Rain - If it is raining there will be no gliding, however if there are showers is may be possible to fly in between them.

Low Cloud - If the cloud is below 1000ft (300m) it will not be possible to fly

High Wind - Winds over 40 mph are unflyable, winds above 30 mph in certain directions are also likely to be unflyable. Winds above 15 mph are likely to restrict flying for inexperienced pilots, for example an early solo pilot may not be allowed to fly solo.

Gusts - (sudden bursts of fast wind) can be particually diffcult to manage for inexperinece pilots if gusts are large, flying may be stopped even if the background win levels are manageable.

Waterlogged Airfield - During the winter is is possible for the airfield to get waterlogged, in this case even if the weather is good on the day no flying can take place, look for long periods of rain before the day you intend to fly.

Misting - In the winter there can be a problem of the canopies of gliders misting up, this only happens when the air is very humid and the air cools before sunset.

Sunlight - Gliding only takes place in the day, so when the days are shorter during the winter so is the gliding time.

Weather for post-solo pilots (Soarable Days)

 

While it is reasonably easy to work out if it will be flyable, it is much harder to predict soaring weather. In general thermals are created when sun hits dry ground, heats it up more than the surrounding ground. Therefore, the conditions need to be sunny and dry, but not necessarily hot. In the UK RaSP provides the best soaring forecast.

 

RaSP - gliding forcast

Lasham Weather - gliding forcast

Dunstable Weather - gliding forcast

Bristol Weather - gliding forcast

Met Notes- Lots of gliding weather information and news

Gransden Lodge Airfield Status