I arrived on the airfield fashionably late amid comments of, “mmm – looks like the rain will be early”. But despite the grey veil that had cast over the sky, convective clouds continued to form in rough streets in the SSW wind and shirt sleeves remained sufficient attire. As the day progressed the gloom increased and thermals became scarcer, but this was offset by the freshening wind which had backed to south providing launches of 1500ft and more. Needless to say JW reported contact with wave (albeit on the wrong side) late on in the day as was evidenced by the changing organisation of the cumulus into bars. So all in all a challenging day, which provided a handful flights of an hour or more for those who read it correctly.
There was an interesting diversion when a long winged visitor appeared high in the circuit and having flown past two thermalling gliders started up a motor with a 200 decibel banshee howl that frighted the horses in three counties. It then proceeded to orbit with the motor on, just to make sure we had noticed. Score = wealth 100%, airmanship???
Met theory tells us that we could expect a high veil of cloud up to 400 miles ahead of an approaching front and Storm Hector provided a typical example of this, as evidenced by the midday synoptic forecast.
The meteogram cloud profile also predicts this, together with light convective cloud at around 3500ft, as could be expected from the difference between night and daytime temperatures (ref ‘Bradbury Rule’) which would predict a cloud base of around 4000ft AMSL.
So just because the sun ain’t shining it’s not necessarily a washout.
I had my first flight in a glider since November and thanks to Bob “try that cloud over there” Boyd, it was a soaring one, and thanks to all for the warm welcome back.
We miss you Stephen – come back from Scotland to wring out your socks 🙁