How To Read Flying Conditions
The easiest way to check if the weather at Torrey Pines Gliderport is flyable is to visit the weather sounding page at http://gliderport.thilenius.com/. This page shows real-time wind speed and direction, which our own pilots use to track conditions.
How to Read this Page
Click this link http://gliderport.thilenius.com/. On the page that opens, look at the top where it says, “Wind … degrees at … MPH as of …”. See screenshot above.
- Paragliding tandems: winds around 230-290 degrees and 7-20 mph.
- Hang gliding tandems: winds around 230-290 degrees and 14-20 mph.
Tip: Perfect wind direction is at 270 degrees.
The other sections on the sounding page help you determine whether the wind conditions will stay consistent or change by the time you make it down to the Gliderport!
The illustration on the left-side of the page is a graphical representation of the winds. The best condition is when the red arrows are pointed directly to the right, and speeds are as mentioned above. Additionally, you should also check the direction of the BLUE arrows. They show what the winds were like 15 minutes ago. If they are the same direction as the red arrows, then the conditions are fairly consistent. If not, then the winds are changing and the current conditions may or may not hold.
The three graphs on the right also indicate wind consistency. The first two graphs show wind speed and direction. Check to see if the last few hours have been consistent. The screenshot at left shows a lot of up and down movement – this was from a day when we didn’t fly because the wind speed was too low, and the direction was erratic. Finally, the third graph, at the bottom, shows temperature. Stable temperature with good wind speed and direction mean conditions will stay good for a while. However, sudden decreases in temperature usually indicate it is about to get good, as incoming cold fronts from the ocean are usually accompanied by good air. Conversely, a sudden temperature upward usually indicates inland desert winds are coming, pushing away the ocean breezes that make it good for flying at Torrey. We hope this tutorial helps!
* Note: Because we use a dedicated, real-time instrument package to get the flying conditions described here, these readings will always be more up-to-date and accurate than the general Google “Weather & Forecast” that’s also posted on this site (right).