I took this photograph last night, looking towards the West at about 19:00. You can clearly see the formation of the lenticular wave bars due to the strength of the wind.
Early this morning there was a tremendous, heavy downpour of rain that bounced off the aluminium roof of the caravan and woke us up. As I walked Django, the sky was around 6/8ths cloud and through the gaps you could again see the wave bars. I judged the wind to be South West 20-25kts (hence you can see the glider tied down and ballasted).
Briefing was held at 11:00 at which the Met Man gave an interesting overview of Thursday’s weather in that there had been 13 fronts (warm/cold/occluded/trough) across the country during the one day…most unusual. The cause of all of this appears to be the Jet Stream which is much further South than normal and which is causing many more Lows to be sweeping across the country, bringing the wet and windy weather.
The weather for today was forecast to be very windy, at times sunshine and at other times showery. A task of 81.2km was set – Edgehill – Watford Gap – Northampton West – Edgehill (EDG-WAT-NOW-EDG).
We were to be gridded in the 8 acre field, but then pulled out onto the short hard runway to be launched. This was an attempt to launch further into wind and to avoid the curl over problems associated with the previous day, but there’s not enough room for all 30 gliders to be pre-gridded on the short runway.
I elected to go to the back of the grid, and here you can see JEV beneath the rather turbulent looking sky.
First launch was delayed and a Snifter was launched. The snifter managed to stay airborne, but rapidly drifted away and found it difficult in the gusty conditions. The launch was delayed and delayed further until a re-brief was called at the front of the grid. The Director had been informed by the Met Man that there were two troughs approaching us, one just to the South of us and one in Wales heading in our direction. The plan was to re-task and hopefully launch us after the first and before the second trough. The new task was now 83.3km Edgehill – Bidford – Deddingtopn – Banbury West – Edgehill (EDG-BID-DED-BA1-EDG). Launch was duly delayed for 30 minutes, but the Director didn’t take into account the timing for the approaching trough which hit us and dumped a load of rain across the airfield which then created much dead air.
The launch was delayed, delayed again and again, until eventually the day was scrubbed at 16:00. A few pilots elected to fly anyway.
Tonight is the Shenington Gliding Club 1940s Hangar Dance. I’m not much of a dancer at all, but I’m really looking forward to it! I will report on how it all went tomorrow….
As regards the weather for tomorrow, well we are all hoping the wind will reduce in speed and that it will dry out a little. Only time will tell…