Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Rocks Nats July 29

Q's building over launch.
Well the weather gods aren't with us this week...the moist monsoonal air is starting to move back in, and today it was close enough to create several storms and cancel our day.

Up on launch a task was set (to the north) but before the launch window opened, a large cell developed right on the courseline.  Launch was temporarily closed while we waited for it to dissipate and move off, but in the meantime several more cells started popping off in our vicinity and the decision was made to cancel the day.

The day was still looking free-flyable so many pilots, rather than pack up and drive down, opted to fly down instead.  I chose to drive down as it started raining and hailing so I hope those who launched late were able to land and find shelter before being pummelled by hailstones.

Since tomorrow is also looking sketchy for flying (monsoonal moisture finally coming in with widespread t-storms predicted, plus lots of meteo wind) the decision was also made to cancel tomorrow, making today the final day.  So, in the end we got 2 tasks in.  I'm sorry we didn't get to fly more, but we can't control the weather, and I had a lot of fun on the 2 tasks we flew.  I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of winds this week...I was imaging that with a launch at 11, 000' and flying at up to 18,000', wind would be a continual issue, but we've had light winds all week.  But I'm told it *can* get windy here, so we have been very lucky this week to not have to deal with it.  The t-storms are another matter...this has been a bad week for t-storms and I think it's usually drier and less t-stormy this time of year, but it's been an atypical year for pretty much all of western North America.

Party and awards tonight, and then people are scattering to the winds.  Some are staying for a few days for non-flying stuff; there's a PG comp on the east coast others are heading to; others are heading for flying elsewhere in the northwest.  Not sure what I'm doing yet...I"ll take a look at the weather on the route back north to see if there's anyplace worth stopping at.

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