Chasing the weather

Day 4 of the December Safari was going to be cloudy from the remnants of a front. We decided to make a 6 am start and head west to clear skies.

After 1 1/2 hours we passed under the back of the front.

Soon after Cumulus clouds started forming and we could see more development in the distance. We checked the weather charts and determined this was the instability from a trough line

By 8:30 the sky looked flyable, albeit with a very low base. The trough was about 100km wide and we drove to the western edge so we could fly back through the unstable air.

The trough can be seen on the meteye diagram, our position by the purple marker. Winds were NW to the east and SW west of the trough, inside we had a westerly.

We launched and raced eastward, our concerns were realised when after 100 km the instability became too much, thunderstorms formed and forced us to land approaching Parkes just where the BOM warning said it would. A little frustrating when a big 200 was looking possible.

Driving through the weather and seeing the features was very educational, a satisfying day.

Just to the north of us at Narromine, the Junior Worlds Gliding Championships were being held, they set a record task of 631km and completed it with record speeds of 158km/hr.

Just to the south of us Seiko Fukuoka and Charles Cazaux set a new Australian distance record 406km, Seiko a new world female distance record. They are both current or past world champions.

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