Weather and Soaring Forecasts Along the Red Bull X-Alps, 2019
Click a turnpoint or route segment on the map above to get started. You can also click any point within the region to see detailed point forecasts for today and tomorrow.
The forecast data used in this application is updated 4 times a day at roughly 04, 10, 16, and 22 UTC.
The intended goal of this project and application is to provide weather and soaring forecasts along the Red Bull X-Alps competition using forecast data from ICON and XC Skies.
This application is not affiliated with Red Bull or its partners of the X-Alps. It's simply a "side-show" tool for enthusiasts and spectators of the competition.
You can find the Official Red Bull X-Alps website here.
A note on Dates and Times in this application: All times are shown in local Central European Summer Time (CEST). The current "wall clock" time is given at the top of the map.
The selected forecast times are highlighted in yellow.
This application uses forecast data from the ICON European nested model, run by DWD.
XC Skies then initializes parameterization and downscaling techniques to arrive at detailed forecasts for every 1km within the domain.
This table shows vertical velocity profiles across daylight hours for the selected day. Only the boundary layer levels are shown.
The vertical velocities depicted here are strictly convective
and do not include the contribution of ridge lift, gravity or mountain waves, or general upslope flows. The presence of these other
mechanisms for soaring must be deduced by the general meteorlogical conditions. When sufficient triggers are present, these are the expected
vertical velocity profiles and their respective top of usable lift.
Subtracting a glider's sink rate from the thermal updraft velocities gives the usable, realized velocity.
When cumulus cloud can form by lifting the parcel, the lifted condensation level (LCL) moment is depicted with a cloud icon. The effective top of usable lift will therefore
be at the LCL.
Surface temperatures (2m)
This table depicts the surface temperatures around a selected area. For , an area with a radius of 10 km shows
the minimum elevation is and the maximum elevation is .
The table depicts a surface temperature matrix for select elevations throughout the day, from sunrise through sunset.
This table is NOT a representation of the air temperature aloft, rather, it attempts to provide context for the expected air temperature
at different surface elevations. In mountainous regions, a single temperature value does not tell the entire story of what to expect on ridge tops, etc.
This table shows winds aloft through much of the lower atmosphere.
Mean sea level pressure
This table shows the mean sea level pressure trend across the day. These pressures are not adjusted using the typical method of the averaged 12 hours of temperature.
Relative humidity aloft
This table show the relative humidity profiles across the day by hour. Areas where RH values exceed 95% often indicate the presence of cloud.
Moderate moisture in the lower boundary layer capped with dry air above is often what we soaring pilots look for. When conditions are relatively unstable and
high levels of moisture exist through and above the boundary layer, large scale convection can occur, often resuling in thunderstorms and large cumulus cloud development.
Lifted Condensation Level (LCL). If the boundary layer depths do not reach the LCL, cumulus cloud will not form.
Oritented by cardinal direction with
The current hour (only on the "today" plots).
Color scales are used to highlight features and are arbitrary based on the min and max values for the given parameter at the selected location.
Top of usable lift
Boundary layer top
Dew point level (CCL)
Potential cumulus cloud
The forecasts along a route show the general lift potential with other useful weather elements. Lift profiles can appear misleading at times if taken at face value.
For example, the origin of thermals are often not directly underneath the realized tops due to upslope flows and winds aloft in general. In mountainous terrain, such as the Alps,
this is particularly prevelant. The forecasts along a route are intended
to provide guidance and trend information about the day's soaring potential.
Winds are depicted on every route plot as wind barbs.
Barbs are extremely helpful symbols to convey both wind direction and speed without the need for number labels.