On Friday night the weather forecast was calling for rain and thunderstorms all weekend. We worried that we might easily lose two days. On Saturday morning we woke up to pretty solid rain and it was clear that there would be no chance of flying so the day was cancelled at the morning briefing. By 3 or 4, the skies cleared and we ended up having a nice enough looking day – just a day with zero lift. But, that got our hopes up that the system that was keeping us on the ground may have moved through more quickly than expected.
Sunday morning looked good enough that we got out to the airfield nice and early and started planning the day. The task committee (Davis, Zippy, Jonny and Larry) found the updated forecast looking better and better, so they initially called a 91km task to Cochran, to our northeast, hoping to skirt around some scattered overdevelopment in a few other directions. But, by the time everyone staged, it was clear that the sky in the direction of the task was already starting to blow up. We held launch for a half an hour while the task committee checked the radar and tried to find another option. In the end, they came up with an 85km task in exactly the opposite direction thinking we could run away from the overdevelopment to the NE.
Launch opened and the tugs were incredibly quick about getting everyone in the air. The open class were all up in about 40 minutes. But, by the time we started towing the sport class, the dark skies to our NE were starting to close in and task committee members were expressing concern by radio. As we were reaching the end of the sport class line, the safety director closed launch and everyone was rushing around trying to derig gliders before the gust front hit. Just about the same time, the safety committee stopped the task and everyone started dropping out of the sky. The scattered thunderstorms were all around and according to the radar loop two cells were headed directly toward courseline. Most pilots landed before the gust and only got a few drops of rain while derigging. But I heard rumors that Dustin in the lead gaggle had to land in 25mph wind – I know how he loves that 😉
As of this morning, the forecast is looking pretty nice for the rest of the week. I hope that means no more cancelled days!