Wx – Reading RASP

Still in DRAFT/ Concept phase of development.  Should be self-explanatory.

Latest revision: 1 PM, 2/5/19

The newer pilots need to learn how to read the RASP weather maps and learn to plan how to fly from one turn point to another.   More experienced pilots should be helping the less experienced, just as we were helped (or wish we were helped), in own early days of X-C flying.

The purpose of this page is to encourage experienced pilots to unselfishly share their expertise, even if it is limited amount of expertise.  Here is what should be done:

  • Experienced pilots should make an entry on the Forum a day or two before a good soaring day
  • Following your entry, suggest what might be a good release point and which turn points might be usable on a short X-C.
  • Limit the first part of you discussion to areas specifically within this “Short X-C Area”
  • Do NOT limit you discussion to only mountain tows.  If it is possible to flay an X-C with the designated “Short X-C Area” then please include that in your discussion.

Any pilot with a bit of experience and motivation to help others, should look at the RASP,  offer their opinion as to where to tow to, how high the lift might be, and which turn points might be chosen as a “local x-c” course for the day.

The Short X-C Area

Here is a graphic that details the Short X-C area.  The white lines on this graphic correspond to the white lines seen on the RASP maps.  There are 3 NM circles around each of the perimeter turnpoints, and a 20 mile circle around WSC.

This area is called the short X-C area.

Cross-Country Seasons

Soaring is possible every month of the year here are WSC, but in general we might agree there are basically four soaring seasons, with each having its own characteristics:


A sample RASP map and a proportioned  short x-c area map.  It is apparent that pilots will need to enlarge each of the RASP maps in order to focus on this short x-c area.  Keep in mind that Dr Jack’s model resolution is 4 km, as stated in the header of each product.














Note the distance from Willows to the south edge of the area is 40 NM and the distance from Sutter Buttes to Snow is 52 NM.  Thus the area is approximately 160 square miles of territory, which is approximately one tenth (1/10) of the area of the RASP weather forecast.

It is probably a good idea if pilots accomplish some sort of familiarization training with land out locations before attempting to accomplish even short X-C flights, especially if they are relatively inexperienced.

This short X-C flying area contains a total of 27 turnpoints that are in the WSC turnpoint database. Eight of those 27 turnpoints are on the perimeter of the X-C area.

Purposes of having a set area are:

  • Limit the distance from home, so that it is easier to remain within glide distance.
  • Provide a finite geographic area to predict the weather.
  • Provide a finite list of turnpoints that will be used for the tasking.
  • Provide a specific area in which flying conditions may be discussed, based on the weather forecasts


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