1 =========== Milton Hare *AT* Williams, CA
I use cloud predictions in a relative sense - if cloud cover is a problem for the day, I use the cloud predictions to avoid the worst areas. I'm not sure how accurate they are, but do use BL LCL quite often and find it to be useful.
11 =========== Gary Evans *AT* Estrella Sailport, Phoenix, AZ
I only use the forecasts that are most worthwhile to my local desert area.
12 =========== John Wagner *AT* Ionia, MI
I haven't had time to learn about the subjects.
13 =========== ---------- *AT* Hobbs, NM
We also use several other internet-based sources. Isn't this wonderful! Not too many decades ago I had only sporadic TV dummies to help.
16 =========== Todd Herzog *AT* ADG (Adrian, MI)
(1) Blipmap viewer is helpful, but I would really like to have thumbnails for a quick overview. E.g. one page with all 18Z blipmaps and another page with HCRIT for all times (Formated to fit on 1 8.5x11 sheet of paper---I take this stuff to the airport) (2) A standard color scale. E.G. seems like the color for HCRIT 3000ft changes hourly (or any other blipmap) I would like to be able to key in on the color and not have to look at the scale.
That will eventually be done. (3) Need a black & white format for printing (laser printer) (4) Longer range forcasts, especially leading into weekend
17 =========== ---------- *AT* TSA Midlothian, TX
You do a good job of explaining each of the different BLIPMAPS so I feel that I have a fair understanding of the theory and principals. However, I am not yet at the point where I can judge the accuracy of the products with any real certainty. I answered "Accurate enough" on several of the maps when my true answer should be: "Accurate enough...I think".
18 =========== Eric Rupp *AT* Hollister, CA
Of course, it's difficult to confirm the accuracy of these forecasts -- I assume they're accurate, then take what I get. No gross errors discovered, though.
22 =========== Bill Richardson *AT* Warner Springs, CA
I can determine the forecasted location of the shearline that sets up approx. NW/SE somewhere around Warner Springs by the graphical representation of Thermal Updraft Velocity and Height of BL Top. Its great!
24 =========== Jonathan Gere *AT* Fairfield, PA
I need another whole season with blipmaps to form a more objective idea of their accuracy. Very subjective impression: We probably have too narrow a height band for the possible forecast accuracy, i.e <3000 ft too low for comfortable XC, >4000 plenty good enough. Forecasts often +-1500 ft from actual.
25 =========== Karl Striedieck *AT* University Park, PA
I'm not a very sophisticated user so I look at the first three or four maps and if there is a lot of red and purple that's good enough for me.
27 =========== Rick Hernan *AT* Youngsville, PA
I really haven't been motivated to explore the features beyond those which I have indicated I use regularly.
32 =========== ---------- *AT* Menomonie, WI
Sometimes I use maps that are vaguely understood...
36 =========== Tony Gaechter *AT* Truckee, CA
The messurement resolution of the parameters is good enough, but getting the data from a higher resolution model would help. For Example knowing the wind direction prediction to a resolution of 10 degrees if fine, but hiving a finer resolution map for the source prediction would be nice.
37 =========== ---------- *AT* Turf Soaring, Phoenix, AZ
Consider adding buttons for "Don't know" under the accuracy column.
39 =========== Tom Saunders *AT* Blairstown, NJ 1N7
Richard Kellerman and our Regional Governor Erik Mann also present weather predictions on Erik's web site when they think soaring will be good. Most of the time your predictions are the same.
41 =========== ---------- *AT* hemet, CA and driggs, ID
In the first of the areas I fly, around Hemet, CA, small scale topography plays a big part, as well as ocean related shear lines. The blipmap ground contours, I feel, are not to a scale that resolves adequately the forecast. There can be quite a difference in the various blipmap parameters for areas just a few miles away from each other. Because of that, my answers of "accurate" include the fact that I am often not totally sure that I am flying over the terrain forecast. Driggs, Id and envions, on the other hand, is easy to identify. The Snake River Plain, the Idaho border with Wyoming make better ground detail unnecessary.
42 =========== Ray Williams *AT* Mountain Valley Apt. Tehachapi, CA
Down load time and local conditions frequently restrict flights when predictions north of InyoKern are super!
43 =========== John "bumper" Morgan *AT* Napa, CA and Minden, NV
In any catagory, it would be useful to have a short "key" or explanation of what number ranges might mean. For instance with convergence, values over 50 indicate possible usable lift etc.
That needs be done on an emprical basis for many parameters such as convergence and may vary with location, so must presently be left to individual pilot experience.
45 =========== Chris Ruf *AT* LaGrange, GA and Benton/Chattanooga, TN
Some legends on the tops of graphics should used a fixed scale that does not change per the data contained. This sometimes gives a false impression as to the severtity of the part of the map that shows the parameter maxed out. This mainly applies to the overdevelopment items.=20
46 =========== Gale Winnett *AT* Marion Municipal Airport, Marion, OH
I have totally missed any reference to the last 8 items. I obviously am remiss and have some homework to do this winter!
50 =========== Russ Hustead *AT* Payson, AZ
The forecasts would be much more helpful if there was an overlay of airports. for example I'm in Arizona and would love to see exactly where the airports are (KPAN in my situation). There is a large 2500 ft high Mogollon ridge just 12 miles north, but it's difficult to know where to go when you just have a state map.
That has been done.
51 =========== George Morford *AT* Mission Peak, Fremont, CA
As you know, I use Mission Peak (really Mt Hamilton) and Mt Diablo (really 580/680 interchange) to predict soaring at Mt Diablo and Mission Peak. The 580/680 BLIP is usually under-optimistic for either sight. The Mt Hamilton BLIP is always overoptimistic for Mission Peak. So I make a compromise forecast for myself.
53 =========== Terence Honikman *AT* Santa Barbara, CA
The explanations are excellent, but I tend to focus on a few screens and my understanding of several others is limited.
57 =========== ---------- *AT* Sterling, MA
In the places I fly most, MA, VT, NH, most days were somewhat undercalled by the maps. Hardly a fatal flaw. In general I don't leave home without consulting the BLIPMAPS.
60 =========== Larry Hood *AT* Williams, CA
The time you have taken to explain the parameters is clearly evident and the explanations are good.... I just havnt taken enough time to really study and therfore understand just what is presented.
72 =========== Colin J Barry *AT* Boulder, CO
I generally use BLIPMAP to give a forecast of which direction to go to get the best conditions at distances > 70 miles. Typically this will be N or S of Boulder on the continental divide. Days with strong lift and low winds are the best XC days around here as the thermals are not torn apart by the prevailing westerly wind.
74 =========== ---------- *AT* Warner Springs, CA
Wish you went thru the color wheel just one time. Gets confusing when the colors are close together.
With 22 tints many become indistinguishible if only go through color wheel once.
77 =========== ---------- *AT* California City, CA
I use Blipmaps during the season as a primary resource, and cross check with raw info from the UNISYS RUC models, and GOES soundings for my task area.
84 =========== ---------- *AT* Caddo Mills, TX
on some of these predictions the exact flying location on the computer screen is difficult to spot
87 =========== John Earlywine *AT* Kendallville, IN
We have been very pleased with using the basic charts to promote local and short cross country and training flights. Next summer with a new glider in the box, I want to get more deeply involved with the fine points.
93 =========== ---------- *AT* Kendallville, IN
The questions above I cannot answer because I have not used them enough to clarify an answer. However, in the future I do plan to aquaint myself with the other options offered by blipmaps service. I think this service is good for our region and look forward to another soaring season in May 2003
97 =========== George Marinos *AT* Williams, CA Minden, NV
Not understood is a problem on my part. Sometime I read the explanation and think I get it but when I fly I find that I don't really understand.
102 =========== ---------- *AT* HDH (HI), TRK (CA), MEV (NV)
The reports are very fine but I feel they may be more than what's needed and some may even confuse the reader. How likely, how strong, how high and where is what I look for.
104 =========== Bill Poole *AT* Jacksonville, FL
I would like to have thermal triger temps.
Use of a local BLIP would help here - I expect to add some this summer.
106 =========== ---------- *AT* hutchinson, KS
We had a lousy year this year. Wasn't a fair test.
108 =========== ---------- *AT* LaGrange, GA
The best program around.... We all owe Dr. Jack our thanks...
110 =========== Bob Lacovara *AT* Philadelphia Glider Council - Hilltown, PA
The items I've marked as "not understood" are just my fault for not taking the time to read all the available instructions. I'm sure they are useful data.
116 =========== ---------- *AT* P15
I have found the predictive parameters of Blipmap to be generally useful but need more time outside the student environment to establish the correlation between predictions and flying conditions.
117 =========== ---------- *AT* Caddo Mills, TX
I use the FSL predictive sounding page to get an indication of local soaring conditions during the day, and use BLIPMAPS to get a feeling for variations over the general area as compared to the local area.
119 =========== ---------- *AT* Pendleton, ONT, Canada
Because of time constraints I usually just look at the key features and make up my mind based on those.
126 =========== Greg Arnold *AT* Santa Ynez, CA
I use the FSL plots and they also overestimate the soaring conditions at Santa Ynez. I think this may just be a problem at Santa Ynez, with its strong coastal influence. I would think BlipMaps would work fine in the desert. I hope to try that this summer at Parowan, UT.
128 =========== Dave Rolley *AT* Kelly Airpark, Elbert, CO
For all of the above answers: My flying is generally north - south along the front range of the rockies, back to the continental divide, normally south of Denver. Which means I transition from the high plains to the mountains. The mountains in this part of the country seem to have their own weather patterns, influenced by synoptic level patterns but not necessarily driven by them. Of course if I flew more, I might understand more.
133 =========== ---------- *AT* Alamogordo, NM
When planning a straight out flight to Wyoming or Montana, the information is very usable.
136 =========== Clay J Thomas *AT* Black Forest Soaring Society Elbert, CO
Thremal updraft map is most important in deciding which way to go xc. Convergence map is next most important(at times). Wind data is easier to get an overall view from a radiosonde but your data is used to fine tune.
137 =========== ---------- *AT* Hinckley, IL
Perhaps some of these forecasts are of more use to western pilots than us midwesterners. We usually cannot fly the distances they do and as a result we focus on more local conditions. I flew at Ely this summer and we used the BLIPMAPS daily with excellent results.
139 =========== Frank Davis *AT* Minden/Tahoe, NV
I'm a low time glider pilot and maily concerned about local conditions, primarily thermals.
142 =========== Bob Semans *AT* Minden-Tahoe Airport, NV
There is a risk in supplying too much data. One can fall into analysis paralysis and miss the import of key parameters, whatever they may turn out to be. It also can lead one to spending too much limited pre-flight time which might be better spent on other flight preparations. Most pilots consistently take off too late to get the best distance out of a given day!
Ultimately what to look at must be an individual pilot's decision. I like to ensure that info which is potentially useful is there if needed.
145 =========== Dean Chantiles *AT* Warner Springs, CA
Convergence charts remain a mystery to me. The Soaring magazine article was too technical in that regard and really didn't clarify great/good/so-so convergence day/area.
148 =========== ---------- *AT* Front Royal, VA (Skyline Soaring Club)
I have not taken the time to understand the rest of the parameters.
152 =========== Mike Koerner *AT* Crystalaire, CA
Despite having used blipmaps often I am not in a position to assess their accuracy. In general terms my felling is that they have been reasonably accurate. Sorry I can't do better than that. I should have kept the maps and reviewed them with my IGC trace after flights, but alas I never did.
153 =========== ---------- *AT* KLGU in UT
We have mountains and valley. The mesh size and Blipmaps don't handle this very well. We have very different micro climates within a few miles.
159 =========== James L Lamb *AT* Whitewater, WI
I have found all the above to be at about the same level of usefulness and accuracy. That would be, in both cases at the 80-85% levels. The only criticisum/wish was better would be the ability to focus in a litle tighter on areas say 100 miles in diameter.
160 =========== GUY ACHESON *AT* MEV, NV
I AM STILL LEARNING. CURRENTLY I AM USING THE BASIC THERMAL AND WIND INFORMATION AND RELATING IT TO MY ACTUAL EXPERIENCES. WITH FURTHER EXPERIENCE AND FURTHER EDUCATION ON THE PART OF KNOWLEDGABLE USERS AT SOARING SEMINARS I HOPE TO BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH ADDITIONAL FEATURES.
164 =========== ---------- *AT* MEV Minden, NV
Don't have enough experience to comment...
165 =========== ---------- *AT* Crazy Creek (Middletown) CA
I have read explanations so I understand what a lot of the peremeters mean but have not learned how to use them.
167 =========== Walter Rogers *AT* California City, CA
My comments are skewed by being a meteorologist with a little interest from from the research site of BL meteorology.