4 =========== Roy Parzyk *AT* Arlington, WA
Perhaps an example forcast with hot-links to an explanation of each parameter.

12 =========== Gerry Uchytil *AT* Roberts WI
Usually I pop it up look at afew variables and try to use that info to help make my decision as to which direction to go cross country if it is a good, soarable day.

14 =========== ---------- *AT* Avenal, Ca
Same as comment above.

16 =========== Stewart Kissel *AT* Buena Vista, CO
In the Rockies we cannot launch into good conditions due to surface winds. So any help figuring this out would be appreciated.

17 =========== Joseph Leffelman *AT* Whitewater, WI
I am a novice to hang gliding and most of these questions I have never thought about nor searched for this kind of information.

19 =========== Ivan Jaszlics *AT* Boulder, CO
I am not looking for the "vario parameter" because the reality that I am facing is that the maximum updraft strength predicted is too low anyway. This may well be because I am mostly flying over mountains. Even for flatland, at least in the lee of the Rockies, the updraft strength predicted and the height of the boundary layer seem to reflect what can be actually achieved - good example of that was yesterday (2/25/04). Cloudabse = 14K, achieved lift = 4-6Kts N of Denver - which is about the "max updraft strength" and "height of BL" prediction.

24 =========== ---------- *AT* BDL/ Suffield, CT
I use the blipmaps for an approximation of the micrometereology involved with RC sailplanes. I am typically interested in the thermal updraft velocity from 0 - 2000 feet. A vario adjustment would *not* be helpful at all, in fact would be counter productive for my size sailplane (3 Meter wingspan)

31 =========== ---------- *AT* Morgain Country, UT
I reply on the NWS/FAA Aviation Digital Data Source (ADDS) for information on winds, because I much prefer the format of their displays. The current method of equating wind directions and speeds to colors in the BLIPMAPs is much more difficult to interpret than the plots produced by ADDs.

34 =========== ---------- *AT* Lake Elsinore CA
ANY information on the above parameters will be appreciated. In particular, the basic physics of what is going on as well as the utility of the information. For example, Convective Potential Energy; what units?, where does it come from?, does it mean more clouds? more turbulence?, etc. etc

38 =========== ---------- *AT* Ascutney VT
Surface temperature would be useful to calibrate the other predictions since surface temperature is easily measured.

43 =========== Miguel Flores *AT* Holllister, CA
I think that a "vario" parameter is not needed. The W* parameter describes forecast behavior of the atmosphere. How we use that is a separate matter. If the data presented in the forecast has too many conditions and complications, then it becomes less useful. If pilots cannot properly use W*, then they will probably not be able to properly use "vario" either.

45 =========== Bill Geiger *AT* Keystone Gliderport Julian, PA
surface temp and wind would be useful if shown in sufficient detail to depict local variation patterns on about a 10 mile scale. otherwise, I would just continue to check TAF at various reporting points on the route of flight.

47 =========== Greg *AT*
Really like the page, but would prefer the predictions to be at the top instead of after all the notes and update info. I don't like to scroll through it all to get to the valuable info.

48 =========== Dieter Bibbig *AT* ase; CO; Aspen
I do not really qualify. We do have mini Climates here. Not easy possibly you can do brader forcasts for the Rocky mtn region north south?

49 =========== Jim Phoenix *AT* Ephrata, WA
W* should not be corrected for sink rate because I own and fly a Nimbus 3 and a 1-26, for obvious reasons I prefer to do the math myself.

52 =========== Bill Brown *AT* Byron, CA
Although the proposed info would be useful at times, BLIPMAPS are already pretty complex, IMHO.

59 =========== Michael Higgins *AT* Fairfield, PA
I now get good wind data in from the ADDS site.

62 =========== ---------- *AT* Fremont, CA
As long as the explaination is there I can use it as-is. Don't try to accommodate both sailplanes and PGs with a guess of sink rate.

66 =========== Jim Fryett *AT* Arthur East ON
I really like the graphical nature of the maps. I look at winds, thermal strengths and cloud base for the numbers, then look at all the maps to get a visual "texture" of how the day will shape up.

68 =========== Bill Drury *AT* Benton, TN
Prdicted time of "trigger temp" and the trigger temp itself would align your forecasts with older forecast styles and provide useful info

70 =========== Scott Seebass *AT* Owens Valley, CA
Again, since I don't get to check them right before I fly a lot of the info is not that useful for me.

71 =========== ---------- *AT* Lagrange GA
A surface trigger temp map?

75 =========== ---------- *AT* Salida, CO
Ref. last 3 Q's I generally look at the FSL 20km Dev RUC charts to get this data but it would be nice to have it in your forecasts.

78 =========== ---------- *AT* Kars, ON, Canada
I feel that the addition of the wind direction and wind speed for various level in the BL plus a few increments immediately above the BL TOP would be very valuable in predicting the likelyhood of streeting and wave.

83 =========== Frank Spital *AT* Sterling MA.
I am most interested in lift characteristics. It is my general impression (not specific to Blipmaps) that wind is very difficult to forecast, and I generally just deal with what is there (I really like my SN-10 for this). I would like to see a surface temperature prediction with trigger temperature identified.

91 =========== ---------- *AT* Gadsden, AL
I look forward to learning BLIPMAPs as my hang glider skills progress this year. Thanks!

95 =========== ---------- *AT* Post Mills, VT
look to local forecasts for these

96 =========== Michael Hurd *AT* Sky Soaring / Hampshire IL.
Blipmaps are fantastic. What would make them even more useful would be a tutorial on how the average glider pilot can read and use them without requiring a PHD in meteorology. Thanks!

98 =========== Mark Stump *AT* Magazine Mtn, AR
All surface information is critical to Hang Gliders.

99 =========== ---------- *AT* Joplin, MO
Do not believe you need to W* value.

105 =========== Michael Stringfellow *AT* Lake Pleasant, Peoria, AZ
Biggest problem is still the map projection that cuts off a whole bunch of our normal soaring area - I wish there was an easy way to overcome this!

106 =========== ---------- *AT* Morrisville, VT
Some parameters I don't understand yet, but it's my own fault for not looking into them enough!

109 =========== Gary Rubus *AT* Buena Vista, CO
I don't know that you can forecast surface winds in the Rocky Mountains -- good luck. That's where I fly the most, and am not optimistic. Trends in the surface temps would be useful, as would the variations in the winds in the BL.

113 =========== ---------- *AT* Minden, NV
I would like to see a blip map that helps to forecast wave. I recently achieved my lennie 1 pin and am looking forward to more wave flying in the future. A good use of stable air.....

117 =========== ---------- *AT* Salida, CO
With the variability in nature, pilots, and gliders, a 200 fpm subtraction to give "Expected Climb Rate" seems like a good compromise.

126 =========== ---------- *AT* Bass Harbor, ME
Personally, I think a "vario" reading would be a silly waste of time. Anyone using the data who does not understand the relationship of the sink rate of their craft will most likely not be able to make much use of the data anyway. Don't do it--you're opening up an unnecessary can of worms. I've done my own skew-Ts for many years--it might be useful to forecast peak heating and trigger temps for extrapolation of ideal launch times and max soaring time windows.

128 =========== ---------- *AT* Nampa, ID
Can get local and fairly reliable estimates/predictions of surface wind and temps

132 =========== Herbert Kilian *AT* Hinckley, IL
The FSL/NOAA virtual sounding contains excellent wind information and that's what I'm using

133 =========== ---------- *AT* Owl Canyon Gliderport, Wellington, CO
I have limited exposure and experience with blipmaps and am consequently probably not very helpful with this survey

138 =========== Charles Petersen *AT* Toronto ON
Again, WW's Tephi program gives me most of this data. Be happy to forward a copy of the program if requested.

141 =========== DAVID mULDERS *AT* TORONTO SOARING, CONN, Ontario
I need to spend a lot more time trying to understand the Data you provide and how it all relates together

142 =========== John H. Bisscheroux *AT* Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada
We, at MSC, thank you for all the effort you dedicate to this worthwhile information. Short of sending a towplane with a wet and dry into the air (expensive) the information available is good enough to get club pilots to rig the gliders and at least try what the day has to offer and even surprise themselves when it turn out quite soarable!

145 =========== ---------- *AT* Avenal, CA
Convergence info was good at predicting divergence (and three times it was a great predicter of heavy interthermal sink). Surface heating, humidity, and CAPE seem to be less useful or wrapped up in other products. I'm glad these products are available for others, but they go beyond my experience level. Between Hcrit, updraft strength, B/S ratio (very useful) and divergence, I get 90% of what I want. Surface winds and temps would be very useful, but I get them from Lemoore accurately instead.

147 =========== bruce breidenbach *AT* eagleville nashville tn
love to have this info for model r/c purpose

148 =========== Jim Hendrix *AT* Cherry Valley, AR
Can you let the user specify his thermaling sink rate?

154 =========== ---------- *AT* Chilliwack, BC, Canada (many launch sites)
Keep the "Thermal Updraft Velocity" figure as a "clean" figure, without applying any average lift to it. There's quite a variance between sailplanes, hang gliders, and paragliders.

160 =========== ---------- *AT* Alexandria Indiana (formerly Terry airport)
Some of these things are available from other sources, of course.

161 =========== Vic Thompson *AT* Kars ON (Canada)
I get this actual info from a local airport METAR/FA anyway. Surface temp prediction might be a good idea to include as it would affect air mass heating.

162 =========== Discus Flyer *AT* Hinton, OK
Accuracy is dependent on the 6 am (CST, 21Z) sounding. Forecasts outside of the summer months are less accurate. For the vario paramenter, why not allow selection based on 3 sink rates? then more pilots with various gliders can get closer predictions to their gliders. Say 125 fpm, 135fpm, 150fpm or such. I always input verious temperature predictions in the Kevin Ford site to identify impacts on the days soaring.

166 =========== James Gaar *AT* Ottawa, KS
The different polars for the different hang gliders would best be subtracted by the pilots as they need to get used to their own polar and see if it matches with their flying style and what the manufacturers claim. It just needs to be a REMINDER in that area...

177 =========== ---------- *AT* Hobbs, NM - Hobbs Industrial Airpark
We are fortunate to have good info on these from the MAF, etc. WWW pages.

179 =========== ---------- *AT* Ellenville, NY near Wurtsboro, NY
The thermal updraft strength is usually the first BLIPMAP I look at when I go to your site. This is because this information is unique and not available elsewhere. I do mentally subtract 200 fpm from the reading. Still it almost always says 200 to 400 fpm even though some thermals are much stronger.

180 =========== Robert Krider *AT* Woodside Vancouver BC
No need for a "vario" parameter. It's way too dependent on the aircraft, conditions (tight or wide thermals) and pilot.

188 =========== ---------- *AT* CYYJ
Dr. Jack: Wish I could help you more but I have little experience with your system. Friend, Jay Palmer uses it all the time over in Washington and the Mojave Desert and thinks very highly of your work as he uses it all the time. best, Ken

197 =========== ---------- *AT* Davenport, FL
Surface temp is a better indicator of trigger temperature variations. Winds at various levels assists XC planning, and could be used to indicate shear/turbulence

199 =========== ---------- *AT* Cushing Field, Newark IL
I like the format. I like to have the data and draw my own conclusions based on your math.

201 =========== Kirk Stant *AT* Turf Soaring (P48), Peoria AZ
W* is basically NETTO, so perhaps referring to it that way (or as a note) would help those pilots who have trouble with the concept of thermalling sink rates and achieved rates of climb.

211 =========== ---------- *AT* Lookout Mt. Flight Park Rising Fawn GA
We aerotow, but generally prefer to foot launch. Wind directions on the surface would help when choosing a site, and the wind directions at levels would save me looking it up on another site if it looks like a good XC day.

229 =========== ---------- *AT* sunflower aerodrome, yoder, ks
I guess the temps and winds fairly closely.

231 =========== ---------- *AT* Sterling, MA
A trigger temperature plot might be useful. Much of the above three items are available from NWS, but I guess it would be nice to have the info all in one place.

232 =========== ---------- *AT* ASE
it is always very useful to have the expected convection lift rates - everywhere

236 =========== John Lawton aka Sequatchie Soaring Society *AT* TN89 Whitwell, TN
Since we are located in the middle of a 5 mile wide, 60 mile long, 1500' deep valley, we tend to get a "valley breeze" either from the SW (primarily) or the NE unless there is a strong pressure gradient. Therefore, local surface wind predictions for our location are rarely accurate.

239 =========== ---------- *AT* Minden, NV
I'm a pretty basic blip user. I would find it most useful to have a "value" of what's good and what's not so good on each blipmap page. For instance, on the wind shear page, it would be good to have what value generally means that thermals may be broken or unusable etc. That sort of thing. Yes, I know this info is available elsewhere, but, but (g)

248 =========== ---------- *AT* Caddo Mills, TX
Generally, I have not used the Blipmaps enough to make a fair observation

250 =========== Bob Koehler *AT* Flying X Ranch Gliderport, Montevallo, AL
surface conditions and winds aloft readily avaliable from other sources

255 =========== George M. Hernandez *AT* Woodford's Tully, NY
This coming season I will keep a record of predictions vs actual

261 =========== ---------- *AT* Truckee/Minden
Since pilots vary thermaling speed for conditions, sink rates in actuality often vary in the turn. The upward motion of thermals is a more uniform predictor and is either enhanced or detracted from by pilot and sailplane capability. My feeling is if it aint broken leave it. You'll go crazy trying to get a meaningful vario. Truth is if it's making noise I'm happy, and I glance at it, great for the ego.

262 =========== Hal Chouinard *AT* Truckee, ca
my fault for not trying to learn more. often get opinion of other pilots on details like wind shear etc.

267 =========== Kurt Wimberg *AT* Arco ID. Moore ID, Jackson Wy.
I am still learning how to use your information

269 =========== Paul Summerskill *AT* St. Catharines, Ontario
I have positive feedback from hawk-watch co-ordinators across the country. We are approaching the first 2004 raptor migration and I anticipate the wide spread recording of(W*) in the recording of weather conditions at formal North American raptor count sites.

271 =========== ---------- *AT* Sterling, MA
I vote for changing the Thermal Updraft Velocity from fpm to knots!

274 =========== Bill Vickland *AT* Front Royal, VA
I am new in using th BLIPMAP, and because I am basically lazy, have used only that which is immedicately obvious. I suspect that as I use it more, you other indicators may become more useful.

282 =========== Jim Hays *AT* Air Sailing, NV
I can become overwhelmed with data if I let myself. There are some overiding factors in my mind, which I tend to put together without going to the other available data. The nature of the specific flight might change the level of detail to which I study the blipmap data, my responses above reflect my typical flight, which is an out and in. I am always ready for a straight distance record flight and evaluate that possibility almost daily.

287 =========== Richard Holzwarth *AT* Caesar Creek Gliderport, Waynesville, OH
Do NOT change the W* parameter, for exactly the reasons you cite. There are other factors, such as small, tight thermals requiring tighter circles, increasing sink, etc. Predict the thermal strength, let us worry about how to interpret the data. IF YOU CAN READ, you can understand the simple statement "subtract the glider sink rate".

291 =========== ---------- *AT* Hemet Ryan/Hemet Ca.
Surface Temp. If I have reason to suspect marginal conditions I use the NWS temp predictions and pull up the predicted sounding from FSL. This lets me see inversions and get an idea of the sensitivity to variations in surface temp. Some really good looking days don't look so good if you drop the surface temp only a couple of degrees. I can get this from the sounding data but not from the current BLIPMAP plots.

296 =========== ---------- *AT* Tehachapi, CA
I think you're very close to having all we need in a simple set of graphics

299 =========== ---------- *AT*
wind barbs are infinitely more easy to read than the color scheme. instead of vario how about climb rate.

300 =========== Clay Thomas *AT* Kelly Airpark, CO
thermal updraft velocity, convergence and overdevelopment potential are usually the most important to me. I think arrows rather than colors would be most useful on wind direction map. I wish we had some coordinates to know where locations were. ex: cities, highways or county outlines.

306 =========== ---------- *AT* Mission Peak -- Fremont, CA
Again, my comments above refer mostly to the BLIPSPOT forcast vs the BLIPMAPS

310 =========== Steve Ford *AT* Truckee, CA
In the Truckee area, the Thermal Updraft Velocity is usually at least 500fpm and probably averages around 700 or 800, so it is not that critical what the "Vario" parameter would be in the future. E.g. it wouldn't change the final number that much whether you used 130fpm or 200 fpm sink rate.

311 =========== Larry Hood *AT* Williams
these predictions would be very valuable as all are important and understandable. I know some of the others currently existing are valuable but some are just too arcane for me to understand and translate into use.

312 =========== ---------- *AT* Ely MIA Contests Alamogordo, US
Est. winds every 2 hrs. from 11 a.m. t0 7 p.m.

332 =========== ---------- *AT* Crazy Creek, Middletown,CA
I think you should retain the "Thermal Updraft Velocity(W*), and let each pilot mentally subtract the realistic thermalling sink rate because this sink rate will vary widely with glider type and pilot skill. Wind shear also affects this sink rate. By the way, you might consider putting in a prediction as to whether thermals are expected to be primarily ground source connected or disconnected. If ground connected, then vector wind calculated by circling is less reliable.

334 =========== Paul Letourneau *AT* Sky Soaring, Hampshire, IL
my tendency is to look at Hcrit first

337 =========== ---------- *AT* Kelly Airpark Elbert, CO
For wind presentation, vectors showing wind direction, and color coded velocity, or tails on the vectors would be better than two seperate color maps IMHO.

346 =========== Ken Hanford *AT* Chicago Glider Club, Minooka IL
A solution to the Thermal Updraft Velocity might be to allow the user to enter their glider's sink rate in order to customize the Thermal Updraft Velocity for different narrow ranges of sink rates.

351 =========== ---------- *AT* Sky Soaring / Hampshire, IL
I'm don't have enough knowledge to comment in this section.

354 =========== ---------- *AT* Pendleton, Ontario, Canada
There is so much info on the web site that it becomes somehow confusing. Maybe a simple map showing a soarability index (i.e. soaring condition where an average club pilot can stay up) would do a lot for the sport.

358 =========== ---------- *AT* Hinckley IL
Leave Thermal Updraft Velocity (W*) as it is. Just make it easier to see at a glance what it represents and what it is not.

360 =========== Ian Cant *AT* Tehachapi CA
I use soundings and traditional aviation forecasts for wind speed/direction. Please keep the existing W* parameter, I can do my own arithmetic from that in one step, adding a typical sink rate would require two steps and getting the sign right both times ! BTW, in strong tight thermals I circle very tightly and my sink rate is high. In weak but bigger ones, I circle loosely and my sink rate is much lower. Ain't life complicated ? I am a flyer, not a professional meteorologist, so I skim your headlines.

361 =========== ---------- *AT* Crazy Creek, Middletown, CA
Wave potential! I think the current thermal updraft is fine. My husband most frequentely flies paragliders and hang gliders, and I fly sailplanes, so we use different #'s We could change our formulas, though if your addendum seems to be the popular thing to do.

362 =========== Milton Hare *AT* Williams, CA
I have found that W* predicts my actual climb rate in the better thermals (flying an ASH-25 in the Mendocino range). I've also found that in Utah/Nevada there have been a number of days when my climb rates were 12-15 knots where BLIPMAP seems to max out at 8 or 9 knots (obviously, I could afford to be picky about thermal conditions with lift like that).

365 =========== Steve Koerner *AT* Turf and Estrella, Phoenix AZ
I think an hourly surface temperature prediction between say 10AM and 2PM would allow us to tweak our expectation for the day based on comparison of actual heating to the model forcast heating.

371 =========== ---------- *AT* Ephrata, WA
I use other forecasts around the area to capture a picture of what may happen. Having one more source would be good for me to check.

373 =========== Shaughnessy, Bill *AT* Stanton, MN
For the novice, like I am, what I really want to know is the equivilant of the 'thermal index'. Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? If good, how good? Your Thermal updraft velocity seems to provide that answer, but I'm just not sure how good an estimate it gives me.

375 =========== ---------- *AT* Soaring Society of Houston, Navasota, TX
I think that the present reporting of Thermal updraft velocity is fine. There are too many variables to consider (including pilot skill) when trying to give a true climb rate.

377 =========== ---------- *AT* Wurtsboro, NY
Leave the Thermal Updraft Velocity parameter as is. Including an "average" thermalling glider sink rate would just dilute the accuracy of the data as it applies to any given sailplane and pilot. Besides, if your average soaring pilot can't subtract his glider's sink rate from the existing forecast parameter, I give up.

380 =========== Dan Bourgeois *AT* Boulder CO
Didnt' choose any responses for many of the paramters. I think some of these are new over the last year? In particular, windspeed, direction, overdevelopment potential, cloudbase... All of these I will now use, somehow I hadn't made it that far down the dropdown list to select them!

381 =========== Ben Rogers *AT* hernandez
I always subtract 200 fpm from the up velocity. Works for me. I don't care either way.

386 =========== G. E. (Tim) Wood *AT* Arthur, ON
I love the Blip maps. The biggest issues for me are: 1. Fear that Dr Jack will burn out and the Blip Maps cease. 2. Late posting of the Blip Maps. Many pilots leave home early in the am to drive to the field. Please do it consistently early as poss please. I would like forecasts at frequent intervals

387 =========== ---------- *AT* 0B7 -- Warren, VT
The ADDS winds seem pretty good.

390 =========== Larry Roberts *AT* Crazy Creek, Middletown, CA
Most of my comments were probably not that helpful as I have not learned to make use of the entire report. Many of my hang glider friends would read your reports and let us know what to expect. I have just started trying to learn them for myself now that I fly a sailplane and have more flexibility to take off from work during the week.

395 =========== Bob Fidler *AT* Ionia/MI
predicted high temperate would be very useful.

397 =========== Dan Shoemaker *AT* Caddo Mills, TX
Standards of accuracy vary from pilot to pilot, but given my familiarity with how the models perform, BLIPMAPs does a great job of extracting useful information. Everything should be tempered with ground truth, and if that's done this is a great tool. Given that your customers range from U/L sailplanes to Paragliders, with sink rates below 100 fpm to above 200 fpm, I'd prefer leaving the Thermal Updraft Velocity in thermal units, and letting the varying customers subtract their sink rates...most of us will wind up doing that anyway. Maybe a small header at the bottom of the graphic saying "remember to subtract your sink rate to get vario reading."

399 =========== Steve Johnson *AT* Miami Gliderport FL
my vote would be to keep the thermal updraft velocity as is. there is too much variability in glider and pilot performance to come up with a reasonably accurate "vario velocity" parameter. if i see a good thermal updraft velocity i know i can expect a pretty decent soaring day.

400 =========== ---------- *AT* Freehold NY
Thermal Updraft Velocity could have note to deduct sink rate or change to expected vario would be fine.

407 =========== ---------- *AT* El Tiro - Tuscon, AZ
Re vario setting, if this is a general average, I think it would be a detriment since most of us are used to looking at these forecasts and then mentally adjusting to our local conditions and ships. However, if each person could crank in his own sink factor, then it would be great!

408 =========== ---------- *AT* Spartanburg Dowtown Airport - Spartanburg, SC
I am still learning both to fly and to use the BLIPMAP. I visit frequently. This year I hope to better understand how accurate the BLIPMAP really is . Last year I was concentrating on coordinated turns and landing.

410 =========== John Watkins *AT* Springfield, VT KVSF
The above three items can be found in other types of forecasts. But, having them in your forecasts will be more convienient.

420 =========== Ray Wood *AT* Rockton Ontario Canada
There is more info available on your site than I ealised I will make better use of it in the future

421 =========== Dr. Hugo Vifian *AT* Hollister
I like the FPM and it works well for me. Please keep the information simple if somebody does not know the sink rate of the ship they are flying then that is there problem...

424 =========== ---------- *AT* Moriarty,NM
In New Mexico the soaring is usually great. The challenge for long flights is to pick an area were OD and thunderstorms are least likely. The BLIPS have not been consistant in helping me pick north vs south or best quandrant. Hopefully, continued use and increased familiarity will improve the utility for me.

425 =========== Ken Gihring *AT* Monticello, IL
I would prefer that you keep using the existing parameter.

434 =========== Paul Rehm *AT* Fredrick MD.
Learning to subtract the glider's sink rate should pose no problem to any pilot competent enough to be in the air! I see no reason to make the change for those unwilling to spend the time to learn.

441 =========== ---------- *AT* La Grange, GA
I would much prefer if the 19:00 and 20:00 hour forecasts were available sooner. The 18:00 hour forecast does often not hit the strongest part of the day and it is difficult to extrapolate.

444 =========== Terence Honikman *AT* Santa Barbara CA
I agree that the vario parameter is far too variable for a general use - pilots should undertand anad subtract as needed.

447 =========== Dick Divelbiss *AT* Ionia County, Ionia, MI
Agree that the wide variation in performance makes a "vario" parameter problematic. The pilots who don't make the subtraction are perhaps eternally optimistic, like me; or math challenged, like me. Once I figured out that it needed to be done there has been no problem. Better education is the best solution in my view.

452 =========== ---------- *AT* FLORIDA RIDGE FLIGHT PARK/FL
I would rather stay with the current model.

461 =========== Finbar Sheehy *AT* Warner Springs CA
Given the wide range of users, it seems to me that W* is the one to use. Paragliders sink at 220 fpm or more; ultralight and open-class sailplanes may sink at less than half that. Turns increase the differences. Winds within the BL may be useful on days when wave might form. I find the FSL sounding forecast good that way.

462 =========== Bodo Reitz *AT* Garner, Windsor VA
keep the thermal updraft velocity as it is, do not substract some arbitray number for the gliders sink rate

463 =========== Jeff Melin *AT* Alexandria, IN; formerly Zionsville, IN
Please leave it alone, there is too great a diversity in glider L/Ds to make any average useful to the majority. Let everyone use their own judgement as it has been.

467 =========== John Medley *AT* Crystalaire Llano, CA
I have a high glide ratio ship so I think that W* is best left without a built-in sink rate.

468 =========== ---------- *AT* Austin, TX
Thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!!! I hope to meet you some day, Dr. Jack, and buy you a beer or a cup of coffee, or whatever -- you are such my hero for taking on this cause. So many people enjoying so much more flying -- you're the best!!!! Regards, -Riss

475 =========== ---------- *AT* Batavia, OH
Not sure on any of this yet.

479 =========== ---------- *AT* hemet, ca
Leave the parameter as is.

480 =========== M. E. Ronan *AT* Colgan, ON, Canada
Again, would it be possible to present the winds with little arrows as they are presented on a weather map?

482 =========== ---------- *AT* Pleasant Valley Airport, AZ
If they caxnnot read and understand well enough to subtract out the sink rate for their gliders they should not be in the air - leave it alone, PLEASE

486 =========== Martin Hellman *AT* Hayward, CA
Ah, your last Q hit on a point I already mentioned. As you can see, I'd use 0 FPM as the correction for the reasons outlined above.

489 =========== ---------- *AT* Mountain Valley Airport, Tehachapi, CA
Surface temperature data would help me predict best launch time better. My current method from soundings is too conservative - it is always working well by the time I launch. Consider letting each pilot enter his own "Vario" parameter before he downloads the data (it need only shift the scale of the legend), or generate legends for three different sink rates

490 =========== ---------- *AT* Waynesville, OH
I like knowing what the airmass may produce. I can input my sink rate and get good estimates for climb prediction.

491 =========== Doug Haluza *AT* Julian PA
For ridge soaring, I frequently use the ARL READY interactive map with wind flags at ridge top height (925 mb) over bounday layer height. This is very useful. It would be great if you could overlay wind flags on boundary layer height to see two parameters at once. Also, my home soaring site is on Long Island, NY. The BLIPMAPS are not useful at all there, probably because the RUC grid is too coarse to model local soaring conditions on the island and over emphasizes the influence of the surrounding water. The BLIPMAP almost always shows near 0 thermal updraft, but we frequently have good thermals.

495 =========== David Barnhart *AT* Darlington Jet Port, Darlington, SC
Many of the above parameters I didn't really know existed, so I didn't use them. I will have to play around some more with them during this year's flying season

497 =========== ---------- *AT* Boulder, CO
I feel in our region CO there are few and far between reporting stations andwith such a great differance in enviorment (flats and Mountains) local knowledge works best.

503 =========== ---------- *AT* Cushion Fields - AURORA IL
W* parameter is great !

510 =========== MAJ K. Mason Smawley *AT* Highland Aero Sports, Ridgely MD
look an easy subtraction is all that is needed. I really need to learn more of your seperate forcasts some time.

513 =========== Walter Gleason *AT* Lake Village IN
The W* information is clearly defined and should be easily understood by most pilots. I would prefer to factor in the sink rate appropriate for any of several gliders I might be flying that day.

518 =========== George Hamilton *AT* Rancho Murieta, CA
I don't have a problem subtracting 200 FPM, but I suspect that a number of my friends do. A surface wind wind prediction (for several times during the day) would be very useful to us as there is quite a bit of work involved for us to set up our stationary winch for towing operations. At our site we have noticed daily wind shifts or the local forecast was just plain wrong!

519 =========== *AT* Ridge Soaring, PA
Please do not add a sink rate to the thermal updraft. Your explaination is perfectly clear and should be to all users if they take the time to read your stuff. Adding a nominal sink rate will, in my opinion, cause more confusion. Thanks Dr. Jack!

523 =========== Heinz *AT* Arlington, WA & Ephrata WA
Leave W* alone. I can subtract 200 or 300 fpm in my head!

524 =========== ---------- *AT* Middletown/CA
I think it's up to each person to take their own sink rate into consideration.