Non-technical descriptions of thermals and
the convective boundary layer
A good place to start if the words "Boundary Layer" mean nothing to you. Very short, with no figures: What do thermals look like? by Wayne Angevine (University of Colorado).
More detailed information by the same author, with helpful figures (PDF document requires Adobe Acrobat reader). Thermal Structure and Behavior by Wayne Angevine (University of Colorado).
Additional information on the Boundary Layer. Very short, with 2 figures: Atmospheric Boundary Layer Structure from the University of Wisconsin Lidar Group.
Sounding analysis basics
This consists of two parts: (1) a basic overview of the convective Boundary Layer, and (2) whys and wherefores of soundings analysis. Part I is recommended as a general overview prior to further reading of any sounding analysis description. The Convective Boundary Layer and Sounding Analysis by Dr. John W. (Jack) Glendening.
How to read a Skew-T sounding plot
Oops, I had two links here to other websites and both pages are now gone. Don't you just love the way things change on the Internet! I have since found a Weatherjack sounding tutorial. If you find another webpage describing sounding analysis that could be put here please send the URL by email. Please note that sounding analysis writeups often focus on their use in predicting cloud development, including thunderstorm development - while this is useful and important, often soaring pilots are more interested in predicting when thermal development will be strong/weak and this is often slighted in such presentations.
BLIPMAPs: an introduction
A good "first thing to read" for potential BLIPMAP users is the on-line version of the July 2002 SOARING magazine article BLIPMAPS by Dr. John W. (Jack) Glendening.