Rich Freeman on 19 Jul 2017 09:40:31 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Waaaaay Off Topic: Thunderstorm Movement

On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:12 PM, Lee H. Marzke <> wrote:
> As a glider pilot - I knew Monadnock was causing it

I never hit anything like what you did, but it was hard enough just
trying to descend into Queen city over the nearby ridge.  It was a
fairly windy day so it was hard to lose altitude even on idle with
flaps, or at least it seemed that way.  Plus it was quite bumpy.
Bumpy enough for me.  70 degrees of roll would have probably made it
my last flight.  :)

> With good lift the cumulus bottoms are often dark and slightly concave, and gliders
> steer towards those clouds to better find good lift.  Haven't heard of the LCL.

I won't elaborate much since wikipedia does well, but it seems to be
approximately what you were describing:

I've also heard it called the "lower condensation level" or "cloud base."

That said, after reading a bit more about LCL and LFC I suspect my
understanding is a bit flawed here, and I really need to brush up on
this stuff.  I'm not sure that air will naturally rise to the LCL
unless forced.  It looks like air will naturally rise if it is above
the LFC.

> In the US you can't often legally climb into the cloud in controlled airspace- so your stuck at 500ft below
> cloudbase,  unless you climb up the side the cloud like I described in that frontal wave - which is very rare.

When would you ever be allowed to legally climb into a cloud, barring
some kind of emergency situation?  I'd think that you'd be subject to
the VFR minimums in general, unless people fly gliders under IFR or in
class B airspace.

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