Meteorological Training Seminar

13 - 20 April 1996

Airfield Nötsch, Austria

During this week 15 soaring pilots (most of them active meteorologists) from Austria, Finnland, Germany and Switzerland experienced outstanding soaring conditions. The first 3 days were characterized by a strong north föhn flow. Altitudes up to 6000 m were reached in lee waves in the region between Nötsch and Brenner pass.

During the rest of the week cumulus development in the afternoon gave the oportunity for long distance flights. Climbing rates up to 7.5 m/s were observed, the cumulus base was as high as 4100 m.

The flights were a good oportunity to verify and test the forecasts by ALPFOR and pc_met. ALPFOR is a forecast for the soaring conditions in Austria. pc_met is a pc based information system provided by the Deutsche Wetterdienst. For the first time soaring forecasts were provided by the operational model of the DWD for the alpine region.

Due to the excellent soaring conditions little time was left to deal with theoretical aspects of soaring. Intense discussion developed on the effect of elevated heating sources on the convection level. The observations during the flights confirmed the empirical modifications of the radio soundings. Further questions raised included: what data sources are necessary for the meteorological forecast during a contest, is it necessary to perfomr an on-site sounding, can pc_met give all the required informations, how to present the output of numerical models, how to improve feedback from the pilots?

Martin Hagen