28 - 30 November 1997

DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

During this weekend 18 meteorologists and soaring pilots came together to discuss scientific aspects of soaring meteorology.

The meeting was opened by a series of short presentations:

Olivier Liechti: Potential Flying Distance - A prognostic measure for soaring forecasts.
Wolf-Dieter Herold: Thermal waves project in Boulder, CO, USA.
Rene Heise: Meteorological support of the german team in St.Auban 1997.
Forecast for the 1000 km FAI triangle by Uli Schwenk (21 Apr. 97) in Germany.
Jon Meis: Analysis of the structure of thermals by GPS measurements.
Helmut Köhler: Measurements of the potential temperature.

In three working groups the following topics were discussed in detail:

Forecasts for soaring

A huge amount of data is now available form the internet, by telefax and selfbriefing systems like pc_met. Of particular interest are informations on the PFD (potential flying distance), the wind, beginning and end of thermals, cloud cover. A detailed forecast up to 3 days is now possible. Time-height cross-sections should be provided for selected regions. Experience shows that a feedback from pilots to forecasters is difficult to establish.

Atmospheric measurements from gliders

Measurements of potential temperature and wind will help in understanding the atmosphere. It also enables to verify high resolution numerical forecast models. Data can be recorded by free chanels of GPS loggers.

German version of the WMO/OSTIV "Handbook of meteorological forecasting for soaring flight"

The aim is to translate and supplement the handbook. It should provide detailed information on the climatology and soaring conditions in Europe. The handbook should help The german version of the handbook will be published by the DWD. The handbook will be available at the World Gliding Championships in Bayreuth in 1999.

Hermann Trimmel and Martin Hagen