Everything looked good for our launch from Lake Tahoe this morning, well yesterday it looked good right up until 9:45 PM … the weather was still predicted to be perfect … little or no wind … only a few, but picturesque fluffy white clouds … so what was the issue? The predicted flight path changed to areas either in a mountain range covered in 20 to 80 foot pine trees or populated neighborhoods. We reluctantly scrubbed the launch. The issue we are going to have is that last year’s practice launch had ideal conditions that flew the balloon over the mountain ranges and into an area criss-crossed by dirt roads. It was easy, or relatively easy to retrieve. Those stronger easterly winds aloft aren’t kicking in yet, hence the issue.
The good news is we managed to find 2 alternate launch dates that most of our launch crew and maybe even some students can make. If the landing areas don’t improve we may have to find an entirely different launch area which we really want to avoid. Monday, June 1st, and Wednesday, June 3rd, have been scheduled … now if those easterlies would just kick in!
Predicted flight paths that led to scrubbing today’s launch below – the predictor plugs in different size balloons and gas fill amounts. We want to see landing areas off the image to the right where our practice launch landed last year. For that to happen the burst location (shown in yellow below) needs to happen where the landing location (shown in blue) is indicated. A bit further north would be good too. (Click on the image to see larger and clearer)