Tennessee Tree Toppers

Sequatchie Skies
by Dan Shell
February 2, 1998

The bratty baby boy just keeps doin' his thing in the Pacific, sending wave after wave of rainy days across the continent. Southerly winds on the eastern side of passing lows dredge warm moist air up from the gulf to hose the southeast and moderate the temperature. Northerly winds on the backside of the counterclockwise rotation bring in cooler and eventually drier air, but nothing near frigid enough to keep pilots from the sky. In fact, we've had some downright beautiful springlike days lately.

Several took advantage of a pretty day off to get a sled run or a little better at Henson's Gap on Saturday. It was light east with thin high clouds and a day/night temp spread around 25 degrees. Greg Wojnowski and Kathy Lee got the flights of the day scratching hard in the light lift to get 100 over and about forty-five minutes.

Steve and Kathy reported south winds approaching 30 mph when they arrived at the Whitwell launch Sunday. Conditions mellowed as the day progressed, so Tip Rogers led the pack calling Pikeville goal. Phil Proctor was circling low with a good view of his splashdown pound in a mudhole near Dave's Radiator between Cartwright and Daus. Phil continued downwind, reporting a maximum altitude gain of 2300 over and eventually landing near Stone Cave. Greg Wojnowski was trying to get back to the Henson's LZ and almost made it, landing at the new horse stables on East Valley Road just southwest of the LZ. Curly Dunn landed at the intersection of highways 8, 28, and 111 north of Dunlap. Bruce Hawk, Jeff Laughrey, Steve Lee, Kathy, and Jeff from Lookout launched around 2:00 and got a couple of hours, reporting a maximum altitude gain of 1800 over. They landed to find Lookout Joe in the LZ. Returning to launch, they set up his glider in five minutes and threw him off to get an hour or so before dark.

The forecast calls for rain ending by Wednesday with dropping temperatures. High in the lower 50s and low in the upper 20s under clearing skies with northerly winds. High in the 40s and low in the mid to upper 20s Thursday under partly cloudy skies and veering wind NE to E. Warming temperatures with increasing cloudiness and wind veering toward S Friday. Lows still below freezing entering the weekend with a return of precip, some possibly frozen. Nevertheless, if there's a window of opportunity, I'll see you in the sky!