Tennessee Tree Toppers

Sequatchie Skies
August 2, 1999

The big weather news of the last week has been heat. Sometimes during the dog days it's difficult to peel a pilot off the top of the mountain to risk sweltering in the LZ below. Watching the weather map from Florida, I noticed it was actually hotter here than there last week. Chattanooga was reporting highs over 100 while the Tampa Bay area was only reaching the high 90s. Nevertheless, a few dedicated pilots braved the griddle on the ground to seek the cool comfort of cloudbase. This report comes from John Lawton.

Sunday was a west cross day. Steve and Kathy Lee worked thermals out front to a max altitude gain of about 2500 over, drifting south to eventually land at Dale McCartney's strip at New Hope. Jeff Dodgen worked to about 2600 over but stayed in the area. John reported a max altitude gain of about 3200 over and estimated this was a couple of hundred feet below cloudbase. Ned Stelzel also flew, but launched just before a gust front from a Chattanooga thunderstorm shut down the lift. He still managed a max altitude gain of about 200 over before going to the field. John and Kenny Sandifer managed to stay aloft until a wonder wind set up in late afternoon. The smooth ridge lift allowed John to approach from behind and within a few feet of a broadwing hawk, a proximity only allowed by our silent form of flight. Thanks for the report, John!

The forecast calls for easing temps behind a cold (well, a little cooler anyway) front which passed Monday. Lows will be in the mid 60s and highs will be in the upper 80s. Winds NE to E Wednesday, E to S Thursday, and S to SW by Friday. If we get another front soon, it'll likely be late in the weekend or early next week. See you in the sky!