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Christmas Convergence

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The run up to Christmas is always a quiet affair at the club with most members focussed on preparing for the big day when the jolly red man visits from the North Pole. Both Denis and I decided to drive out for some local flying on the Saturday. Skysight was saying there would be showers mainly on the Range and the BOM forecast was for 70% chance of rain with a possibility of a storm, the drive out was showing good cumulus on both sides of the Range already at 9am so the worry was it might overdevelop quickly.

Arriving at the club we had a quick chat with Bill, Tony and Nigel and then got ready to launch by 12.30, the sky still looked epic in all directions. Dieter self launched in the ASH with Sandra on board for some local flying. Nigel dropped me off in a 6kt thermal which got me up to 6,000ft. Time to go north. I tracked towards Millmerran following a nice line of clouds and then headed to Pittsworth. I decided to turn there and head towards Maryvale staying fairly closely to home. Denis meanwhile was taking the first of his two passenger flights.

Tracking towards Maryvale I could see some convergence clouds on the Range starting to move out of the Maryvale valley towards the west so I decided to hook up with these. Convergence clouds have a distinct scraggly look which is always worth looking out for and they are a guarantee of lift being around. I arrived in front of the main band there being a clear 2,000ft difference between the main clouds and the convergence below. I connected with the convergence getting a solid 8kts to 8,500ft. From here onwards it was a case of soaring the front of the convergence as it slowly tracked out west.  I maintained height for the next hour keeping between 8,000 to 8,500ft by just soaring the front of the clouds not needing to 360 at all just doing long S turns in front of the clouds. At one point I had a whispy cloud condense in the middle of my turn jost off my wingtip, simply magical !

Denis connected with the convergence on his 3rd flight and his passengers were simply blown away by the experience. We were so lucky to have the convergence set up when it did. Convergence flying is something that can occur year round at Warwick in a variety of weather situations the key ingredient is instability and light winds from the west which allows the clouds to build up on the Range and then the convergence can then leave the Range to track west before the clouds overdevelop on the Range.

 The only rain we saw all day.