General Weather

Weather conditions at Bloemfontein are excellent for gliding. The site was used for the SA Nationals in the late 60’s and early 70’s and again for the 2002/2003 SA National Championships when competitors enjoyed 8 consecutive days of challenging competition flying.

The average cloud base is in the range 11,000 to 14,000ft AMSl, with the ground elevation being 4,500ft. The mean thermal strengths of 2.5 to 3m/sec. One third of the days are likely to be blue, particularly at the beginning of the season. On above average days, the cloud base may be as high as 18 or 19 thousand feet with rates of climb that exceed 5m/sec. Days can start as early as 09.30hrs, but generally it is likely to be 11.00hrs before you can start soaring. If the ground is dry you will get thermals right up to sunset between 18.30hrs and 19:00hrs, though they may be weak.

Thundershowers are very much part of our summer weather pattern. Generally storms are isolated and have relatively high bases and are reliable sources of strong thermals. In some conditions storms can form fronts or squall lines that are 50 to 100km long. These provide really exciting flying and are great for pushing up your average speed.