Contributors to this thread:
Do you all think the thermals start to change as daily temp drops (switching later than they do in earlier season)? The couple weekends I’ve gotten up to hunt have been between real hot and pretty hot. This weekend I’m hunting a new(ish) area as I’ve only got Saturday and Sunday, and the highs are mid 50s low 60s. My experience with timing the thermals, or even the wind in general is fairly limited. I plan to feel it out but with the limited time and this being the last weekend of my 2019 season, I don’t have time to mess around.
Not really. The reason thermals exist is that warmER air rises and coolER air sinks. So at any temp, when the air heats up, it will rise and when it cools down, it will sink. Simple as that.
The real problem with thermals is that they always change right at the best hunting time. Sunrise and sunset. Until sunrise, the air continues to sink, but when the sun comes up, the air warms and starts to rise So the air changes direction about 30 minutes after shooting light. That reverses in the evening.
Where I hunt the thermals are like clock work. Learn them and you’re deadly.
I don't know that you can put an exact temperature on what causes the thermals to change. The cold air dropping in the morning changes as the temperatures rise making the thermals go uphill, opposite in the evening. I don't know that you can say it is a 10 degree change or a five degree change. Seems to me like when I was out two weeks ago the lows were in the upper 40's low 50's and around 9:30 to 10 the thermals would be changed. Temps in the afternoon were in the 80's and probably some low 90's and it seemed like the evening thermals would change about 2 hours before sunset.
Seems to me like the thermals change about the same time no matter the season.
Red Sparky. That about answered what I was looking for. I guess I’ll find out this weekend. Thanks fellas
Topper, usually when the sun hits you, the thermals will start to go up within 10-15 minutes max. When the sun drops below the mountain the thermals will start to go downhill instantly.
I tell you what....I though I had the thermals figured out at the place I deer hunt on. Then one year just before the season started I went there for a "bowhike"/scouting mission. Just for giggles I brought some colored smoke bombs along. I lit a few along this one ridge I like to hunt and it was a real eye opener to say the least!
Yes, the basic physics of it is pretty simple and straightforward. But when you factor in dips and such in the terrain and certain "low" spots ANYTHING can happen.
" just for giggles I brought some colored smoke bombs along"
WW. ABSOLUTE CLASSIC!!!
Also factor in clouds! Sunshine... ..... air moves up. But when a cloud comes across and puts you in shadow , it can change in the middle of the day
IMO the only thing predicable about thermals is that they are unpredictable... I could show u spots that will change all the time all day long.... I believe there are spots that are more predictable but seldom can u predict them all the time correctly....
My experience is that thermals changing have everything to do with sun hitting the mountain, whether that be your side or the other side of the drainage you're in. Sun hits or sun disappears, so goes the wind.
That said, thermals are like English. There's the rules, then there's the exceptions to the rules. Then there's the exceptions to the exceptions.
LOL! Last sentence says it all! ^^^
Thermals are shifty, so if you want to use them successfully.... you’ve gotta be shifty.