Sfc. WindWind at specified altitudes above ground level
WindWind at specified absolute altitudes
Vertical windsVertical wind speed at specified altitude due to ridge lift and convergence.
Thermal Updraft Velocity (W*)Average dry thermal updraft strength near mid-BL height. Updraft strengths will be stronger than this forecast if convective clouds are present, since cloud condensation adds buoyancy aloft (i.e. this neglects cloudsuck). W* depends upon both the surface heating and the boundary layer depth
Top of Lift (AGL)This parameter estimates the height over ground at which the average dry updraft strength drops below 1 m/s. This parameter tends to under predict the actual altitude. On days with clouds you might get a better estimate by looking at the cloudbase map.
BL DepthThis parameter estimates the height over ground at which thermal mixing. It is equivalent to the the height where the thermal index is zero, where a parcel of air lifted from the ground would stop rising. If one is optimistic, one might be able to thermal all the way to this height.
Sfc. HeatingHeat transferred into the atmosphere due to solar heating of the ground, creating thermals.
Sfc. TemperatureTemperature at 2 m above ground level. This can be compared to observed surface temperatures as an indication of model simulation accuracy; e.g. if observed surface temperatures are significantly below those forecast, then soaring conditions will be poorer than forecast.
Sfc.DewpointThe dew point temperature at a height of 2m above ground level. This can be compared to observed surface dew point temperatures as an indication of model simulation accuracy; e.g. if observed surface dew point temperatures are significantly below those forecast, then BL cloud formation will be poorer than forecast.
Cloud CoverPercentage cloud coverage for all levels of cloud
RainRain accumulated over the last hour
CAPEConvective Available Potential Energy indicates the atmospheric stability affecting deep convective cloud formation above the BL. A higher value indicates greater potential instability, larger updraft velocities within deep convective clouds, and greater potential for thunderstorm development (since a trigger is needed to release that potential). Note that thunderstorms may develop in regions of high CAPE and then get transported downwind to regions of lower CAPE.