Wx Watch

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Weather Watch: Convective coverages

Pilot Magazine | Mar 10, 2014

Whether you believe in global warming or not, here’s a hard fact: the days are getting warmer as we make our way toward summer.

Weather Watch: Trouble on top

Pilot Magazine | Feb 18, 2014

Flying in on-top conditions is always held up as some sort of Holy Grail.

Weather Watch: Wind wise

Pilot Magazine | Jan 22, 2014

Well, we’re coming out of the depths of winter, and staring March in the face. For pilots—and, well, just about everybody else—thoughts now turn to the strong winds so characteristic of the colder months, and especially the transition from winter to spring. What do we need to know to be wind wise about this time of year?

Wx Watch: Eyes in the sky

Pilot Magazine | Nov 20, 2013

It’s a hackneyed phrase, but true: A picture’s worth a thousand words.

WX watch: Ice advice, with Nexrad

Article | Oct 10, 2013

Now that so many of us now use datalinked Nexrad radar imagery, a lot of pilots have come to rely on it as gospel.

WX Watch: Look out below!

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

Mention inversions and most pilots will get the general idea that these represent situations where temperatures rise with altitude rather than fall.

WX Watch: Front formation

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2013

Pilots are always on the lookout for fronts. We’re always gawking at The Weather Channel or checking the prognosis and surface analysis charts to see if any are lurking around, or are predicted to occur.

Wx Watch: A slow-moving IMC-maker

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

I was taking an intensive flight training course earlier this year, and it ended up being a real workout. By this I mean instrument weather for much of the nine hours I flew during the weeklong course.

Wx Watch: Mesoscale discussions

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

Most of us are diligent about studying convective sigmets, convective outlooks, and Nexrad radar imagery before our flights in the warmer months. They’re great for a broad-brush view of any convective situations, but there is another source of information that delves into greater detail, and provides analyses of situations that could be factors in your decision making.

Wx Watch: Mixed-bag winter IMC

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2013

A low-pressure system full of surprises

Wx Watch: Snow watch

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2013

Spotting winter storms before they strike

Wx Watch: Radar revolution

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

Let's face it: When it comes to checking the weather, most of us immediately call up imagery from one or more of the nation's 150 WSR-88D Nexrad Doppler weather radars, especially when thunderstorms threaten.

Wx Watch: The whys of wind

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

The airport is quiet. No taxiing, no runups, no one in the pattern, no one on the radio. And the weather is good VFR. What's going on? Chances are, a look at the windsock will give the answer.

Wx Watch: The problem with pireps

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Let's get this out right up front: Pireps are a valuable source of information that can be indispensible for safe flight planning - and can help prevent weather-related accidents and incidents.

Wx Watch: Searching for snowmageddons

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Ever since the huge 2010 East Coast snowstorm dubbed "Snowmaggedon," those living in the busy northeastern coastal corridor states have been extra curious about any nearby winter lows or fronts. Every time an extended-range outlook pops up, we pay extra attention. The temptation is to look for a storm complex somewhere to the west or northwest, on the assumption that weather complexes traditionally move from west to east. That may be true in a general sense, but the worst of the northeast winter snowstorms are actually born in the south.

WxWatch: Datalink debate

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

The August 2011 Wx Watch ("Datalink Lowdown") in AOPA Pilot provoked comments from the two major suppliers of datalink weather. Here, Bob Baron of Baron Services—the provider behind WxWorx’s XM WX service—and Paul Devlin of WSI each explains why his service is best.

Wx Watch: Meteogram weather

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

Of all the products that make up a good preflight weather briefing, the Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) must surely rank very near the top in importance. TAFs give us 24- or 30-hour views into the anticipated weather conditions at select airports around the world.

Wx Watch: Super Storms

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2010

Let’s say it again. Thunderstorms are must-avoid killers with air currents violent enough to cause structural failure.

Wx Watch: Outflow info

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

Thunderstorms are bad enough, but the surface outflows they generate can actually create more thunderstorms, low-level wind shear, gust fronts, and even tornadoes. The trouble begins, as with any convective situation, with an unstable atmosphere, a source of lift, and air moist enough to provide adequate liquid water content (LWC).

Wx Watch: Summer’s danger zones

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

The chart at right shows the mean number of days having thunderstorms. The prize goes to the western half of peninsular Florida, with 130 days.

Wx Watch: Nor'easter super slam

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

The radar map for late in the day on February 5 shows a classic mid-latitude low pressure system’s frontal signature (left). At this point the low pressure center is somewhere over South Carolina.

Wx Watch: Thundersnow!

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2010

Do you note weather conditions in your logbook entries? I do. It’s a great way to look back over the conditions that prompted memorable >weather events.

Wx Watch: Icing Intensities

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2009

Let’s get something out of the way right up front: Avoid icing conditions if at all possible, and escape them immediately should you encounter icing. It’s as simple as that.

Wx Watch: Eyes on the sky

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

In a lonely, one-story, concrete building some five miles from the Kansas City International Airport, a group of 40 Aviation Weather Center (AWC) meteorologists toil around the clock. Their job: create the weather forecasts, advisories, warnings, and graphics that flight service specialists and the pilot community rely upon for sound preflight information.