Wx Watch

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Wx Watch: Dew Point Review

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

Here's an important pilot weather factoid we all learn: When the temperature-dew point spread is less than 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), expect fog. This rule of thumb is important to remember, but there are other ways of looking at how dew point temperature (better known simply as dew point) and other moisture measurements influence aviation weather.

Wx Watch: Winter Wallop

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

Winter weather can be dangerously fickle — without giving any radically overt manifestations of adverse conditions. In the warmer months of the year, we can see radar imagery and lightning plots that warn of oncoming storms as part of the preflight briefing process.

Wx Watch: Ice Advice

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2003

In the past two issues, "Wx Watch" has delved into two aspects of the general aviation icing problem. In the November issue (see "Icing on the Internet," p.

Wx Watch: Winterwise

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2002

Planning to fly this winter? Of course you are. There's just one problem, though, and it's a big one — icing.

Wx Watch: Icing on the Internet

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2002

It's ba-a-ck! Icing season, that is. Fortunately for us, more and more progress is being made on the icing prediction front.

Wx Watch: Proverbial Weather

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2002

You're a pilot, so your nonaviating friends are bound to think you have deep knowledge of things meteorological. This may be so, but potential embarrassment can crop up when you haven't seen a terminal area forecast (TAF) in a while, and your neighbor sidles up and asks, "Say, Bob, is it going to rain this weekend?" What are you going to tell him? At times like these we begin to wonder about all those weather proverbs we've heard.

Topics Weather

Wx Watch: Datalink Flights

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2002

Fly a few trips with one of the new datalink weather setups and you'll be spoiled for life. My experience has been with the Honeywell Bendix/King system installed in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online auction airplane — an EADS Socata TB 20 Trinidad dubbed the Spirit of Liberty (see "Sceni-cruiser," June Pilot).

Wx Watch: Frontal Scope-Out

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2002

Let a preflight briefing mention frontal activity, and most general aviation pilots won't even think of flying. That's too bad, because all fronts are not created equal.

Wx Watch: Storm Forecast Insights

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2002

The morning surprise. That's what I call the shock that pilots get when they call flight service and hear of a sudden change — for the worse, of course! — in the day's forecast.

Wx Watch: Appalachian Weathermakers

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2002

Regularly fly out of airports in the eastern half of the United States? If so, you'll eventually come to terms with the Appalachian mountain chain — and the weather it generates. While the Appalachians are dwarfs compared to the loftier Rockies, they still pack a meteorological punch.

Wx Watch: Winter Roundup

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2002

As I first sat down to write this, it was February 7, 2002, and I was in my home office in New Market, Maryland — in the central part of the state. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit/25 degrees Celsius, according to the Maximum Inc.

Wx Watch: Weather Links

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2002

Time was, all you had for in-flight weather updates was flight watch and a good look out the windshield. Over time, more fortunate pilots added lightning detection equipment to their weather-update capabilities.

Wx Watch: ADDS on the Move

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2002

Every pilot has his or her own method for gathering weather information. My personal preflight briefing process follows a more or less routine pattern.

Wx Watch: Winter Wise

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2001

Hello, winter! Those of us who live in northern climes know what that means. Numb fingers during preflights.

Wx Watch: Cloud Busting

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2001

Flying over, under, or near clouds, what pilot hasn't thought, "I wonder what it's like in there?" It's a natural curiosity, and one that instrument-rated pilots have the opportunity to indulge. But does that mean barging into any old cloud is a smart or safe thing to do? No way.

Wx Watch: The Rolling Go/No-Go

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2001

All too often, pilots seem to think of the go/no-go decision as something that happens only at the very beginning of a flight, as part of the preflight weather briefing. Once you've made up your mind, this line of thinking goes, you're off and running, confident that the weather will hold up as promised and you'll have no dangerous surprises.

Wx Watch: Radar Basics

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2001

"I've got radar!" you're apt to hear some pilots boast. Like they're able to drive through the mightiest line of thunderstorms and take on weather that would leave the rest of us grounded.

Wx Watch: Surviving the Scare

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2001

The worst has happened. Your plan to maintain visual separation from cloud buildups fell apart.

Wx Watch: Preflighting for Storms

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2001

It's that time again — time for thunderstorm season, and the angst that can come with it. Is it OK to fly today? What are the signs that a stormy flight is in the offing? Will forecasts prove true, or will they be a bust? Questions like these are common in the warmer months, and here are some guidelines (hard-and-fast answers simply don't exist in the world of weather-related decision making) that will help you make the wisest preflight decisions.

Wx Watch: All Fogged Up

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2001

Let's say it's early evening and you're busy planning a flight for the following day. The forecast is for high pressure and clear skies all along your route and, to add to the good preflight vibrations, a walk in the night air reveals a crystal-clear, star-studded firmament devoid of a single cloud.

Wx Watch: Chart Reading Between the Lines

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2001

Every pilot ought to be able to interpret weather charts and make some simple forecasting assumptions — without any help from a flight service briefer or a DUATS printout. Why? Well, you never know when you'll be stuck somewhere without a full array of weather briefing products, without Internet access, and be forced into a briefing that relies on rapid-fire FSS verbal barrages over a pay telephone and no more graphics than a 12-hour-old surface analysis chart tacked on a bulletin board.

Wx Watch: Working the Wind

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2001

Pilots can view strong winds as either a curse or a blessing. Fifty-knot tailwinds aloft for that long cross-country flight? Great! Twenty gusting to 30 knots, blowing at 90 degrees to your destination's 2,000-foot-long, 50-foot-wide active runway? Bad, bad news.

Wx Watch: OASIS--and Other Visions

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2001

Complaining about blown forecasts and various other flight service briefing shortcomings is a nationwide pilot pastime. But don't think that we've got the market cornered on weather gripes.

Wx Watch: Tops Troubles

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2000

Who wants to slog along beneath an overcast, unable to see very well in the turbulence, fog, and haze that so frequently live there, hoping that high terrain or obstacles aren't ahead? No one! On a long cross-country, flying below a low cloud deck can be downright unsafe. Should engine or other troubles beset you, there's less gliding range and less time to set up for an emergency off-field landing.

Wx Watch: Icing Insights, Part 2

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2000

In last month's "WxWatch" we discussed the basics of icing, including the various types of icing formations and the conditions under which they form. In this second installment it's time to take action.