Wx Watch

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Wx Watch: Fronts on the Move

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2008

Pilots are always looking for easy answers to weather questions, most of which relate to determining forecast conditions. Unfortunately, the terms “easy” and “forecasting” seldom go together.

Wx Watch: The Scoop on Spin

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2008

Ever hear your local TV weatherpeople preface a warning of bad weather by mentioning “spin” in the atmosphere as a culprit? What they really mean is that parcels of air at high altitude are moving in such a way as to create a net upward movement of air. In other words, forces aloft are causing lift at the surface.

Wx Watch: Storm Survey

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2008

All thunderstorms are not created equal. They vary from region to region, from season to season, and rely on slightly different mechanisms to help them fire off.

Wx Watch: IFR Onslaught

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

Last December, the weather in the Pacific Northwest made big headlines. There were four cycles of two-day-long stretches of low IFR weather between December 2 and December 11.

Wx Watch: Icing Escape Clauses

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2008

Here’s hoping it never happens to you, but let’s look at some of the emergency measures you can take should you ever become caught in icing conditions. We’re assuming that you’ve made all the necessary preflight checks to prevent an icing encounter in the first place, received encouraging updates through Flight Watch or (if so equipped) your satellite weather provider, and made your “go” decision based on a conviction that icing conditions won’t be a factor.

Wx Watch: Internet Icing Upgrades

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2007

Just in time for icing season, the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) Web site has come up with a brand-new means for determining the probability and severity of an icing encounter. The new tool is called the Current Icing Product (CIP), and it can be found under the Icing tab on the ADDS home page.

Wx Watch: Common-Sense Separation

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2006

Does compliance with the federal aviation regulations VFR cloud separation rules guarantee safe flying? If you stick to the letter of the law, the answer is an emphatic "no way!" In dynamic weather conditions, especially when terrain and/or obstacles are factors, strict adherence to the words in FAR 91.155 ("Basic VFR Weather Minimums") can put you in deep, deep trouble. And for instrument-rated pilots, the same can be said of FAR Part 91.175 — where the rules for taking off and landing under instrument flight rules (IFR) are published.

Wx Watch: Ice Surprises

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2006

We all do the best we can when it comes to preparing for winter flying weather, right? We check with flight service, check Internet sources of weather information, and double-check any mention of icing airmets or sigmets. (Forecasts or reports of "run of the mill" clear, rime, or mixed icing conditions will generate an airmet.

Wx Watch: A Fright-Free Fall

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2006

Weather educators are forever scaring us with doomsday scenarios, and at times I've been one of them. But let's keep things in perspective.

Wx Watch: ASOS Basics

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Since its introduction in the 1980s, automated weather observing stations have become standard equipment at many airports around the world. These include the federally funded ASOS (automated surface observation system) and the federal- and/or state-funded AWOS (automated weather observation system) instrument suites.