Wx Watch

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Wx Watch: The Trouble With Zero

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2005

From the earliest days of ground school we've all learned about the temperature ranges associated with icing conditions. Clear icing — that slick, tenacious, transparent coating associated with cumulus clouds — happens most often in the zero-to-minus-10-degree-Celsius range.

Wx Watch: Ice Fighters

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

Pilots fortunate enough to have ice-protection systems can become blasé about icing encounters. Brother, is that a mistake! The subject of ice-protection equipment, its capabilities, and correct use is a complicated one — and one that's often neglected in conventional training materials.

Wx Watch: ADDS Upgrades

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2005

Faithful readers of "Wx Watch" will recall that I've referred to the Aviation Weather Center's (AWC) Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) Web site many times in the past. ADDS provides many valuable briefing products, and the AWC is constantly improving the site to make it more valuable and cutting edge.

Wx Watch: Bermuda Blocking

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2005

Let me tell you about one of the biggest large-scale summer weather systems that can affect the entire eastern half of the United States. It can cause huge thunderstorm complexes, make density altitudes soar to dangerous levels, and drop visibilities to instrument meteorological conditions values in haze.

Wx Watch: Radar Revolution

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2005

Datalink weather information has revolutionized the way many of us think about weather and deal with in-flight weather decisions. With datalink information such as METARs and TAFs can be called up for studied review — there's no struggling with trying to write as fast as a flight-watch briefer speaks (though flight watch is still the official source for late-breaking weather updates and the sole source of such information for the thousands of us who aren't lucky enough to have datalink service).

Wx Watch: Squall-Line Lowdown

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

It's challenging enough to cope with "garden variety" thunderstorms, what with all the extra preflight weather research and in-flight monitoring that safe flying demands in the convective season. To all that, factor in other brands of convective activity that require as much, or more, vigilance (see "Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Midlevel Mayhem," page 66).

Wx Watch: The Eyes Have It

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2005

Now that thunderstorm season is upon us, it's time to recall the prime directive for guaranteed storm-cell avoidance. It's a very important rule, and one that should be kept firmly in every general aviation pilot's mind, whether he or she is a neophyte or a grizzled high-timer with a logbook bulging with actual instrument time.

Wx Watch: Windwise

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

I once did a study of general aviation weather accidents for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. It had many goals, but one objective was determining which weather phenomenon caused the most accidents.

Wx Watch: Trough Talk

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

Troughs are given short shrift in aviation weather courses, but they are major weathermakers. Not so much the troughs occurring at the surface (which are shown by dashed lines, colored brown on colorized surface analysis charts), but those aloft.

Wx Watch: Winter Warm Fronts

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2005

Your preflight briefing mentions that a warm front is due to arrive along your planned route of flight. Oh joy, you may think, anticipating balmy temperatures, ice-free skies, and a smooth ride beneath a high overcast that conveniently eliminates that bothersome sun glare.