Wx Watch

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Wx Watch: The Frontal Model

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2004

When it comes to understanding weather basics, it's always helpful to have a mental picture of the most important meteorological dynamics. One of the most helpful images to cultivate is the typical surface low-pressure complex.

Wx Watch: Airmet-Wise

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2004

Now that we're deep in winter's throes, we've all heard the standard-issue warnings about in-flight icing from flight service or our favorite Internet weather briefing sites. While airmets are mostly well founded, day after day of icing airmets is bound to make some of us doubt we'll ever be able to fly ice-free, or at least not until, say, May or June.

Wx Watch: The Wright Weather

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2003

"Success four flights Thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty-one miles longest 57 second inform press home Christmas Orville Wright." This famous century-old telegram from the Wright brothers to their father in Dayton may have been the world's first informal METAR. Right up front, where it ranks in importance, Orville emphasizes the wind's role in the historic first flights.

Wx Watch: Iced-Up Tails

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

Twelve years ago, the FAA held the first of three conferences to discuss a sparsely documented icing hazard: tailplane icing. In this context, the term tailplane refers to either a conventional horizontal stabilizer-with-elevator arrangement, or an all-moving stabilator.

Wx Watch: Ice Flight

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2003

It's 5 a.m. Mountain time, and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) meteorologist Frank McDonough is on the telephone at his Boulder, Colorado, office.

Wx Watch: Wall-to-Wall IMC

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2003

As all pilots should know, widespread instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) are bad news. What's widespread? I don't know of any hard-and-fast definition, so let's use an area the size of a medium-size state — say, Pennsylvania — as an arbitrary lower limit of coverage.

Wx Watch: Air Blocks

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2003

Low pressure bad. High pressure good.

Wx Watch: Super Storms

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2003

When we think about thunderstorms, we often imagine an idealized representation of an air mass or frontal storm. You know, cauliflower tops, anvil clouds, scary radar signatures, one-hour life spans, and the other generalities and warnings that go with the adverse conditions associated with all convective storms.

Wx Watch: Storm Vision

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2003

Pilots have a built-in dread of inadvertently flying into thunderstorms. But there are some forecast tools that we should all be aware of — and use — in the convective season.

Wx Watch: Dawn Patrolling

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2003

Thunderstorm season has begun and, admit it or not, pilots fill with a certain dread. Anyone planning a cross-country flight of any duration has to wonder if thunderstorms will become a factor.