Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flight Planning for Friday (I)

Here  it is Tuesday afternoon. Since the plan is to depart KBDR at about 1700 local on Friday the 6th for a flight down to KVKX in Maryland it becomes a good idea to look at the expected weather. I generally begin with the forecast map put out by NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction), a part of NOAA. (See my link list at right.)

This is the Day 3 Final forecast map, issued at 1754Z on Tuesday and valid at 12Z on Friday. The low over Ontario will be trending to the northeast, dragging the associated fronts along for the ride. So by departure time, about 22Z, the entire route of flight from Connecticut to the DC area ought to be in the warm sector between the warm front and the cold front.

Initial thoughts: I am concerned about rain; I wonder if the warm air will interact with the snow pack to induce fog; I wonder whether the temperatures aloft in the warm sector will allow flight in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), which is to say in the clouds, without icing concerns.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the MOS (Model Output Statistics) which have an 84 hour time horizon. That will give us POP's (Probability of Precipitation) from a couple of models for the period of interest...and we'll look at forecast upper air graphics to get an idea of what to expect for freezing levels.

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