Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Change in the Weather

Summer is over. The temperature at KBDR at 12Z this morning was a brisk 7C. And with the change of season we can be a bit more relaxed about convective weather, but will have to start paying close attention to icing potential.

Here is the big picture, as forecast by NCEP for about the time I expect to be arriving at VKX tomorrow evening (00Z Saturday):

It looks like I can expect good weather for my departure from Connecticut, then likely some clouds to fly through in Eastern Pennsylvania (that assumes the usual routing west to Allentown then south over Lancaster and Baltimore). Then I'll be getting home about as the leading edge of the weather reaches the DC area.

Now I'm very interested in where the freezing level is going to be.

The chart at left, from Aviation Weather Center's Winds and Temps page, shows the forecast for the isotherms at 9000 feet MSL at 00Z tomorrow evening. It's comforting to note that the 0 C line is well to the north. (I expect to be at 6000 or 8000 MSL for most of the trip.)

Finally, below is a segment of the simulated radar graphic for 00Z tomorrow derived from the output of the NAM model run at 12Z today. That model tells me to anticipate a little very light precipitation over northeastern PA, and that's about it.

N631S and I are going to have some pretty strong headwinds (about 30 knots out of the southwest ahead of the cold front), so it's going to be a long trip. FltPlan.com is calculating 2 hours + 38 minutes enroute. If I can arrange to get out of KBDR about 21Z I can expect to get to VKX about 2340Z.

It should be a good trip.

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