Friday, November 13, 2009

'Tis an Ill Wind

And it's certainly blowing me no good today.

The 18Z TAF's are out and the forecasts for my destination area are poor:

KDCA 131821Z 1318/1418 01018G22KT 5SM -RA BR OVC015 
     FM132000 01017G22KT 4SM -DZ OVC012 
     FM140100 01014G20KT 2SM -DZ OVC009 
     FM140600 36013KT 1/2SM DZ OVC009 
     FM141000 36014KT 1SM -DZ OVC009 
     FM141600 35012KT 3SM BR OVC012
KADW 1317/1417 02015G25KT 9000 -RA OVC015 540209 QNH2980INS 
     TEMPO 1317/1322 3200 -RA OVC005 
     BECMG 1321/1322 36012G18KT 9000 -RA OVC009 540209 QNH2975INS
     BECMG 1400/1401 35012G18KT 9999 NSW OVC009 540209 QNH2970INS
KIAD 131754Z 1318/1424 01014G20KT 2SM RA BR OVC015 
     TEMPO 1318/1320 1SM RA OVC008 
     FM132000 01013G18KT 3SM -RA BR OVC012 
     FM140100 02012G20KT 1/2SM DZ OVC009 
     FM140600 36009KT 1/2SM DZ OVC009 
     FM141000 35010KT 1SM -DZ OVC008 
     FM141600 34009KT 4SM BR OVC012

If I were to depart KBDR about 22Z I'd arrive in the area of KVKX about 00Z, when the KDCA weather is expected to be 2 miles in drizzle with a 900 foot overcast. Andrews AFB is forecasting something similar. The RNAV RWY 6 approach into KVKX has a 680 foot minimum descent altitude (MDA) and a 1 mile visibility minimum. That's too close for confidence, and if I have to divert to Manassas (KHEF), the forecast for nearby Dulles (KIAD) goes down to 1/2 mile visibility at about that time. That makes my alternate a problem.

So, I've opted for the train. I have a good book to read and I should be home by about 10:30. The annoying part, of course, is that I then have to take the train back on Monday morning and the weather will probably be fine.

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