Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where's Earl? (cont'd)

Earl is moving right along. Here is an 1145Z Thursday satellite image showing the storm off the Florida coast.

And, at left, an enlarged view of the track forecast from the National Hurricane Center. The two marked points on the track denote 02Z Friday and 02Z Saturday, and the green coastal outline denotes the Tropical Storm Warning area.

It's late enough in the week to start looking at some Terminal Area Forecasts (TAF's) to get an idea of what to expect for the flight south. Here are the pertinent forecasts for major terminals that provide a 30 hour forecast horizon:

KJFK 021123Z 0212/0318 23006KT P6SM FEW080 
     FM021600 20010KT P6SM FEW060 
     FM021900 19016KT P6SM FEW050 SCT250 
     FM030100 18008KT P6SM BKN250 
     FM031000 08008KT P6SM OVC150 
     FM031700 04015G22KT 5SM -SHRA BR OVC015
KPHL 021120Z 0212/0318 20006KT P6SM SKC 
     FM021600 20011KT P6SM FEW070 
     FM022300 17007KT P6SM SCT280 
     FM030500 08006KT P6SM OVC200 
     FM031200 04012KT P6SM OVC090
KBWI 021135Z 0212/0318 VRB03KT 6SM HZ SCT110 SCT250 
     FM021300 VRB04KT P6SM SCT250 
     FM021600 18006KT P6SM SCT250 
     FM022200 16008KT P6SM BKN250 
     FM030300 VRB05KT P6SM SCT200 BKN250 
     FM030800 03005KT P6SM SCT080 BKN200 BKN250 
     FM031400 36009KT P6SM SCT120 BKN200
KIAD 021135Z 0212/0318 VRB03KT P6SM FEW120 
     FM021600 17006KT P6SM FEW250 
     FM022200 15004KT P6SM SCT250 
     FM030200 VRB03KT P6SM SCT250 
     FM030800 35003KT P6SM FEW080 BKN200 BKN250 
     FM031400 32006KT P6SM SCT250

Starting at 17Z Friday afternoon KJFK is anticipating wind from 040 at 15 knots with gusts to 22 knots, five miles visibility in mist under a 1,500 foot overcast and light rain showers.

The real point of interest is four hours later and 50 miles northeast - KBDR at 21Z, when I expect to be departing. But given Earl's expected track and weakening trend, weather on departure should not be much more severe, and that would be good enough.

And, N631S and I will be headed in the right direction. The TAF's for KPHL, KBWI and KIAD suggest that by mid-afternoon Friday conditions will be quite benign.

So far, so good.

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