Understanding Weather

In todays episode Jason shares with you some great info related to real world weather flying.

News and notes
Next time I am doing this radio show. It will be from our booth at this year’s EAA Airventure and OshKosh, Wisconsin. The biggest Airshow expedition or you may want to call it in the United State. I am really excited to go up there. We actually depart out Saturday. Get up there, nice and early. To set up we have a booth this year. We’ll be speaking on Wednesday, on Friday. Even thursday we have a demo at the AOPA and showcase their FlyQ App and some ways I use that in the cockpit. Co Hosting with the AOPA and Good Pilot Gathering on Saturday evening. So a lot of great stuff considering a jam pack week for us. But guys if you are going to OshKosh. If you are close enough and you can even make it to Oshkosh. I highly encourage you to go. And if you do making that up there. Certainly seek us out. There is a post of MzeroA.com. Where you can dig up our actual schedule works. Shows you which booths where you in. When we’re speaking and giving away the free food, good stuff and all of that all in the website. As well as you can check that out. I am sure there is a follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And around the email list. You will certainly get plenty of updates as far as that goes. Stay tune to that. Hopefully, I won’t make any but I am too jealous of it, but I can’t make it. Those will be a good time.
Also while we are there. We are hosting that private and instrument pilot FAA written test Prep Boot Camp. Guys we always talk about that written test. Being a monkey in your back. You might be ready for your checkride. You may be right for a lot of things. However that written test is simply holding you back. Let’s get that monkey off your back. Let’s get the written test start. We are doing a Three evening hour and a half 2 hour long webinar series. Helping you prep in your FAA written test. You can learn more about that on MzeroA.com and check that out and sign up for that. Certainly you want to check that out. So guys in case you didn’t know. You are listening on Pilot’s Inner Circle Training Radio where like I said we will be doing live at OshKosh to work out with the audio. It maybe too loud there and trying to make that all happen for you guys. By the way member’s of the pilot’s inner circle earn FAA wings credit just for listening on this very radio program. You are listening to now. That includes my online ground school members as well. So you can earn FAA wings credit. Sort like CE use toward renewing your pilot certificate. If you are listening this and you are not a member. You can become one by going to PilotsInnerCircle.com to learn more and become a member today. And really live out that good pilot is always learning mantra. So like I said next week. We’ll be live from OshKosh.
Understanding
We understand physical weather. You know what? MzeroA.com want to teach this things differently. I don’t want you to have a wrote understanding of this stuff. I want you to apply to apply it correlate that. To really work that into you flight training and our overall flight safety. So I’m going to give you real world aviation weather sort of stuff and you can walk out the door tomorrow for your flight and be able to apply right away like that. So let’s start looking on the different pressure systems. Just real quick and again “Oh, aviation weather, this is gonna be tough topic.” Listen we have a great wave taken tough. Sometimes boring topic and really making them exciting like I said correlating to your flight training.

Let’s talk about pressure systems first. We got high pressure. We got low pressure. Very popular checkride question for those private and instrument pilots is this: Which is worst high pressure or low pressure? Well your obvious answer is going to be “Oh, well Ms. Or Mr. Checkride examiner. A low pressure.” Typically means poor weather or worse weather in most cases. How do I remember that. Well think about a hurricane. All a hurricane is a low pressure system. So associate low pressure with hurricane. It’s pretty easy to associate with hurricane with bad weather. So low pressure systems equal bad weather. In most cases now. Well most cases high pressure systems means good weather. This is 90% of time. I won’t make a bet. High pressure systems can be a good weather. But it could be all windy. A lot of times very high pressure bring a lot of wind to us. Because those differences in pressure actually causing that wind. So how did this apply to my flying? Well it’s one thing to just go to aviationweather.gab or foreflight or FlyQ or whatever apps you use. It’s one thing to just jump on there and look at the prognostic charts. The surface prognostic chart with 24 hour prognostic chart. And say “oh, theres’ a big red L. Oh there’s a big blue H.” Well high, okay, that figure it out. It’s another thing not dig that much deeper. This is something I teach students do is to look at past Metars. Here’s why and you can pull this up on any aviation apps will do this stuff. I wanna look about the past maybe 6 hours of Metars. Now, everybody is always have the current METARs Waiting for those current METARs. I want to see them and rightfully so. I want the most update, current METARs and current weather as well. However a past reveals a lot. The pass allow you to see a trend.
For example, If I check my current METAR and it’s Two niner or Eight niner, very close to standard pressure. However the metar before that it was Two niner, niner two. And the Metar for that Two niner, niner six. The Metar for that was 3000. You see what I’m getting at here. The price you started out so high early in the day but hour after hour the pressure decrease and decrease. Given by my example rapidly the pressure is continuing to decrease. What do you think it’s gonna happen when the next METAR comes out? We’re gonna download trend. Where do you think the weather is going to go? When that Altimeter setting is dropping. You are typically flying into possibly be worse weather ahead. This is something I always do. On my knee board. The Ipad, scratch pad or whatever. As I am giving flight following and I am getting handed off. A lot of times we take for granted we check in and you approach “Oh, that’s 512 Romeo Level.” You know 4500 feet. They come back 12 Romeo “Roger, ahm acknowledge altimeter. Two niner, niner one.” And we take that for granted. Altimeter one. Fixed that altimeter. We just keep flying. How many of us do that? We do that all the time. When in reality, I love to write down those altimeter settings in a top down sort of action so I build a trend and if I notice I can continue heading the certain direction. That each altimeters says getting lower and lower and lower. I may key in a real quick that I’m flying in some low pressure. And there could be less than ideal weather building. So watching this sort of trend. Watching this altimeter said and it’s doing on the METARs, on your cross country flights or in flight following in our IFR flight plan. Watch those altimeter settings and watch those pressures. Another thing to watch for on the METAR. Close temperature and dew point.
What is a dew point? What I understand temperature completely. On the fact they put it on Celcius which confuse some people but what is a dew point? Well, a dew point is simply the temperature at which the moisture in the air almost always moisture in the air. There’s always moisture in the air that dew point is the temperature and celsius and centigrade at which that moisture becomes visible. So when that temperature and that due point are close. You’ll get visible moisture. What we call visible moisture in layman’s term? We call it fog. Mist is what we are talking about here so watch that close temperature and dew point. I can’t tell you how many times I’d woke up reach out over the night stand. Grab the iphone. Grab the Ipad. Busted that out whatever aviation app that I was using that day and check the METAR. I look in the dew points 15 or the temperature’s 14. I don’t even have to look out the window. I know that it’s gonna be a foggy mist. Whatever you want to call it. Lower visibility kind of day. Just by I looking out forever. Looking at the window. So that’s something else you gonna watch for on those past METARs. What are the temperature and dewpoint doing? Now typically as the days go on. Temperature’s go up and have to realized that dewpoint is going to stay raw relatively constant for that day. That’s gonna change a little bit as weather changes. But it’s not gonna change as much as temperature is. You got to realize too that as it becomes evening it becomes cool. That temperature gona approach close to that dewpoint. That is why we get more morning fog. Everything is cool down. The aviation has set in and cause that morning fog. So watching for that close temperature dew point conversions. So we watch for pressure. So we are watching for the close temperature and dewpoint. Let’s talk it now pressure systems.
Let’s talk about fronts. Cold fronts and Warm fronts. Now typically what kind of weather can we expect here? Well, really, either one of these during poor weather. It’s depend on the situations. However nine times over ten. A cold front moving in will bring a nasty weather on the edge. Followed by beautiful weather. Although it’s slightly windy on the back end. Usually few days later. What happens here? Picture this with me and again. I am very much a visual kind of guy. I am doing my best to explain it to you.
Picture that cold front like a wedge. Cold dense air. It’s gonna sink to the bottom right the seat rises and these happens all the time in Florida. It’s classified as cold front although it’s not get terribly cold. That cold front is coming through. Here in Florida, we have warmed moist humid air that cold front comes through like a wedge, like a front end loader taking all that warm moist air and throw up straight up in disguise. That’s what I get our alluring formula form clouds; cumulo nimbus cloud. That was ultimately cause our rain and this terrible thunderstorms on the lean edge of the cold front and through the cold front most of the time.
However when you get behind that cold front. You get some of the best visibility you’ve ever seen. I always joke with people you know you can go up after a cold front and climb high enough and see both oceans here in Florida. It land in the gulf of Mexico a lot of times so it really brings some great visibility. However this fits right into our model.
You guys heard me talk about what three ingredients does it take to make a thunderstorm? Well first and foremost we have to have some sort of moisture, right? In this case it comes from humidity here just flowing around invincibly actually in the air. Then we need a temperature inversion that’s our 2nd ingredient. Certainly get that when the cold and the warm air meet and we need lastly an uplifting action that happens when that cold air wedge itself underneath the warm air throwing it up. And that what we get our thunderstorm. Our frontal storm.
That is also guys where we get this nasty embedded thunderstorms. By embedded thunderstorms it simply mean you could fly around IFR look things A-okay. But you got this nasty thunderstorm. Literally embedded in the clouds. Never to be seen like a leaning edge and a front activity like that. You can call those nasty embedded thunderstorm so all of these three ingredients you need for thunderstorm in general. I often get ask to in the summertime like where I’m at now.
Why on earth do we get this afternoon thunderstorms? Well first off. Lately afternoons happens like 11 o’clock. It poured here this morning in 11 o clock. Rain again about an hour ago. I am looking out the window of the office now. And it is not a VFR day. That’s for sure there’s more rain coming. Maybe VFR now but not for much longer. Why did we get this afternoon thunderstorms? Well again, what are the three ingredients for thunderstorms? Let’s run through this. Let’s use Florida as example but listen. The entire east cause I mean the central planes. This is happen all over the place right now; west coast as well.
Three Ingredient of Thunderstorm
We need Moisture. It is so humid in the summertime. There is no lack of moisture. That’s for sure. Just be in the humidity. That’s easy enough. Well and then what we need is temperature inversion. Where we get this temperature inversions? The various surfaces oddly enough. Picture this with me. This sun is just baking the earth all day. However our back field heats and cools differently. Then does the big Wal-Mart parking lot and does the lake just down the road. It is also heating the other sun and holding and retaining and dissipating of that heat differently. Does causing the slight little bit of inversion, okay? On the smaller scale. Of course, going to radiate out and you know the water is coming hold the heat a little bit differently than that big Wal-Mart Parking lot is. It’s going to unevenly release that heat back up of the atmosphere does further cooling it more giving you more of your temperature. Taking that warm moist air up and that is where we get the what we called the pop-up-thunderstorm. Because there is nothing you can forecast. You can look to the radar and it’s beautiful and an hour later have this random green blobs popping up everything. Thus our pop up thunderstorm. And the reason or something we called popcorn thunderstorm. Look outside you see all those different towering chemulus and nimbus clouds. And the reason they are also different is because the various surfaces we have done on the ground; parking lot or whether be the lake. It doesn’t matter. They are all heating and cooling differently. And that is why we get this afternoon thunderstorms. So all this sort of things. You can take into effect in your flying. If you are in area like I am where afternoon thunderstorms that’s something common. Really they are common everywhere now. You got to be come early morning flyer. You are flying for breakfast rather than lunch and dinner now because of what this afternoon storms can do. They are lowering ceiling. They reducing visibility. They are making it a very nasty storms. You’ve become an early morning flyer. Other things you can watch for. Again checking those METARs. Looking at the past METARs. Looking at the past temperatures and due point. Checking those prognastic charts for our coming high and low pressures and cold fronts and warm fronts and knowing what those mean to you. And knowing what that means to you and your flying.

Speaking of Oshkosh for another great MzeroA.com talk. Were sharing there is a picture of the grand rapids area in Michigan. Let me know there was a cold front moving through within the 24 hours. Things to watch for. Things to really look for. In regards that I’m still reading and everything’s looking good. Also you got wings there in the 18th. Showers in the sky. Visibility drop in. Our ceilings drop in all sort of stuff there. Definitely some things to watch for. In the tough front, showing you what to expect. You know this cold fronts. You are going to bring the wind. They are gonna bring the rain so you’ll always be prepared for that.

Ground school members don’t forget that this evening 8pm Eastern Time. We are doing our weekly workshop webinar. We are talking about textual, weather, METAR,TAFs, PIREPS all that sort of stuff. It’s like learning another language. TAFs, METARs. A lot of different than a TAF. They kind of share some stuff. A PIREPs kind of totally different language. By the way I’m doing this inside now and as predicted. It is absolutely pouring now. It was 11 o’clock. We have a dumping edge at 11 o’clock and about 2 o’clock at port but half an inch and now it is pouring outside again. So we just have the best flying weather lately. You know it’s perfect for talking about this aviation weather. I feel like the weather pattern like “Oh, the weather patterns there. There are always the same.” You know they are all every summer. Well every summer is different. You can’t predict this stuff. All you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. There is some stuff I’m gonna share with you and use that to make smart and go and no go decisions. So that’s really comes down to is to can you make the right decisions? Can you make this great go and no go decision? And that’s the ultimate question for any checkride and you know the ultimate safety flying down the roads. So anyways guys. I am basically finished unless you have anymore questions. I will let you guys enjoy the rest of your day. By the way guys check out the Wake Turbulence Video I just posted. Very good friend Steve. Very kind to share that footage with us, Steve. Also Steve had his own Youtube Channel. It has great videos. You guys can check his channel on the description. He encountered some Wake Turbulence on final. Literally on final very short final too and I kind of sharing my take on that. Please check that out the top post in MzeroA.com. It’s title Wake Turbulence on Short Final. If you are not a member but you like to be? Please visit PilotsInnerCircle.com for you all to check out. Become a member. Start earning those wings credits and get access over 320+ Full HD Flight Training Videos + Weekly Webinar + Mock Checkride and much good stuff in there. Anyways guys I appreciate all you guys. Members I’ll talk you more this evening and most importantly remember that a good pilot is always learning.

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