(Extracts from EASA GA Safety Team ‘Weather Anticipation’ leaflet)
POINTS OF IMPORTANCE
· Understand weather patterns and their likely effects on your flying
· Never fly without an aviation forecast!
· Look for and consider PROB, TEMPO, OCNL and ISOL
· Expect conditions to be about 30% worse than forecast!
· Check actual conditions against the forecast
· Identify alternative routes and suitable diversion aerodromes
· Carry enough fuel
· Scan the sky and horizon for possible problems
· Avoid suspected or reported thunderstorms by at least 10 nm
· Note local surface winds
· Check weather reports whilst flying
· Be prepared to divert
· Aerodromes with FIS have a duty to provide pilots on request with METARs, SPECIs and TAFs, so ask for these whenever conditions are less than perfect
· Check the METARS for your destination and possible diversion airfields every half hour before you depart (and en route if possible)
· Tune in to airfields nearby which have ATIS to obtain likely conditions at your own field
· Tune in to VOLMET broadcasts from time to time to get a broader picture
· Take note of any TREND broadcast at the end of a report which denotes a deterioration in visibility, cloud base etc.
· Lowering pressure suggests possible worsening conditions
· Surface wind speed or direction change occurring earlier than forecast can denote change of speed in the approach of a front
· In Summer, wind changes can indicate nearby showers or thunderstorms
· In Autumn or Winter, temperature and dew point comparison can indicate a likelihood of mist or fog, before visibility noticeably deteriorates
· In the cruise, cloud below you (particularly in valleys) can indicate a potential fog hazard close to the ground