Get Your Head in the Weather

Part of your gathering process should be to get your head into the weather before you go flying. This is especially important if you don’t fly often.

By getting your head in the weather, we mean start thinking and noticing the weather for a number of days before your flight. It’s easy not to think about the weather while going about your daily life (unless of course you are a professional pilot) and it can take a few days of consideration to really notice and interpret what is going on outside.

Our challenge to you is to test yourself to see if you can predict how the weather will affect your flight, by taking our 7-day Weather Diary challenge.

Look at the forecasts, watch the weather and gather as much information as you can. Then note down what you expect the weather to do the next day, with some timings if you can.

The next day you can download the old METAR data and check it against your expectations. Then work out where the differences are and try to see why there was a difference between your estimation and what actually occurred.

Of course there may be no differences, in which case you have missed your calling and should probably take up fortune telling as a career!

However, if there are differences, use this opportunity to fill in your knowledge gaps.

Invercargill

Above mean sea level

TCu

Towering Cumulus

agl

above ground level

Cb

Cumulonimbus

Flight Information Service communications

ATS

Air Traffic Service

Royal New Zealand Air Force

in vicinity of aerodrome Thunderstorm

ATC

Air Traffic Control

VC

in vicinity of aerodrome

Probabilityxx%

TIL

Until

FM

From

Becoming

Temporarily

Routine air report from aircraft in flight

FIR

Flight Information Region

Internet Flight Information Service

VFR

Visual flight rules

Automatic Terminal Information Service

BWR

Basic weather report

New Zealand Flight Information Region

Aerodrome special routine meteorological report

Automatic aerodrome routine meteorological report

Aerodrome routine meteorological report

TAF

Aerodrome forecast

Area forecast

Significant meteorological information