The four basic types of fronts are: Cold Front Cooler air is pushing warmer air out of the way. If you’re looking for violent weather, you’re more likely to find it along a cold front than a warm front. Warm Front Warmer air is slowly displacing cooler air. Though less severe than a cold frotnt, warm fronts frequently cause low ceilings and visibilities. Stationary Front Occurs where two air masses meet, but neither is displacing the other. These fronts can exhibit characteristics of a warm front, cold front, or both. Occluded Front Occurs when a cold air mass overtakes a warm air mass, so that the leading edge of both occupies the same location. Occluded fronts occasionally have severe weather.
Seeing the windsock change direction is one of the most obvious signs of frontal passage. To determine frontal passage in the air, watch for a change in your wind correction angle and look for changes in the outisde air temperature (OAT). Also, note any differences in altimeter settings reported by ATC or on ASOS/AWOS and ATIS broadcasts. • Note any nearby fronts, even if they’re not expected to be a factor for your flight. This will give you a better big picture when (not if) the forecast proves wrong. • For longer cross-countries, a rule of thumb is that weather typically changes every 450 miles. But it can also change much more quickly. • If a front is forecast to pass your destination, call the airport before departing to see if passage has already occurred. • To check on a front’s progress, look at stations on either side of the front and compare actual conditions to the forecast weather.
Is the air around you stable or unstable? The more stable an air mass, the less likely you’ll see violent weather. Cloud types reflect the degree of stability. Practical Tips What do stable and unstable air masses look like? • Stable air has smooth air, sometimes-poor visibility, and steady precipitation. Clouds form in horizontal layers.
Weather Briefing Services
Want to know how to determine the most efficient route as you plan your flight? Ever need an easy way to determine if departing just a few hours earlier or later could help avoid adverse weather or flight restrictions? If so, then you will want to use advanced flight planning capabilities available at www.1800wxbrief.com. Leidos Flight Service Pilot Web, which provides direct access to weather briefing, flight planning, and flight plan filing information is free to pilots.
Download AOPA’s WeatherWise Practical Tips and Tactical Tricks[/mp_text] [/cherry_col_inner]
You may not realize it, but we’re living in the golden age of weather flying—and things are only going to get better. So what can we expect in the years to come? In this final installment of our Weather Wise video series, we take a look at how technology will change the experience of weather planning and flying.
In memory of Cyndie Abelman
More great videos from AOPA.org