Friday, 19 February 2010

An obsession with the weather

Watching the weather could become an obsession for me. Every day when I am not otherwise engaged, I am watching the skies, reading various online weather sites and mentally calculating the time it will take to get on the road, get fuel, get to the airfield and rig......will I be there to get up in the slot between fog blowing away and the next snow downpour...?

My greatest fear is that I will learn too late that it has been flyable; that Steve will email to say he had a great flight today.....and I will kick myself for not having read the signs right, and for having missed my chance to get into the air, even if only for a single circuit.

The quality of available info is variable, as I suggested yesterday. Metcheck, Dave Broom admitted yesterday, embarrasses his website, but it appeals for being easy to read. AllMetSat is in plain English too but is better because it appears to be based on Met office TAFs and Metars and has the facility for changing the units; if you enjoy codebreaking you can read TAFs in their original gobbledegook, of course (as I was taught to do at flying school). For wind you cannot beat the Wind Observation Map but don't trust their visibility forecasts; yesterday I stood in fog musing that they had given 20k! But the site Lizzie recommends is the good old BBC and I have to say that my forecasts using all the above have never beaten her confident readings of what is going to happen.

I prefer it when it is unequivocally unflyable. What I cannot stand is a day like today, when it is touch and go; when there might possibly be a lull, when 8-14mph winds might be closer to 8, when the cloud base may be just above a 1000' and after all, all I need for a circuit is 700'; when the morning snow might be over and when a one hour+ drive now might well be worth the effort, but then again might equally be a waste of an afternoon and just a chance for me to look even more of a pillock to Dave et al at Sutton Meadows.

Lizzie says Sunday looks hopeful.

No comments: