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Features May 2016 Issue

Nowcasting Your Flight

Forecasters are most accurate with synoptic and mesoscale predictions.

Nowcasting Your Flight

We all know the old-timers who talk about gut instinct and experience when navigating the weather. We canít teach experience, but we can jump start your forecast instincts.

My goal in this column is to bring the art and science of forecasting to pilots. This is because forecasts arenít perfect and still wonít be in the foreseeable future. This is not an indictment of the profession, but an acknowledgement of the realities of the forecast problem. For example, a single balloon launch is used to represent the 400,000 cubic miles of troposphere over Arkansas, and only happens every 12 hours. This is why good forecasters are skeptical of models and blend them with experience, intuition, and their own analysis before making a forecast.

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