Business calls today, and you need to get from your home base in Santa Barbara, California (KSBA) to San Francisco (KSFO) for an important meeting. There’s a bit of fog on the coast of California, but you are instrument-rated and current. Your airplane today is a well-equipped Piper Arrow, with dual Garmin 430W GPS/NAV/COMs, an HSI, autopilot and your trusty Garmin 696 portable GPS with XM datalink weather.
A look at the weather shows no major systems, just a weak low easing east out of California:
The satellite image shows a few lines of clouds, but mostly at low levels:
The radar doesn’t show any convective activity, but there is some precipitation in the San Francisco area:
The freezing level is fairly high today, and en route MEAs should allow for a 6,000 ft. cruising altitude that is forecast to be ice-free:
The Current Icing Potential (CIP) tool from aviationweather.gov backs up the AIRMET, with an ice-free forecast even at 7,000 ft:
You should have a decent ride today, as well, with no pilot reports of turbulence.
But if icing isn’t much of a concern, the ceiling and visibility may be. Your departure is generally reporting good weather, but with the usual California fog bank rolling in:
METAR KSBA 150053Z 26011KT 10SM FEW009 13/11 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP188 FOG BANK ON SHR SE-SW T01280106 $=
The forecast is excellent:
TAF KSBA 142340Z 1500/1524 24008KT P6SM SCT007 FM150200 VRB03KT P6SM SKC FM151000 VRB03KT P6SM SCT015 FM151400 VRB03KT P6SM BKN015 FM151800 16006KT P6SM SCT025 BKN040 FM152100 23007KT P6SM BKN250=
Weather at your destination is cloudy with light rain, but certainly well above minimums for any of the approaches:
METAR KSFO 150132Z 15007KT 4SM -RA BR SCT013 SCT026 OVC035 14/12 A3009 RMK AO2 P0002= (SPECI) METAR KSFO 150056Z 15008KT 4SM -RA BR SCT013 BKN026 OVC033 14/12 A3008 RMK AO2 RAB2357 SLP187 P0003 T01390122= METAR KSFO 142356Z 16010KT 9SM BKN016 BKN027 OVC070 14/12 A3008 RMK AO2 RAE48 SLP185 P0001 60017 T01440117 10144 20139 53001=
The forecast at San Francisco calls for continuing light rain and layered clouds:
TAF AMD KSFO 150118Z 1501/1606 15008KT P6SM SCT015 BKN025 OVC035 TEMPO 1501/1502 4SM -RA BR BKN015 FM150200 21010KT P6SM SCT015 BKN025 OVC040 TEMPO 1502/1504 6SM -RA FM150400 22007KT P6SM BKN015 OVC025 FM150700 15004KT P6SM OVC015 FM152000 20012KT P6SM SCT015 BKN025 PROB30 1520/1524 6SM -RA BKN015 FM160000 23013G19KT 6SM -RA BR OVC020=
For real weather geeks, the Skew-t Log-P diagram for Oakland, California shows more details:
So do you go or cancel? Why?