Manchester, NH (MHT) to Pittsburgh, PA (AGC) is the goal today so you can deliver your Piper Lance to the avionics shop for a new panel. The trip has been on the calendar for weeks and you’re excited to see a glass panel go in your airplane, but Mother Nature isn’t going to make it easy on you.
A large area of rain has parked over the northeastern US, so it looks like you’ll be exercising that instrument rating. Fortunately your autopilot is in great shape and you sprung for that Garmin 430W last fall. It should come in handy for the proposed 411nm trip.
Go or no go? Let’s look at the weather.
The overall weather picture shows a low pressure system to the west, with a cold front stretching down into Texas. A large area of rain is out in front of the system:
The prog charts show the front slowly moving east through your route:
Satellite and radar pictures show a large area of rain and clouds, but so far there don’t appear to be many thunderstorms in the line:
Even in late Spring, icing is still a consideration, so it’s worth checking the PIREPs, AIRMETs and the Current Icing Potential (CIP) map. The good news is that icing looks like it won’t be a factor, at least below 10,000 ft.
How about convection? It’s obviously a possibility today, but the radar doesn’t indicate much, at least until you get closer to your destination. There are no Convective SIGMETs in your area, just an outlook:
That suggests something might be brewing, so you check the Collaborative Convective Forecast Product (CCFP), a slightly longer range forecast. It shows nothing for your flight:
One last map to check–how’s the ride going to be? Any turbulence in the clouds? So far, there aren’t any PIREPs for turbulence, unless you’re up in the flight levels:
The text weather tells a more detailed story today. Your departure airport isn’t that bad yet, with some light rain falling but high cloud bases:
KMHT 081453Z 16007KT 7SM -RA OVC065 11/09 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP184 P0004 60009 T01060089 58008= KMHT 081435Z 15007KT 5SM -RA BR FEW008 OVC065 11/09 A3004 RMK AO2 P0003= (SPECI) KMHT 081353Z 15006KT 9SM -RA OVC065 10/08 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP187 P0002 T01000083=
TAF AMD KMHT 081434Z 0815/0912 15006KT P6SM -RA OVC070 FM081600 15009KT 6SM -SHRA OVC060 FM082100 18009KT 5SM -SHRA BR OVC035 FM082300 16008KT 3SM -SHRA BR OVC025=
Weather along your route of flight is progressively getting lower, although it’s still above minimums in most places:
KBDL 081451Z 17011G17KT 10SM OVC060 14/07 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP158 60000 T01390067 56018=
KAVP 081454Z 21004KT 5SM -RA BR OVC016 13/12 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP111 P0003 60008 T01330117 55007=
KIPT 081502Z 35005KT 2 1/2SM RA BR OVC013 13/12 A2985 RMK AO2 P0001= (SPECI)
KJST 081500Z AUTO 18008KT 3SM RA BR SCT005 BKN016 OVC021 14/14 A2983 RMK AO2 P0001= (SPECI)
Your destination has light rain and layered clouds, but is comfortably above minimums for either of the two ILS approaches:
KAGC 081453Z AUTO 22007KT 5SM -RA BR SCT007 BKN012 OVC023 18/16 A2980 RMK AO2 SLP088 P0011 60054 T01780161 55002 TSNO= KAGC 081436Z AUTO 21006KT 3SM -RA BR SCT005 BKN010 OVC015 17/16 A2979 RMK AO2 CIG 008V011 P0010 TSNO= (SPECI) KAGC 081422Z AUTO 21005KT 2 1/2SM RA BR BKN005 OVC010 17/16 A2979 RMK AO2 CIG 003V008 P0007 TSNO= (SPECI) KAGC 081353Z AUTO 16003KT 1 1/4SM RA BR BKN005 OVC011 17/16 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP086 P0026 T01720156 TSNO=
TAF AMD KAGC 081246Z 0813/0912 19007KT 3SM -RA BR SCT004 OVC015 TEMPO 0813/0815 1SM RA BR OVC004 FM081500 20008KT 3SM -RA BR BKN008 OVC030 FM082000 29010KT P6SM BKN025 FM090100 27005KT P6SM BKN040 FM090800 26004KT 3SM BR BKN030=
Your shiny new glass panel is waiting to be installed. It’s time to make the call–go or no go?