It’s two days before Thanksgiving, which means it’s time for the annual pilgrimage from your home in Jacksonville, Florida, to the home of your 91-year old mother in Naples. It’s a 6-hour drive or a 1:45 minute flight in your Cessna 182, so it’s easy to guess which method you would prefer. Will the weather cooperate? Read the weather briefing below and then tell us if you would go or cancel. Departure time is 3:30 local, 2030Z.
At first glance, the weather over Florida looks colorful, with rain showers scattered all over the northern half of the state.
The surface analysis shows why, with a low pressure system off the west coast of Florida and a warm front stretching across the state.
The radar image shows a well developed (and possibly convective) cell off the east coast of Florida, by Daytona. There’s another, slightly less menacing, cell off the panhandle. In between things are more scattered.
It’s worth taking a look at the base reflectivity (or lowest tilt) radar image today, to compare it to the composite image (first image above). The base image does a better job of showing what precipitation is coming out the bottom of the clouds, and it shows a more scattered area of rain around Orlando and Jacksonville.
The satellite imagery shows fairly solid clouds all over the northern part of Florida. First, the visible image.
Next, the infrared satellite image.
The prog charts show the warm front dissipating and sliding off to the east, but not rapidly.
As always, a quick look at the AIRMETs and SIGMETs is in order. Today there’s nothing on the G-AIRMET for icing anywhere in the southeast.
Next it’s the AIRMET for turbulence, which doesn’t show much other than some high altitude bumps.
The main concern today is visibility and ceiling, especially if you’re going to do this trip VFR. Conditions at CRG, your departure, are pretty good, although the radar looks threatening.
En route conditions are still VFR, although there seems to be a scattered layer over the middle of the state around 1,100 feet.
A look at some PIREPs confirms the presence of a lower level deck of scud.
The good news is that conditions at APF, your destination, are excellent VFR and forecast to stay that way.
You’ve seen the weather, now tell us what you would do. The weather at your destination is great, but there is some rain and some scattered lower clouds near your departure. Is it just another day in Florida or something more serious?
Add a comment below to share your decision. Specifically, would you do this trip VFR, IFR, or not at all?
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