You had hoped to get away earlier today, but business meetings have a way of running long and that’s exactly what happened. As a result, your proposed flight will depart Nashville, Tennessee (JWN), at 3pm local, or 2000Z, for a two hour and 30 minute flight to Shreveport, Louisiana (DTN). That’s not the ideal time to fly in the summer, but your Cirrus SR22T is well equipped, with a turbocharged engine and a glass cockpit—and you are IFR current.
Read the weather briefing below, then tell us if you would make the flight or cancel.
It’s summertime in the South, so it’s not surprising to see a few pop-up thunderstorms along your route. It looks like most of the action is near your departure airport.
Just like your flight instructor always said, you start with the big picture. The surface analysis shows no major weather systems in the south central part of the US.
The prog chart for this evening shows pretty much what the map on ForeFlight shows: scattered showers.
“Spend the night and go tomorrow morning” is often a good plan, although the prog chart for Saturday morning doesn’t look much better. If anything it’s a little worse.
As you would expect, there are plenty of Convective SIGMETs around.
Radar and satellite
Looking at the regional radar, it’s clear that thunderstorms are an issue around Nashville, although they look pretty scattered. Are there enough gaps in southern Tennessee?
The infrared satellite shows there isn’t too much beyond what the radar shows, which backs up the idea that there is no major frontal activity.
The visible satellite is helpful for showing where some of the lower level clouds are building, and there definitely are some for the first half of your trip.
Even though you’re IFR, staying out of the clouds may be the best option if you go. A look at the cloud forecast shows relatively low tops on eastern Tennessee, and scattered clouds in Arkansas.
That pretty much leaves text weather, and there’s not too much to see here. JWN is reporting good VFR conditions, and the TAF calls for nothing more than showers in the vicinity. Overnight conditions are forecast to drop to marginal VFR and stay that way through the next day.
Your destination is also reporting good weather and is forecast to stay that way.
It’s time to make the call: file a flight plan and go flying or cancel and head to the hotel? The weather is fine at your departure and your destination, and much of the trip looks like it could be accomplished in VMC with no issues. But the first 100 miles look more challenging, with pop-up storms around. Can you deviate around them? Can you stay on top?
Add a comment below and tell us what you would do.