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Complete Weather Picture

Source:, Featuring Scott Dennstaedt


"Be complete in your weather analysis. Pilots often become too focused on one weather issue and totally miss another.

Take some time to look beyond the perfect flight. Assume the worst-case scenario. Just because it might be the middle of July, doesn't mean that icing isn't a risk. If you have to climb to 15,000 feet to fly over a mountain ridge, you might find yourself in temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. So don't forget to check the freezing level before you depart.

In the winter, you might be worried about flying over an area of icing, but fail to realize that you'll have a 30-knot crosswind waiting for you at your destination.

So develop a weather checklist similar to the checklists you use in the cockpit. I have developed what I call the Internet Weather Brief Roadmap. This roadmap encapsulates Internet links that I check before every flight. Just like any checklist, I start at the top and work my way to the bottom. When I'm done, I know my weather analysis is complete."

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