Most Important Weather Factors

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colby
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Most Important Weather Factors

Post by colby »

I'm adding new features to my iPhone weather app Met Mapper (see this thread viewtopic.php?f=54&t=78558#p736585) and want to know what you, as pilots, find most important when studying METARs. Obviously this will depend on your capacity as a pilot (airline, GA, student, etc.) but I'm looking to prioritize weather information in the app based on what people find most useful.

Are you looking at visibility trends over the past few hours? Do you only care if it's VFR? Do you like knowing how wind speed and direction are changing over time, or do you care about ceilings below some specified altitude.

When you reply, let me know what type of pilot you are as well - this will help give me a better picture.

Thanks for taking the time to help.
Colby
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Nark
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by Nark »

All I truly care about is whether it is legal for me to shoot an approach at my ETA. (This is more of a TAF issue, not a METAR)
If it is, then I'm legal to takeoff and commence the trip. If it sucks when I get there, I hold or go to my alternate.
Many METARs in my neck of the woods (US) are automated stations, and it is based on that 10' square that the AO2 sits on. More than once, it will report worse that is actually is. ie County dude is mowing the grass and blows dust across the transmissometer sensor.

I've held a few times, with the whole field in view at the outermarker, however the AWOS was reporting below minimum limits, and I could not legally commence the approach.

As for trends, visibility is the one limiting (in this context) factor when I fly, as the rules for commencing an approach are predicated on visibility, prior to the start of the approach. Another would be type of precipitation, ie anything freezing.


I fly single pilot freight in the US.
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200hr Wonder
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by 200hr Wonder »

It would be great if you could set alerts to notify you when weather has met certain criteria. As a medevac pilot we often have put a trip on hold until a snow squall had passed for example. It would be super if the iPhone could notify me when for example vis is above 1 1/2 mile. Have the app check the METARS every 10 min or some such the.
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LousyFisherman
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by LousyFisherman »

Nark wrote: I've held a few times, with the whole field in view at the outermarker, however the AWOS was reporting below minimum limits, and I could not legally commence the approach.
So does this mean that a pilot flying VFR could land but you have to hold?
Or is the weather bad enough that no-one would be flying VFR?

Just an amateur trying to understand

TIA
LF
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colby
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by colby »

Nark wrote:All I truly care about is whether it is legal for me to shoot an approach at my ETA.
A TAF feature will definitely be implemented in the future. I know it's a bit limiting right now but I'm working on graphing trends like visibility and ceiling over the past X hours based on what the metars have reported. This may be more useful to VFR pilots/students at the moment.
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colby
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by colby »

200hr Wonder wrote:It would be great if you could set alerts to notify you when weather has met certain criteria. As a medevac pilot we often have put a trip on hold until a snow squall had passed for example. It would be super if the iPhone could notify me when for example vis is above 1 1/2 mile. Have the app check the METARS every 10 min or some such the.
This would be awesome, and I've thought about doing it. It would require me to set up a server somewhere to check each user's individual weather criteria and then send a push notification to the device. I simply don't have the know-how or the money to make that investment just yet. If Apple would let you run a process in the background, this would eliminate the need for an external server since the app could just wake itself up every 10 minutes and check, but alas that's not the case.
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Nark
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by Nark »

For us, we need at least 1sm to commence a visual approach(reported), despite seeing the entire field. A vfR pilot may request special VFR for the class E airspace. I can't just cancel IFR and continue VFR because of OpSpecs.

Usually it's the case that the local area of reduced visability will clear enough to shoot the approach (1/2sm for ILS; I don't wait for the 1sm for the visual)

Depending on the airspace, VFR pilots may be able to fly willy-nilly.
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SkyWriterSoft
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by SkyWriterSoft »

Can't find Met Mapper on the iTunes store any more. Colby doesn't reply to any emails. Any idea what happened?

Never mind. Just found Colby's new Apps. Met Mapper has been retired.
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Last edited by SkyWriterSoft on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ScudRunner
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Re: Most Important Weather Factors

Post by ScudRunner »

just check weather eye to see if I should bring a sweater to the patio for drinks and debriefing upon our landing.
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