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If lots of green clouds on map - what should I expect?

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  • If lots of green clouds on map - what should I expect?

    For a while now, I have been looking at the Transatlantic map, Westbound - as this is where my flight will go through mid July.

    http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/at...und_tracks.php

    This evening I noticed lots of green clouds pretty much all over the route. That means thunderstorms everywhere. Is that correct? If this is how the map will look like on the day of my flight, should I postpone the flight? I am absolutely terrified at the thought of pilots having to weave through thunderstorms, as there is no where else to fly without one.

    After the 447, is there anyone insane enough (pilots included) to agree to fly over a route full of thunderstorms wherever you look?

  • #2
    These are different. They top out at 32,000ft, and not 50,000ft like they do in the ITCZ. The plane is well over those storms. These are mere babies in comparison to the mighty ITCZ storms.
    TURBULENCE FORECAST IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION FOUND HERE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Please read our forum rules and regulations before posting. By posting or continuing to browse, you agree to these terms.
    Donations are used to fund new features and to offset costs.

    Download our app: Turbulence Forecast for iOS
    Read the best book on fear of flying (e-book or paperback): Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

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    • #3
      First of all, the weather profile changes every day. Your date will be different from what you see now.

      Secondly, I am not sure what map you are looking at. If it is a weather map, it will be different on the day of your flight and if it is the turblence map, the colors do notn represent the turbulence, only the POTENTIAL for it.

      Lastly, at cruise you will be over the weather most of the time, especially rain and wind. Transats fly slightly above 40 thousand, high above the weather. Thunderstorms can reach up that high, but are easy to get around over the Atlantic, except around the caribbean/south american part of the atlantic, If you are flying US to Europe you will be flying quite north of them

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      • #4
        This is the map I am looking at:

        http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/at...und_tracks.php

        and I do understand that it changes every day. I had just seen a forecast that had green clouds ALL OVER and I was wondering, if my day was going to be the same, by any chance - what should I do. Of course, I hope it won't. For example, right now (prediction for June 27), there are no red dots anywhere on my route but I do see those red hills in a string, which again, I don't know what they represent.

        Yes, I am flying Paris to Atlanta, GA.

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        • #5
          Atlantic

          I am looking at a flight departing Monday from LAX to Heathrow for my friend. I have never seen conditions so conducive to smooth sailing on that route. You must keep in mind the route the plane takes is a "great circle route". There are sites on the web where you can plot great circle routes. For example the flight from LAX to London goes over Hudson Bay and the southern tip of Greenland, just south of Iceland and then swings into the Isles from the NNW. Thunderstorms are not as high topped in the high lattitudes and are easily topped or avoided.
          Those small, scalloped, green areas you are looking at on the Atlantic chart are areas with potential for turb. It is helpful to look at those areas on the national chart and compare them to actual pilot reports. You will find that they are generally overgeneralized. My experience also in giving flight precautions to pilots is that the weather service likes to error on the side of caution which is a good thing but tends to make the advisories somewhat meaningless for an experienced weather briefer.

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          • #6
            there are no red dots anywhere on my route but I do see those red hills in a string, which again, I don't know what they represent.

            The (red hills on a string) you are looking at represent a diminishing or weakening warm front. The pattern is part of a way of depicting surface weather features on a two dimensional map. The pattern on this map is a common one. A warm front preceeds cold front-string of blue triangles. They join and become purple which is an occluded front where the cold front has caught up with the warm front. Usually the most intense activity for flying purposes and generally speaking is along the cold front and occluded front. The low pressure area that is causing the circulation and the fronts is centered where the three fronts join. Surface depiction charts are usefull for determining conditions for take-off and landing. Also useful, and we should have a link on this are terminal forecasts of FT's as they are called in the vernacular. They are cryptic and given in ZULU time but properly deciphered can give you a good forecast of takeoff and landing conditions.

            KATL 281120Z 2812/2918 30006KT 6SM HZ SCT150
            FM281600 30011KT P6SM SCT045
            FM282000 29012KT P6SM BKN060CB
            PROB30 2822/2902 3SM TSRA BKN035CB
            FM290200 30010KT P6SM VCSH SCT050CB BKN070
            FM290600 33007KT P6SM SCT070 BKN100
            FM291500 34010KT P6SM SCT250

            This is Atlanta's terminal forecast KATL is the airport identifier. The number group is the issue date time in GMT followed by the valid period. So from 1200 zulu on the 28th til 1600 zulu you see wind from 300 (westerly at 6 knots, visibilty 6 miles in Haze with scattered clouds based at 15,000 ft. You can see from 2000 Z bases are at 6000 ft and broken and consist of Cumulonimbus clouds or CB's. Prob 30 means a 30 percent chance of visibilties reduced to 3 statute miles in Thunderstorms with moderate rain (RA) and broken CB cloud bases at 3500 ft between 2200 Z and 0200 Z on the 29th, etc. Lots of detail in these products and they are put together by experinced aviation weather forecasters from the NAtional Weather service who have mostly Phd's in meteorology.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tek View Post
              there are no red dots anywhere on my route but I do see those red hills in a string, which again, I don't know what they represent.

              The (red hills on a string) you are looking at represent a diminishing or weakening warm front. The pattern is part of a way of depicting surface weather features on a two dimensional map. The pattern on this map is a common one. A warm front preceeds cold front-string of blue triangles. They join and become purple which is an occluded front where the cold front has caught up with the warm front. Usually the most intense activity for flying purposes and generally speaking is along the cold front and occluded front. The low pressure area that is causing the circulation and the fronts is centered where the three fronts join. Surface depiction charts are usefull for determining conditions for take-off and landing. Also useful, and we should have a link on this are terminal forecasts of FT's as they are called in the vernacular. They are cryptic and given in ZULU time but properly deciphered can give you a good forecast of takeoff and landing conditions.

              KATL 281120Z 2812/2918 30006KT 6SM HZ SCT150
              FM281600 30011KT P6SM SCT045
              FM282000 29012KT P6SM BKN060CB
              PROB30 2822/2902 3SM TSRA BKN035CB
              FM290200 30010KT P6SM VCSH SCT050CB BKN070
              FM290600 33007KT P6SM SCT070 BKN100
              FM291500 34010KT P6SM SCT250

              This is Atlanta's terminal forecast KATL is the airport identifier. The number group is the issue date time in GMT followed by the valid period. So from 1200 zulu on the 28th til 1600 zulu you see wind from 300 (westerly at 6 knots, visibilty 6 miles in Haze with scattered clouds based at 15,000 ft. You can see from 2000 Z bases are at 6000 ft and broken and consist of Cumulonimbus clouds or CB's. Prob 30 means a 30 percent chance of visibilties reduced to 3 statute miles in Thunderstorms with moderate rain (RA) and broken CB cloud bases at 3500 ft between 2200 Z and 0200 Z on the 29th, etc. Lots of detail in these products and they are put together by experinced aviation weather forecasters from the NAtional Weather service who have mostly Phd's in meteorology.
              Cumulonimbus clouds on the Paris - Atlanta route? OMG!!
              I thought those could only be found in the ITCZ zone. OK, this is certainly not helping. I will certainly change the flight if there is any CB cloud predicted for that day. ...Where should I get this information from for the day of my flight? Now I am really scared.
              Last edited by syracusa; 06-28-2009, 12:34 PM.

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              • #8
                You might as well not go then, CB clouds are just about constant this time of year. I'd rather that, than have a strong jet stream like you do in the winter.

                Originally posted by syracusa View Post
                Cumulonimbus clouds on the Paris - Atlanta route? OMG!!
                I thought those could only be found in the ITCZ zone. OK, this is certainly not helping. I will certainly change the flight if there is any CB cloud predicted for that day. ...Where should I get this information from for the day of my flight? Now I am really scared.
                TURBULENCE FORECAST IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION FOUND HERE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

                Please read our forum rules and regulations before posting. By posting or continuing to browse, you agree to these terms.
                Donations are used to fund new features and to offset costs.

                Download our app: Turbulence Forecast for iOS
                Read the best book on fear of flying (e-book or paperback): Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cumulus clouds, towering cumulus, cumulonimbus occur everyday almost anywhere on the planet. They are more common in the tropics and need a moisture source and the right conditions to form. Pilots are trained to see and avoid. That is why planes do not fall out of the sky every day. We live on a planet as bottom dwellers in an atmosphere that is in a constant state of flux. On a visible light satellite image CB tops can be seen as popcorn looking bunches of clouds usually.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is amazing to me that such things only cause shrugged shoulders. These clouds sound extremely dangerous and to rely only on "pilots seeing them and avoiding them" sounds almost suicidal to me. Especially when the media pretty much makes it clear that a thunderstorm with such clouds was partly the cause of the AF 447 crash (if not THE cause).

                    So far I have been told that I have nothing to worry about because such thunderstorms only form in the ITCZ; also that summer months are the best for flying. The best - with CB clouds as a constant???

                    So here I am discovering more lies.

                    At this point I really do not know what to do because this is a return trip which I cannot postpone indefinitely, for work-related reasons; and the boat is already all booked. Does anyone know how long in advance it would be possible to receive a forecast for the day of the flight?
                    This is getting really bad.
                    Last edited by syracusa; 06-28-2009, 02:55 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pilots don't just rely on what they see-- don't forget that they have all the information that you can see on this site plus much more on weather. Air Traffic Control also routes aircraft based on weather in order to provide a fast and comfortable ride.

                      And the type of thunderstorms in this part of the world are not the same as they are in the South Atlantic. Remember that thunderstorms are usually fed by warmer air, meaning that they are a lot more mild in the North Atlantic, where you'll be for your flight. And thunderstorms are also a lot less numerous in the North Atlantic. In short: there aren't many thunderstorms in this area, and pilots know exactly where they are (through radar, weather maps, what ATC is telling them, and visually) and how to avoid them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        forecasts

                        In my experience weather forecasts are useless beyond 24 hrs. I thought this site was for getting information to be able to better determine what conditions are prevalent along your intended route. We are trying to educate you to use the site for that purpose but you sound like the chicken little of 'the sky is falling' school. I am glad tb_neg has his disclaimer on his posts. It is because of people like you that these disclaimers are needed. Get a grip!

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