How accurate do you find the TB forecast?

pinworm

Lifetime Elite
I fly alot...too much! I think I have more hours than some crew. My job has me flying across the country several times a month, but sometimes just across the southwest. I am based out of PHX.

I check the TB forecast every time..24 hours out, then 3 hours out. If I had to venture a guess, I would say it was accurate about 75% of the time..which is not bad when you think about it. It's hard to predict the weather and it IS just a prediction. There have been times when it showed mod to severe the whole way and when I actually get flying it's as smooth as glass..then other times..such as last week from PHX to TUL it predicted a smooth flight showing NO turbulence along the way and it turned out there was non-stop light to moderte all the way.

I find the PIREPS way more accurate...they have not been wrong yet..but you cannot really depend on them until a few hours before the flight.

What is your experience?
 

pinworm

Lifetime Elite
I almost forgot!

I almost forgot!

It seems silly, but what's always been accurate for me is MS flight simulator with the "real world weather" settings turned on. It downloads real world weather from Jeppesen every 15 minutes and when you "fly" the route you get the same turb..sometimes I would do it the night before as the weather didn't change that much and the jet stream tends to move in days not hours. It's never been wrong! It also helps to understand the approaches you might be flying etc.

Learing how the process works can reduce your fear significantly.
 

tek

Lifetime Elite
Pireps

Pireps

Pireps or pilot reports are the best indicator of actual real time flying conditions. They are, of course, current and useful as a comparison between forecast conditions and actual conditions but not very useful for forecasts. It is very useful to know the full description of the pirep. ie the type of aircraft, altitude, type of turbulence, frequency intensity , etc.. The NWS has a very good JAVA pirep tool that has each pirep in it's entirety and is updated automatically. I will try to find a link to post here. It is under aviation weather on the NWS sites. Also realize that pireps are most frequent during busiest flying times during the most volume of air traffic which is generally between 6 AM and 6 PM local. During other times conditions may exist but fewer aircraft are cruising around.
 
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