Most of you know I love to fly airplanes. It's been a passion for a long as I can remember. Flying and meteorology are incredibly connected. I think being a private pilot has actually improved my meteorological skills. The weather has a lot to do with when I decide to fly or not fly.
I had a few days off from the TV station this week and also on Memorial Day. I had planned to visit my mom in Frostproof, Florida Sunday and fly back Monday. Well, the weather just didn't look like it would cooperate early next week. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in Florida with no way to get back because of widespread thunderstorms across the state. The forecast looked almost perfect for flying down today and coming back Friday. I say almost perfect - the winds weren't exactly the best and it looked like we'd have some low clouds in South Alabama.
Here's a look at the low clouds between Alexander City and Auburn this morning.
I'm a big advocate of having weather information in the cockpit. I receive my weather data and display it along with a moving map on my iPad. The weather data comes from the ADS-B network. This is a network of ground-based transmitters allowing me to receive radar, current winds, visibility, and sky conditions instantly in the cockpit.
Once I got down to Florida, the weather improved dramatically with those classic puffy cumulus clouds you see on those visit to Florida commercials. I made a quick fuel stop in Cross City (KCTY) which gave me a wonderful view of the Gulf of Mexico and then it was another hour down to Avon Park Executive Airport. The only visibility issues was a giant brush fire near Haines City.
On the approach into Avon Park - I did a quick flyover of my mom's house. When I arrived at Avon Park (KAVO) - I was greeted with a gusty 16kt crosswind. I made it it safely down on Runway 5. The weather for the return flight looks a bit better Friday with mostly sunny skies and lighter winds all the way back to Alabama.
Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist