Flight planning series | Part 2 Aviation Weather

Welcome back to the flight planning series. I know that part 1 was a bit boring for most of you. This one will be a bit more in depth as we talk about aviation weather. What to look for, and what to try to avoid.

Aviation Weather

Weather is a huge part of aviation and could potentially be put into a 2,000 page book. We are going to be simple and just talk about quick references,and winds aloft charts.
We won’t be talking about aerodrome weather for METAR & TAF help click Here.

We can find our aviation weather charts at Aviation weather. EU weather Here we want to focus on a couple main charts.

Prog charts Click Forecast > Prog chart

So this is what we see on the local news how important could this be to us? Knowing some simple things about weather can actually make this very useful.

  • High pressure systems spin clockwise, and outward.
  • Low pressure systems Spin counter clockwise, and inward.
  • Northern Hemesphere Typically moves from West to East
    Knowing these little details we are able to determine where our winds will be, and where it’s moving. So let’s give it a shot.


We have a low off to the west of California, and California is covered in 2 low pressure systems. So our winds will be from west to east down toward Mexico. Next we have a High pressure over Colorado, and New Mexico. With a Low pressure over Oklahoma. So our winds are going to go thru the 2 high pressures continuing eastward. Then accelerating between the HP in Tennessee, and the LP in Oklahoma. Then continuing eastward and up the eastern coast. So let’s see how we did.


Well we didn’t do too bad. These are at 30,000 feet so they are relatively strong but the surface winds will follow roughly this same contour as well.

Winds aloft Click Forecast > Winds aloft
This is what a winds aloft map looks like. As you can see there are a bunch of half arrow depictions going all over the place. So what you want to know for this chart is.

  1. How they flow Think of it as an arrow 🏹 the long thin end points to where it’s going, the lines that come off of it are its feathers
  2. How to tell the velocity The velocity is measured by how many lines or triangles are on the end of the arrow. The more there are the faster it’s moving

Obviously we want to have a good tailwind when we fly. 💨

Routing application
Now would we want to use our original flight plan with the winds as they are?

Looks like it will be perfect for our intended route. Which is typically what you will get if you pick a flight close to your departure time.

The reason for this section is because you wouldn’t want to pick a route that takes you down by Florida, or up thru Canada. We also wouldn’t want to go along this same route from KJFK - KLAX. Knowing how to forecast and read a chart will save you fuel, and time

Like I said at the beginning this is only scratching the surface of Aviation Weather. Why do you think Mark made 7 tutorials just on METARs. 😂 This is what I feel will give you the most benefit for global planning though.

Next time we will talk about the different procedures to get you in and out of the aerodrome. If you have any question feel free to ask in the comments below.

Thanks for reading ✌️


Great! Thank you. I loved part 1 too!

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Thank you for sharing with us! Nice written tutorial!

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This is the best series ever

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Woah that’s a lot of information to take in!

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Get ready for next weeks it covers a bit more then this one 😬

Okay, @brandon_sandstrom I feel like I am understanding this very well. Now if you are to go from JFK to LAX, you would obviously try to take the route with the least amount of fuel consumption.

Would it be more feasible to
A. Fly south and attempt to take the course along the southern states since it has the least resistance?
B. Fight the headwind across the states because it is a direct path and despite the fuel consumption being a little strong, it will balance out
C. Attempt to fly that narrow path across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and the rest of those states where the headwind seems to die down

You’ve got the winds aloft chart backwards it’s a tailwind the whole way. So you would want to fly where it’s the strongest. However there comes a point where extra distance added to follow the wind doesn’t save you time, or fuel.


Based of your description the wind is moving from West to East if I am looking at it like an arrow. So if I am going from JFK to LAX not LAX to JFK the wind will be blowing from the front. I am asking about the return route not the route you presented as the example.

I understand that if you are going from LAX to JFK you would have a tail wind. I think you may have misread my post.

Oh yes sorry I was stuck on LAX-JFK. Yes that’s exactly how you would want to go with the route reversed.

wait so which one of the options would you take?

Option C would be your best choice the wind is about 30 knots there. Flying direct you will be fighting 60+ knots and further south puts you to far out of your way. So flying a little further south is the best option IMO.

Awesome. I will take that into consideration when planning my routes.Thank you for the advice.

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Well exposed and concise tutorial. It will be of much help. Thanks.