Forensic Meteorology Blog

17 Apr

Satellite Data

General InfoComments are off

Most of us are well aware of the GOES satellite data that are available in investigating aviation incidents and GOES data can be very helpful.  Recently, however, NASA has made available data from two low-orbiting satellites that can greatly enhance a weather analysis. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has an onboard radar and

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04 Apr

Archived Weather Data

General Info, Weather ConditionsComments are off

There are times that we just need to take a quick look at some historic weather data in an aircraft crash incident and it is good to take a look at some web sites. One of the better sites to get weather maps is this free site which contains maps for the US and Cananda.

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17 Oct


Icing on WingsComments are off

Historically, aviators have been concerned with icing that occurs when super-cooled liquid water freezes upon contact with an airframe at temperatures below 0C. Generally at very cold temperatures, the amount of super-cooled water present in a cloud decreases. At temperatures below -40C, it is generally accepted that super-cooled water does not exist in clouds, and

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15 Apr

New Airborne Radar

General Info, Weather for PilotsWith 0 comments

For a few years now FAA Federal Aviation Regulations have required  all air carrier operators to operate with an approved airborne weather radar. The new airborne Doppler weather radars detect wind shear. The requirement for having this radar has greatly reduced the potential for accidents caused by microbursts. (Operations within the states of Hawaii and

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20 Mar

Jet Stream

Turbulence, Weather ConditionsWith 0 comments

The location of the jet stream varies greatly during the year. However during the winter in the northern hemisphere the polar jet is generally located near 40 to 50 degrees latitudes north and found at elevations at 30,000 to 40,000 feet. Wind speeds vary but can be into 150 to 200 mph range and the

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09 Mar

Wind shear

General Info, Wind ShearWith 0 comments

Wind shear is a rapid change in either wind speed or wind direction over a short period of time or distance. Wind shear can describe the changes either horizontally (along the Earth’s surface) or vertically. How much wind shear change can impact a plane?  For a smaller plane a change of 25 to 30 knots

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20 Feb


TurbulenceWith 0 comments

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) we found these interesting facts below. Over the next several months we will provide some case studies of weather conditions that occurred during these situations: In nonfatal accidents, in-flight turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and flight attendants. Each year, approximately 58 people in

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