Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where's the moon?

The winter weather flying this year has been interesting, we haven't had very many big storms but we have had a lot of clouds layers, fog, valley fog and a few cold frontal systems bringing in some ice at anything much above a few thousand feet.  Around here most MEA's bring you well below the freezing level and my most typical trip is to Socal which brings me over a mountain range.  Today at 10k ft the OAT was a chilly -15degC.  I've been seeing a lot of low level valley fog and mountain obscuration and multiple layers.  Here is an example:

The last few night flights I've done have been in early night, with the sun setting in Socal before 5pm, a launch at 6pm and a moon rising at 8pm or later, I've had a number of moonless flights.  When the weather is like above and it's night, you might well be clear of clouds but you can't see jack.  For example:

Once I got back to Norcal the cloud layers parted and I could see the ground lights, but after climbing through clouds Socal was like night over an ocean.  In the day time these layers are good fun though, here I am skimming clouds at 11,500 ft.

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