Aviation Weather Series

“Get the weather expertise you need!”


  • Get instant online access
  • Short, “bite-sized” video workshops
  • Aviation weather explained – simply!
  • Covers the most popular online resources
  • Includes XM weather and “in-cockpit” tools
  • Learn to use “Imagery” tools in ForeFlight
  • Weather directory for preflight planning

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One Of Your Biggest Risk Factors?



Weather impacts every pilot on every flight. However, there is a serious lack of understanding in this critical area of aviation knowledge.

To complicate matters, weather is an extremely complex and dynamic phenomenon. Meteorologists spend a lifetime to understand it’s complexities. As pilots, how can we be expected to develop the needed proficiency in this area?

Flight training offers little focus on weather, so pilots are typically left to figure it out for themselves. Most pilots learn about weather through personal experience. Unfortunately, this can lead them into conditions that are beyond their abilities or even the structural limitations of the airplanes they fly.

There is no worse feeling than being in the air, wishing you were on the ground because you are flying in conditions that exceed your capabilities.

“Weather is a major cause of fatal GA accidents and has the highest rate of fatalities, over 80%. Between one-quarter and one-third of fatal GA accidents are weather related.”

– FAA (Safer Skies: A Focused Agenda)

The Weather Knowledge
You Need


This program is designed to give pilots the information they need to fully understand and analyze the weather before each flight. The benefit is the peace of mind that comes from having full confidence in your ability to evaluate the conditions, plan your flights and make sound decisions before climbing into your airplane.

A deeper knowledge of weather also allows you to adjust your flights when needed to keep you out of harm’s way.


Learn to use the latest online and mobile tools to plan your flights and avoid potential weather hazards…

Thunderstorms

Clear Air Turbulence

Precipitation

High Terrain Weather

Icing and Freezing Levels

Wind Shear

Reduced Visibility

Freezing Rain

Gust Fronts

Convection

Thermal Turbulence

Over Water Conditions

Mountain Waves

And much more…

Meet Your Instructor


Scott Dennstaedt


Scott is an FAA-certificated instrument flight instructor and former NWS research meteorologist specializing in aviation weather training. He has written over 100 articles for various aviation magazines to include IFR, Plane & Pilot, Pilot Journal, Flying, Aviation Consumer and Twin & Turbine magazines just to name a few.

Scott has logged over 3,500 hours of flight time all throughout the United States. He’s always had a love for weather and aviation since childhood and is now enjoying his true vocation of teaching.

Essential Resource For All Pilots


Scott teaches complex weather topics in a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand style. His workshops will give you a solid foundation of weather knowledge as he shows you step-by-step how to use the best and latest online tools to get the weather information you need.

IFR Pilots


Obviously, weather plays a big part in your flying. This series provides a wealth of information for Instrument pilots – taking you from basic through advanced weather analysis and planning.

You will learn how to use all the best tools to identify convective activity, turbulence, thunderstorms, wind shear, icing, freezing levels, gust fronts, surface pressure troughs and all kinds of other other bad stuff you should avoid. This program provides the training you need to accurately forecast the conditions along your route and plan safer cross-country flights with greater precision.

VFR Pilots


Even though you don’t fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), you are still exposed to the effects of weather on all your flights. Learn to predict areas of reduced visibility, low ceilings, turbulence, wind shear, gusty conditions, precipitation, high terrain conditions, mountain waves and much more.

By learning more advanced aspects of weather, you can plan your flights more accurately to avoid areas of marginal conditions and IMC. “VFR-into-IMC” is a leading cause of fatal accidents in general aviation.

If you are working on your instrument rating or planning to pursue it down the road, you will be far more prepared to fly in the system when the time comes.

Short Videos Make Learning Easy


The training is delivered in a series of short, highly focused video segments that we call workshops. This allows you to learn at your own pace and tackle the complexities of weather in small, bite-sized segments.

After learning Scott’s strategy for cross-country flight planning, you can focus on workshops that address specific risk factors. For example, if you are planning a flight over high terrain or mountains, you can view the workshops that focus on the specific weather issues you might find in these areas.

This series provides a valuable library of weather knowledge that you can refer to as often as needed to maintain proficiency in this critical area of aviation.

“(PilotWorkshops) Aviation weather videos give recurrent training in reasonably sized bites…the videos are paced well and make liberal use of good-quality images of available weather information with clear explanations as to the why and how of the stuff we face when we launch our airplanes. There are times that there was so much information, we were grateful for the ability to back up and re-run a section…The products are useful recurrent training as well as a long-term reference”

The Aviation Consumer

Training Course Overview

A library of “bite-sized” training videos!


This program is delivered in a series of 4 modules that provide a structured approach to improve your weather knowledge. Scott also provides links to the online tools he explains so you can start using them right away. Enjoy the journey as you become proficient in this critical aspect of aviation!


1: “Beyond The Weather Brief”


Most pilots obtain a weather briefing from a Flight Service Station prior to a flight. This is an important pre-flight activity, however it is just as important to validate and augment this information with the tremendous online weather tools available to pilots. In this module, Scott walks you through the tools he uses to get a clear and accurate weather forecast prior to a cross-country flight. He explains how each tool is used to identify specific weather issues and how they come together to provide an accurate depiction of the weather along an intended route.


Surface Analysis Chart


The surface analysis gives a glimpse of recent conditions and is a basis for a good weather briefing. Learn how they are developed, how to analyze pressure gradients, spot potential dangerous icing conditions, gust fronts and more.

Video: 8:12

NWP and Model Output


Numerical Weather Prediction models are a basis for most official forecasts. This module will help you understand which models and tools are most useful to pilots and provide specific tips on understanding this complex information.

Video: 21:48

Constant Pressure Charts


Learn about upper air charts aka Constant Pressure Charts. Scott uses simple examples and sample charts to fully explain these valuable pilot tools. You’ll gain a better understanding of dangerous negative-tilted troughs, split flow, zonal flow, jet streaks and more.

Video: 17:44

Thunderstorm Forecasts


This important module delves into thunderstorm forecasts and analyzes a variety of tools you can use to get a better picture of storm potential. You’ll learn which products are most useful for aviation and how best to interpret them.

Video: 12:19

Precipitation Forecasts


Areas of precipitation are often a hotspot for concern. Learn which weather tools are most helpful in determining precipitation potential along your flight route.

Video: 7:07

Turbulence Forecasts


Turbulence is often difficult for a pilot to visualize by looking at weather charts. This module covers mountain, thermal and clear air turbulence, providing a look at different weather tools that help forecast and report on turbulence and their use to help plan a safer, more comfortable flight.

Video: 12:00

Icing Forecasts


Icing forecasts have improved significantly in the last few years. Scott examines some of the older and newer icing forecast tools, helping you understand how they can be used to help you avoid dangerous icing conditions.

Video: 10:26

Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs)


TAFS are one of the most detailed forecasts available to pilots, so it’s important to fully understand them. Scott also covers the Forecast Icing Product, Current Icing Product, and using satellite imagery to enhance your picture of the weather.

Video: 13:46

Flying Into Adverse Weather


Scott breaks down an an accident scenario by using a wide range of weather tools to help you analyze where the pilot went wrong and how he could have been better prepared. This powerful module provides hands-on insight and analysis with lessons you will use every time you plan a flight.

Video: 23:28

Preflight Case Analysis


This case analysis provides a detailed, hands-on example of how to utilize the training and resources you learned in the workshops for preflight planning. Be sure to watch this one.

Video: 29:38

2: “Terminal Forecasts – Reading Between the Lines”


Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs) are one of the most common and important weather planning tools used by pilots. However, they are often misused and have inherent limitations pilots must understand. Knowing how to properly incorporate TAFs into your preflight planning requires the pilot to learn how to read between the lines. The nine workshops below give you a solid understanding of how to properly interpret TAFs and use them effectively in your planning.


TAF Overview


What is a TAF? Quickly review the basics including timing, areas covered, etc.

Video: 5:00

Sky Cover, Ceiling, Visibility and Flight Category


This module defines and clarifies many of the abbreviations found on TAFs that pilots should know, using real-world photos and explanations.

Video: 9:54

Forecast Change Groups


While TAFs are made for 24 or 30-hour periods, forecast change groups forecast “operationally significant” changes made to a forecast as time passes. Learn more about how these are developed and how to interpret them.

Video: 10:07

Area Forecast Discussion and TAF Amendments


Learn how to gain insights into weather patterns and conditions a TAF is defining through AFDs. Understand how and why amendments are made and how they may impact your flight, especially as conditions worsen.

Video: 12:27

Non-Convective LLWS, Part 1


When is Non-convective Low Level Wind Shear indicative of turbulence? Learn the hows and whys of this important condition. Scott also shares some online tools he uses.

Video: 11:21

Non-Convective LLWS, Part 2


More detail on reading the TAF and LLWS events including icing potential and wind shear.

Video: 7:19

TAF Displays


Scott shares TAF display tools and provides hands-on tips for using them for best results.

Video: 6:41

Thunderstorm Forecasts in the Terminal Area


Potential thunderstorm forecasts in a TAF can be confusing. Scott sorts it out for you, giving you a better understanding of what the forecaster is trying to tell you.

Video: 5:57

Case Analysis: Unforecast Convection


Dig into this case analysis of unforecast convection in Charlotte NC. Scott gives you a thorough look, using TAFs and other online tools combined with his expert analysis.

Video: 9:22

3: “Understanding Turbulence”


In this series of workshops, you will learn how to use the tools available on the Internet to find the most comfortable ride and how to minimize your exposure to dangerous turbulence.


Turbulence Definitions and Forecasts


Scott Dennstaedt defines the different types of turbulence and explains some of the resources meteorologists use to aid in their turbulence forecasts.

Video: 12:22

Clear Air Turbulence


Clear air turbulence can be dangerous, and is rarely predicted via turbulence SIGMET before encountered by a pilot. How do you know when conditions are ripe for clear air turbulence?

Video: 7:59

Thermal Turbulence and Properties of Rising Air


Thermal turbulence is the most common type of turbulence experienced by pilots, in part because it is closer to the ground. Surprisingly, the Aviation Weather Service does not issue an advisory for even widespread moderate turbulence so it is important to have an understanding of it.

Video: 8:20

Thermal Turbulence and Properties of the Planetary Boundary Layer


This important module delves into thunderstorm forecasts and analyzes a variety of tools you can use to get a better picture of storm potential. You’ll learn which products are most useful for aviation and how best to interpret them.

Video: 8:45

Thermal Turbulence: Boundary Layer Depth


Scott shares an analysis of the Skew-T log (p) tool to predict where the boundary layer might be and thus the most likely path to a smoother ride.

Video: 7:11

Mountain Wave Turbulence


Mountain flying can be spectacular, but it can also be rough enough to be dangerous. Scott explains the significance of lenticular clouds and when they may indicate dangerous turbulence. You’ll also explore different types of mountain waves and when they indicate a smooth or bumpy ride.

Video: 10:25

Mechanical Turbulence in the Wake of a Cold Front


While strong and gusty winds often indicate turbulence, that is not always the case. Learn how to use the Skew-T log (p) diagram to find the altitude with the smoothest ride in these circumstances..

Video: 8:20

Flying into Adverse Weather


Experience an IFR flight scenario where the weather conditions seemed to be OK, but a deeper look would have revealed a more dangerous flight.

Video: 23:46

4: “More Weather Analysis and Online Tools”


The following workshops are the “Best of AvWxWorkshops”. They are great reference tools and can be viewed in any order, when you need them. These workshops focus on specific weather hazards and tools to identify them. They are intended to help you gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of all aspects of weather. Scott provides a wealth of detailed training that will strengthen your weather knowledge and flying safety.


Air Masses


Air masses can have a significant impact on your flight. Understanding how air masses interact with the environment and land masses helps you predict conditions. This workshop gives you solid background on this topic.

Video: 9:54

Surface Pressure Troughs


Many pilots are unfamiliar with surface pressure troughs found on the surface analysis chart. This workshop provides clarity on this tool and explains when these troughs can produce adverse weather.

Video: 6:06

Upslope Stratus


Upslope stratus is a weather event which can cause stratus and fog. Learn what causes this condition and how to analyze its impact on your flight.

Video: 10:02

Pilot Reports


Pilot reports have a major influence on many people in the aviation system. Learn how pireps are used by weather forecasters and how and when to properly file detailed pireps.

Video: 17:05

The G-Airmet


What is the importance of the relatively new Graphical Airmet? Learn more about this product and get specific tips on how to interpret and use it productively.

Video: 12:30

Model Output Statistics


Learn how to use this useful tool to get site-specific forecasts for over 1,700 airports throughout the United States.

Video: 13:28

New TAF Format


Watch this workshop to get updates on recent changes in TAFs.

Video: 7:05

Graphical TAFs


Scott provides useful tips on using the TAFs from the ADDS. If you thought you knew TAFs, you may be surprised at what you will learn.

Video: 9:09

Freezing Level Forecasts


How can you identify the likelihood of multiple freezing levels aloft? Scott shares useful tools and tips to analyze this potentially dangerous condition.

Video: 7:38

Convective SIGMETs


Convective SIGMETS are a useful tool, but sometimes the criteria forecasters use can leave airspace unprotected. Scott reveals when this can happen.

Video: 5:53

CCFP


Learn about using the Collaborative Convective Forecast Product – and why it is NOT a forecast for thunderstorms. The CCFP can reveal dangerous conditions you need to know about.

Video: 11:53

Visible Satellite Images


Scott explains how to use this tool and others to differentiate between clouds and snow on the ground.

Video: 6:01

Airports in the Vicinity of Higher Terrain


In this workshop Scott helps you choose the best initial data source for an airport in the vicinity of higher terrain. This choice is crucial when trying to determine the potential for fog or low ceilings at an airport.

Video: 8:16

RUC Soundings Java Tool


Learn how to get the most from the RUC soundings Java tool and some hidden features you can use to get a better forecast.

Video: 16:17

How Moisture Affects Surface-based CAPE


Get a refresher of CAPE and learn how to use convective indices as a way to understand the environment.

Video: 7:25

How to Calculate the Relative Humidity


Scott shares tips on calculating the relative humidity using the Skew-T Log (p) diagram so you can diagnose possible reduced visibility or structural icing.

Video: 6:30

Identifying the Depth of a Freezing Rain Event


How can you identify the depth of a freezing rain event? Scott shows you the proper way, while giving you solid advice on freezing rain, its properties and its dangers.

Video: 8:44

The Environment Over a Body of Water


A body of water can significantly change the environment. Scott shares some tools and insights that help you evaluate this condition.

Video: 4:05

Finding a Smooth Altitude With Gusty Winds


Scott shares valuable advice on how to find a smooth altitude when winds are strong and gusty at the surface. Learn about useful online tools and how to interpret their data.

Video: 8:30

How to Predict an Overcast to Build Down


See how to predict an overcast sky that is building down using online tools. This important information can help avoid the situation where a VFR flight turns IFR.

Video: 6:45

Satellite Wx Gone Bad


Proper use of satellite weather tools is vital to situational awareness. This workshop shows a common mistake that could turn very serious.

Video: 9:50

Echo Top Heights


Learn important limitations of the XM weather system in regards to echo top heights.

Video: 8:02

VAD Wind Profiles


In this workshop Scott discusses the benefits and challenges of using VAD wind profiles to determine cloud tops.

Video: 7:59

Satellite Cloud Tops


Discover how to use the enhanced infrared satellite imagery to help determine the height of cloud tops. This valuable information can help you find the best altitude that will keep you over the clouds.

Video: 11:44

Satellite Image on XM


XM weather is a great tool, but it has some limitations. Here Scott discusses some of the important limitations you need to be aware of, as well as techniques to help overcome those issues.

Video: 7:00

Stratocumulus


Stratocumulus clouds pose a serious icing threat that can go unnoticed behind a strong cold front. Scott shares tips to deal with this and recognize when there is a threat.

Video: 13:05

Shallow Convective Icing


Learn how to identify this potentially dangerous icing event.

Video: 10:25

Too Cold for Icing


Sometimes the conditions are too cold for structural icing, and it is important to recognize them so you can plan accordingly.

Video: 10:47

A Bad Case of CIP


Sometimes the Current Icing Product is not on its best behavior. Learn how to recognize these conditions and manage around them.

Video: 11:22

Freezing Rain and Thunderstorms


Look in-depth at how this dangerous combination of weather can occur so you can understand how it happens and how to recognize the potential of an appearance during your flight.

Video: 10:06

Boundaries on NEXRAD


Scott shares tactics for using the NEXRAD image to identify the location of a front. His discussion provides in-depth analysis of this condition that will improve your awareness.

Video: 7:21

Identifying Convective Outflow Boundaries


Scott reveals tips for using satellite and ground-based radar imagery to identify convective outflow boundaries. Since these are often a precursor for severe turbulence it’s important to be able to recognize this threat.

Video: 7:51

Gust Fronts


Gust fronts are a convective outflow boundary you WILL want to avoid. Learn about tools and techniques to detect and avoid this condition.

Video: 8:02

Convective Outlooks: Products from the SPC & AWC


Thunderstorms are very difficult to forecast. Understanding the basics of how these forecasts are developed helps you when planning for your flight. Scott shares information and online tools.

Video: 10:10

Convective Outlooks: Enhanced Resolution Thunderstorm Outlooks


How is this thunderstorm prediction product developed and how can you best use it? Scott shares his experience.

Video: 8:42

Anomalous Propagation: When NEXRAD Might be Fooling You


What causes AP, also known as ground clutter, and how can you recognize it? Knowing this may help you recognize conditions that can change your flight plan for the better.

Video: 6:47

Convective Inhibition


In this workshop, Scott gives you a brief look at how this highly unstable atmosphere can be capped. He shares some tools and provides usage hints.

Video: 11:38

Convective Flight Planning


Learn tips that help you maintain situational awareness of the weather while en route, with a particular focus on clouds and their impact.

Video: 16:35

Lightning-Free Convection


Learn how to minimize your exposure to aircraft-induced lightning strikes including common temperatures and altitudes for this condition.

Video: 9:04

Mountain Waves


Mountain waves can be potentially dangerous. Learn how to use satellite imagery to detect the presence of mountain wave activity.

Video: 6:36

Includes Weather Tools Directory


You will have unlimited access to our private online directory containing dozens of links to all the tools covered in these workshops. This is a valuable resource that will let you quickly access the online tools needed for your preflight planning.

We monitor this directory and update any links that are moved, changed or de-activated on the various weather websites that Scott references. This ensures that you are always a click away from the latest online weather information.

Aviation Weather Q&A


Q: Do you offer a download option for this product?
A: No, this product is offered online so you can access it from any device. If you want a physical copy for backup, we offer the videos on an optional USB flash drive.

Q: Will my online access ever expire?
A: No. Once you register your login credentials, they will never expire. You will always have access to the program. (We still provide online access to programs we offered in 2006.)

Q: I use ForeFlight. Will this program teach me to interpret the weather “Imagery” provided by ForeFlight?
A: Yes. Nearly all of the weather tools included in ForeFlight are covered by Scott in this program. This program will help you become more efficient in your ForeFlight weather briefings and flight planning. Most of the leading mobile flight planning apps also use the weather tools covered in this program.

Q: Will I learn to use in-cockpit weather tools?
A: Yes. Scott offers several videos dedicated to satellite and XM Weather. He provides best practices and common mistakes pilots make when using these tools in-flight.

  • WINGS Approved!

    You can earn 3 WINGS credits for completing the Aviation Weather Series. A simple online form for requesting credit is included on the website.

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    If you aren’t completely satisfied we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked!

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