Crappy Weather

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We’ve been getting through some rather crappy weather for the past two months. Lots of wind and rain with the occasional good weather day sneaking in here and there.

I crewed the hot air balloons again last weekend and could see on the account sheet at the fuelling station that we’d only had about 10 flying days in the past month or more. Ouch!

It’s AFL grand final this weekend and about 100,000 people are expected to squeeze into the Melbourne Cricket Grounds for the game, despite the predicted crappy weather on the way. I’m supposed to be crewing both days this weekend but it’s not looking great.

To give you an example, check out this TAF for Melbourne Airport over the next 30 hours:

TAF AMD YMML 240409Z 2406/2512 29015G28KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT035 SCT045
FM240900 35013KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT030 SCT040
FM241200 36020G32KT 9999 SCT040
FM241800 36028G42KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT030 BKN040 OVC080
FM250000 34020G34KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT020 BKN035
FM250600 29015G25KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT025 SCT040
INTER 2406/2412 4000 SHOWERS OF RAIN BKN020
INTER 2500/2510 2000 SHOWERS OF RAIN AND SMALL HAIL PELLETS BKN015
RMK FM240600 MOD TURB BLW 5000FT
FM241200 MOD/SEV TURB BLW 5000FT TILL 250800
T 17 14 12 11 Q 1009 1009 1009 1007

This would have to be the longest TAF I’ve ever seen. Plus the weather is continued crappy with increased patches of crappy likely.

Not great for ballooning :(

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6 Responses to Crappy Weather

  1. Falcon124 says:

    The long, crappy TAFs continue – here’s the 2am (local time) one for today:


    TAF YMML 241647Z 2418/2524 36028G40KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN
    SCT030 BKN050 FM250000 34020G34KT 9999 LIGHT RAIN SCT025 BKN040
    OVC100 FM250600 29015G25KT 9999 LIGHT RAIN SCT025 BKN040 OVC080
    FM251200 30012KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT020 BKN040 FM252000
    29020G30KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN SCT030 BKN050 INTER 2500/2502
    2000 SHOWERS OF RAIN AND SMALL HAIL PELLETS BKN015 TEMPO 2502/2509
    4000 RAIN BKN015 PROB30 INTER 2500/2510 VRB30G45KT 2000
    THUNDERSTORMS WITH RAIN AND SMALL HAIL PELLETS BKN010 SCT030CB RMK
    FM241800 MOD/SEV TURB BLW 5000FT TILL250800 T 13 13 15 14 Q 1002
    1002 1001 999

  2. Falcon124 says:

    And it continues – here’s the one from 10am (local time). Definitely looking bad for the weekend’s ballooning :(


    TAF AMD YMML 242308Z 2500/2606 36020G40KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN
    SCT040 BKN100 FM250200 33015G25KT 9999 LIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN BKN030
    INTER 2500/2502 5000 SHOWERS OF RAIN TEMPO 2503/2509 4000 RAIN
    BKN015 PROB30 INTER 2502/2510 VRB30G45KT 2000 THUNDERSTORMS WITH
    RAIN AND SMALL HAIL PELLETS BKN010 SCT030CB PROB30 INTER 2602/2606
    VRB25G35KT 2000 THUNDERSTORMS WITH RAIN AND SMALL HAIL PELLETS
    BKN015 SCT030CB RMK FM250000 MOD/SEV TURB BLW 5000FT TILL 250300
    FM251800 MOD TURB BLW 5000FT T 16 14 13 10 Q 1001 999 999 1000

  3. DarkSarcasm says:

    I’m hanging out for summer, it’s getting depressing having my flying lessons cancelled because of this absolutely crazy weather!

    Are you training for a balloon licence or just crewing on the ground?

  4. Falcon124 says:

    I remember the frustrated feeling of being socked in by weather a few years back when I was working on my fixed wing license (before I had to park it due to lack of funds). We had a run of foggy days on weekends and it was doing my head in, especially one time where we went out as the fog lifted and taxied to the southern end, then the wind shifted and we had to taxi all the way to the northern end. By the time we took off the fog was rolling back in so we only got two circuits in but the clock said 0.4 hours. DOH!

    Right now I’m doing balloon crew work for one of the commercial operations flying over Melbourne. I hope to have some funds to spare towards getting my private balloon ticket later in the year. For now I’m getting started on the ground theory as I can do that even when the weather is crap and my funds are tight :)

  5. DarkSarcasm says:

    That’s awesome. I’ve never considered getting a balloon licence (no engine!)…although, to be honest, I never really thought about the fact that balloons might need licences! :P

  6. Falcon124 says:

    Yeah – it takes about 10-15 hours to get your private (depending on how quickly you pick it up) but it can cost up to $300 per hour to rent the balloon, instructor, ground crew, etc. Plus, you have to be out in the country to do it as you can’t fly as a student near cities, etc. Also, the only things that carry over between other aviation licenses are air law and met, so any hours you have in other forms of aviation don’t count.

    Still, heaven must be ballooning in the morning (still air), gliding during the day (thermals), then ballooning again in the late afternoon’s still air. All followed, of course, by a few beers and tall tales afterwards :)

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