Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Akak

I was planning a flight tomorrow afternoon from Fairoaks to the Isle of Wight and returning in the Eve.

I’ve just checked the weather and there is a risk of thunderstorms. Gatwick/Heathrow PROB30 with the 24HR forecast. Ive also just watched Simon Keeling’s weekend weather which also references a risk of CB at some point in the afternoon in the south of UK

I’m a 150hr PPL with ir(r) and my thought now is just to cancel it. I’ll be in an Archer with no fancy weather radar.

Am I being too cautious? I’m meeting a friend so would rather not make a late decision. Obviously I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a thunderstorm in the air but any guidance on weather it will be obvious if one is developing? I can’t imagine the weather would bring thunderstorms continuously for many hours and it’s only a 30min flight.

Any thoughts/guidance welcome!
It's a hot day, and thunderstorms will be build-ups rather than frontal.

I wouldn't go IFR as they could be embedded though I don't think there will be any cloud for them to be embedded in.

If you're VFR though, go for it, just avoid the dark bits with masses of rain falling from them.

If you don't like turbulence, look into the sky and don't fly under the really tall clouds either.

There's a front coming through, but it'll be much later over that part of the country.
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By Akak
Thanks very much. I did hope it was as simple as just avoiding flying through or under any nasty looking clouds! I just didn’t want to be up and suddenly thunderstorms appear out of nowhere.
By johnm
If you look at the TAFs and the synoptic you can see that the front is not arriving until late afternoon but there is a prob 30 for TEMPO thunderstorms from 1400 to 2000 so that indicates @Paul_Sengupta diagnosis.

Given the relatively short and straight trip you should be able to check the radar and find a window between showers.
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By lobstaboy
You're a qualified pilot with some experience. You have all you need to make the decision without having to ask the old lags in the club house bar (apols to previous posters, you know I don't mean to call you old lags).

And I seem to remember an aviation adage that goes, "if there's any doubt, there's no doubt."
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By Morten
Stay VFR and avoid flying under the cells which are dumping or look like they might.

But, as always, if there is any doubt in your mind, then there is no doubt and don't let an Internet forum tell you to do what you're not comfortable doing.

@lobstaboy oops - snap!
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Sticking my neck out, I think you will be absolutely fine. Make sure you have access to a smart device and take a look at the the met rainfall or meteox and / or something with sferics, it will give you a very good idea of any activity and anything on route. If you wish to be cautious make sure you have done your diversion planning thoroughly - if there are any bulid ups, I would expect them to be very easily spotted and as easy to navigate around, as long as you diversion planning is to hand. If all else fails turn around, go back and land and wait, they will move reasonably quickly as well.

We are all taughht to be very scared of thunderstorms (righhtly) but if they are well spaced with a good base and viz., you will be amazed you can see them from miles away and there is ample opportunity to stay well clear so I wouldnt worry too much IF the conditions are like that.
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By Paul_Sengupta
Looking at the forecast now, there's suppose to be a line building from the south coast up to London. Keep a good eye on the rainfall radar (actuals rather than forecasts) and be prepared to either get in before, or sit it out if there's a solid line of thunderstorms/rain/low cloud. Current forecasts show it moving across your track from 16:00 to 19:00.
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By skydriller
TheFarmer wrote:Thunderstorms aside......I can’t imagine anything worse than flying in 31 degrees!

There wouldnt be alot of summer flying here if we didnt fly when the temp reached 30deg C... Thats not to say that mornings and evenings arent my prefered flying time though. Similarly, if you didnt go to the local aerodrome every time there was a Prob30 TSRA in a Metar for the regional big airport...

@Akak In general I tend to go with Prob30 means it might happen at some point, Im unlucky if it happens exactly where I am, Prob40 means it will happen at some point, Ill be lucky if it doesnt exactly where I am at some point. But at the same time I also take into account any local weather traits and look at the big picture weather system at the time...

Regards, SD..
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PROB30 that something will happen means PROB70 that it won't where you are.

TEMPO something happening means that MOSTLY it won't be happening.

Just my view, if there's any doubt...
By Cessna571

This is from an iPhone app called

“Rain Alarm”

You can zoom right in, (but there isn’t anything to zoom in on down there at the minute)

It’s very useful and is picking up live radar feeds to draw the picture. I use it a lot

I don’t use the “send me an alarm when it’s going to rain” feature. I just look at the pictures.
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