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The low ceiling delays at SFO

The low ceiling delays at SFO

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Old Feb 24, 13, 5:38 pm
  #1  
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The low ceiling delays at SFO

hello,

I've experienced several delays in the past for flights going into SFO due to low ceiling weather conditions.
Is there any website that provides real time information on the ceiling conditions at SFO, so I can predict whether my flight in the next few hours will be delayed or not?
I almost always found out about these delays once I already arrived at the airport, and it would be nice if I could somehow predict the delay in advance, especially for morning flights, so I don't have to rush to the airport too early.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by agjil View Post
hello,

I've experienced several delays in the past for flights going into SFO due to low ceiling weather conditions.
Is there any website that provides real time information on the ceiling conditions at SFO, so I can predict whether my flight in the next few hours will be delayed or not?
I almost always found out about these delays once I already arrived at the airport, and it would be nice if I could somehow predict the delay in advance, especially for morning flights, so I don't have to rush to the airport too early.
Does this help?

http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp

Also, since weather can change quickly at SFO, and since the queuing decisions that impact the size of a delay can change, I'm not sure if this can be predicted reliably in advance.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 5:42 pm
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Unless you are a trained person, the raw meteorological delay probably will not help

The FAA provides realtime delay status that should help.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 8:58 pm
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The low ceiling delays at SFO

Sometimes I'm not informed of a delay until right before pushback, sometimes not until we're taxiing. We can almost second-guess it but not consistently.

I used to have a buddy in Central Flow Control whose cell phone came in handy occasionally but those days are past.

FAB
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Old Feb 24, 13, 9:22 pm
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plus a weather/ATC hold can change instantly

I'm not sure data would be much help.
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Old Feb 27, 13, 9:51 pm
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Fog is generally worse in the summer. But other than that, your best chances would be to opt to fly out of OAK or SJC for more certainty.
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Old Feb 28, 13, 9:42 am
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agree with wooly

but would add that it might be easier to just book your flight right into SJC or OAK in Jan, Feb, July and August to avoid weather challenges.
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Old Feb 28, 13, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by wooly View Post
Fog is generally worse in the summer. But other than that, your best chances would be to opt to fly out of OAK or SJC for more certainty.
It isn't just fog/low ceilings, it is also wind direction. So, all the stars must be aligned for the airport to be operating on "all 4s" (i.e., 4 departure runways - 1L 1R, 28L, 28R and 2 arrival runways - 28L 28R).
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Old Feb 28, 13, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by wooly View Post
Fog is generally worse in the summer. But other than that, your best chances would be to opt to fly out of OAK or SJC for more certainty.
Summer fog is not really the issue, it's winter storms that bring any sort of cloud cover. The Summer fog usually burns off just before the airport and does not usually interfere with the airport operations. However, any system that brings cloud cover into the Bay Area will usually result in one of the two arrivals runways being closed. Winter is really the most likely time for that to happen.
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