The book is intended for sport aviators -- ultralight, sailplane and hang glider pilots, as well as balloonists, RC modelers and parachutists -- who want to learn the esoteric things they may have missed during general weather courses. Matters such as reverse gradients, lowlevel shears, thermals, daily variations, upslope breezes, down-bursts and gust fronts are described. Sport Aviation Publications said it believes the chapter on thunderstorm judgment and prediction is alone worth the price of the book. Understanding the Sky covers large-scale weather, explaining the message of the sky and the structure of the atmosphere in several chapters; the rest of the book is devoted to more local effects. The author, Dennis Pagen, is a pilot with 19 years of experience in various fast and slow aircraft. He has previously written 10 "how-to" books on sport aviation.

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The Structure of the Air Properties of the Air Pressure in the Atmosphere Temperature in the Air Solar Heating Cooling Cycles Daily Changes Seasonal Changes Water Vapor Latent Heat Stability and Instability Indications of Stability The Stability of Layers The Moist Lapse Rate The Standard Atmosphere Density Altitude The Wind We Feel Coriolis Effect Lifting the Air The Dew Point and Cloud Height Cloud Formation Cloud Life Old Clouds Cloud Types Altitude Classification Seasonal and Location Variations Lesser Known Clouds What They Tell Us Flying in Clouds Air Masses The Meaning of Fronts Front Characteristics--Cold Front Characteristics-- Warm Frontal Action Variations in Fronts Occluded Fronts High Pressure Systems Low Pressure Systems Local Lows Highs and Lows Together Isobars and the Wind Circulation Aloft A Trough Aloft The Jet Stream Steering Winds and Pressure Patterns Tropical Weather Island Weather Watching the Wind Prevailing Winds Wind Flow Near the Surface Winds Around Fronts and Pressure Systems Moving Weather Areas Beyond the Fronts Backing and Veering Winds The Wind Gradient Winds Aloft Jet Streams Diurnal Variation of the Wind Layering of the Air Low-Level Jets Special Winds North American Winds Old World Winds The Nature of Turbulence The Causes of Turbulence Vortex Turbulence Detecting Turbulence Conditions and Turbulence Cycles Surface Conditions Wind Shadow Flying in Turbulence The Sea Breeze Sea Breeze and General Wind Sea Breeze Prediction Sea Breeze Strength, Reach and Seasons Sea Breeze Effects Sea Breeze Fronts Complicated Coastlines Island Effects Land Breezes Heat Fronts From Forest to Field Upslope Winds Downslope Winds Gravity Winds Magic Air and Wonder Winds Up Valley and Down Valley Winds Complicated Systems Ridge Lift Complex Shapes Canyons and Gaps Ridge Soaring Problems Variable Lift Wave Lift Wave Properties Wave Clouds Wave Dangers Flying in Waves Finding Waves


Table of Contents



Understanding the Sky


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