I've decided to give this a shot based on SevenThreeSeven's insistance, so here it goes. There won't be any pictures, so I'll give my best description.
I walk in today, and for my 10 hour shift, I start out with a total of 66 flights on my desk, which does not include the possible sick call, diversion recovery, or reposition flight(s). This number has been slowly creeping up, but should go down a little once the class of new-hires gets checked out. The first thing I do when I log into my desk, is check weather charts, TFRs, and radar provided by my ASD to give me a picture of how good, or bad, the day will most likely turn out. Today, the weather picture looks relatively good, with the exception of the west coast which currently has a nice trough in the jetstream extending all the way down to Baja California. There is also a cold front extending from Baja extending through Billings, Montana, conjoined with a low pressure center located over Las Vegas, NV
, and so far, it has been pretty benign, with only a few scattered storms. There is another low centered over Cheyenne, WY
, with a warm front stretching to Fort Smith, AR
, causing some precipitation in Kansas, then becoming a cold front extending out past Savannah, GA
. There is also another low centered east of Maine, with the lingering preciptation that has been causing flooding all throughout that area for the past few days. All in all, it should be a good day for flying in most of the country.
AIRMET TURB...WA OR CA AND
CSTL WTRS ID MT WY NV
FROM 70NW GGW TO
SHR TO SLC TO
70ESE BZA TO
210SW MZB TO
110SW PYE TO ENI TO
70SW YXC TO
TURB BTN FL180 AND
FL370 DUE TO
UPR LOW AND
ASSOC WITH JTST. CONDS ENDG 14Z N OF
110SW PYE-FMG-DNJ-70SW YXC
. ELSW...CONDS CONTG BYD 14Z SPRDG ACRS RMNDR MT
RMNDR WRN AND
CNTRL WY AND
18Z. CONDS CONTG THRU 20Z.
As mentioned in this AIRMET, due to the trough in the jetstream, there is a strong possibility for windshear and turbulance all over the west coast today.
/OV 2800/14500/TM 0840/FL340/TP B757/TB MOD
The only PIREP to help me with my flight planning for this turbulance was given two hours before my shift began, so I got a hold of one of my pilots, and he agreed to be my guinea pig for his first flight so that some PIREPs will get into the system for myself, other dispatchers, pilots, and flight planners to use for future flight planning. What I've also done is filed a few of my other flights lower with some extra fuel so that if they have to descend, they will have the fuel to complete the flight at the lower altitude, should the turbulance be worse than forecasted.
The forecast winds at O'Hare today are currently, and forecasted to be, from the northwest, so they are using plan Wierd today, which is a good plan, but not as good as plan X; however, based on forecast conditions, will provide the best arrival and departure rate for the day. Based on this, the arrival demand is forecast to be over by at least 10 planes per hour starting at 17Z, which may lead to a ground delay progam, but on weekends, they generally try to avoid it as best they can by using miles-in-trail to allow proper sequencing. Using this information, it would be wise for me to throw on a little holding fuel in case ATC decides to start holding inbound aircraft.
Another thing that I need to be concerned about today are the fuel shortages in both Sacramento, CA
, and San Diego, CA
. This means that I will have to tanker in much fuel as I possibly can today in order to protect as much fuel at those airports as possible until they can get more in. For me, this means that I might have to tanker in fuel from higher cost cities, which completely throws off the whole cost-saving plan altogether.
More to come as the day progresses!
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.