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Sydney Fog Sunday.

Old 21st Mar 2023, 04:59
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Sydney Fog Sunday.

There is little point AMD a Taf when LVP have been started. A sea fog was sitting on the coast at Sydney most of Sunday arvo. Unsurprisingly to everyone, but BOM, it came ashore and caused chaos. To be fair the taf was amended very quickly when Viz was down to 500m so well done...after the event. They panick forecast after Mildura and no longer provide the staff to look out the window, unless binoculars can see from Cairns.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 05:57
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To be fair if you are referring to the MIA VA/QF fog incident the BOM did have a TEMPO for low cloud on it all morning, including when the jets diverted. There was reported low cloud in the area, and the fog materialized pretty quickly from nowhere. Neither jets held for an hour before attempting a landing.

I agree with the issues at ports that seemingly should have met watch. Forecasts are for planning and at least the first 5 hours should be extremely accurate (as per the BOMs own statement). If there is fog nearby, put on a probability. It's better I have extra fuel and off load a bit of payload for nothing than plan min fuel on a good forecast only to be told at top of descent that there's suddenly fog. Forecasters seem to be confusing forecasting with issuing observations.

And yes, I've seen several occasions lately where the TAFs at SYD and MEL were amended as or after the weather deteriorated, not prior to.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 06:51
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My recall is that Sydney’s TAF had PROB30FG for Sunday morning since the 09Z TAF issued on Saturday evening; it should have been considered by all aircraft arriving on Sunday morning until about 22Z. The fact is, the FG actually happened! Shock/horror!😯🙄

I observed several aircraft go around from Cat1 minima while others, presumably using the CAT2 approaches, landed successfully. Go figure.🙄
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 07:07
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Originally Posted by 43Inches
And yes, I've seen several occasions lately where the TAFs at SYD and MEL were amended as or after the weather deteriorated, not prior to.
Not just lately…..
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 07:10
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Originally Posted by Jetsbest
My recall is that Sydney’s TAF had PROB30FG for Sunday morning since the 09Z TAF issued on Saturday evening; it should have been considered by all aircraft arriving on Sunday morning until about 22Z. The fact is, the FG actually happened! Shock/horror!😯🙄

I observed several aircraft go around from Cat1 minima while others, presumably using the CAT2 approaches, landed successfully. Go figure.🙄
The event was at 1915 onwards ……Sunday evening…….it was not forecast….I was there and just landed by the skin of my teeth at the Cat 1 minima….flew into the fog at 400’ over the approach lights and only just stayed visual.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 07:14
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Ah, I see…

Sunday morning had similar problems for some flights…. despite the prior warning.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 07:43
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Originally Posted by ACMS
The event was at 1915 onwards ……Sunday evening…….it was not forecast….I was there and just landed by the skin of my teeth at the Cat 1 minima….flew into the fog at 400’ over the approach lights and only just stayed visual.
Yep, even tower was making a mockery of the BoM, when they could see it clearly rolling in with nothing on the TAF and aircraft asking wtf was going on.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 07:55
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What was on the ATIS?
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 11:36
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A forecast is just that!! ALWAYS have a plan B.
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Old 21st Mar 2023, 12:10
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Originally Posted by Jetsbest
My recall is that Sydney’s TAF had PROB30FG for Sunday morning since the 09Z TAF issued on Saturday evening; it should have been considered by all aircraft arriving on Sunday morning until about 22Z. The fact is, the FG actually happened! Shock/horror!😯🙄

I observed several aircraft go around from Cat1 minima while others, presumably using the CAT2 approaches, landed successfully. Go figure.🙄
Superfluous information.
I arrived 6pm. Zero fog or mist on the the TAF, but visible just south of the field..
When I left, 800m RVR midpoint but LVP not in force.
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 02:30
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Originally Posted by DROPS
BOM have been ridiculous for a couple of years.

Not the fault of the forecasters. Like another Dept of Many Name Changes, they have had their staff ripped out from under them and now can only triage the ports that have potential developing weather event based on the modelling.

Dispatchers and Pilots should really be applying a margin/contingency/fudge factor to the TAFS in these new 'efficient' times (good pilots always have done!).

It is not infrequent for ATC to look at the TAF and question if BOM remember what the F really stands for.
Wasn’t there previously an on-site, dedicated met unit based at Sydney Airport, that knew the local weather patterns like the back of their hands, and could forecast this type of occurrence to the minute?

What happened to them?
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 03:22
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 03:22
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I assume there is still a forecaster sitting at the field as per bullet point two. Is that not the case?
​​​​​​​The TAF3 will become the primary forecast in the first 3 hours and amended to provide similar responsiveness to the TTF.
Characteristics:
• Issued routinely every 3 hours;
• Kept under continuous weather watch by the responsible aviation meteorologist focusing on the next 5-hours of the:
– validity and timings of probabilities (PROBs) (updated if necessary); and
– validity and timings of TEMPO/INTERs (updated if necessary).
• Issued with minute granularity for FROM (FM) element;
• Provides a forecast vaild for 18-30 hours;
• Available at Gold Coast and Hobart airports – upgrading current aviation meteorological services;
• Available 24/7 at Darwin and Canberra airports – upgrading current aviation meteorological services;
• Identical code format as the standard TAF; and
• Stamped with ‘TAF3’ in RMKs section for easy identification
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 06:36
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Remember the good old days when the SOC (Senior Operations Controller) sitting in the briefing office could look out the window or receive actual visual reports and IMMEDIATELY override the TAF as required.
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 07:16
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Didn’t the SOC have authority to close airports? And often did?
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 10:30
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Wasn’t there previously an on-site, dedicated met unit based at Sydney Airport, that knew the local weather patterns like the back of their hands, and could forecast this type of occurrence to the minute? What happened to them?
AsA management decided they knew better, why should they allocate a couple of offices to BoM when no other Australian airport had a "SAMU", didn't fit the OneSky operating model and anyways both the major airlines have their own meteorologists.

I assume there is still a forecaster sitting at the field as per bullet point two. Is that not the case?
Bullet point 2

Kept under continuous weather watch by the responsible aviation meteorologist focusing on the next 5-hours of the:
– validity and timings of probabilities (PROBs) (updated if necessary); and
– validity and timings of TEMPO/INTERs (updated if necessary).

No, Sydney Airport has an observer and a bunch of cameras. The forecaster is located elsewhere eg Elizabeth Street in the city or Cairns or ?

The SAMU had access to the old Tower and would sometimes do their own observations. Sydney Tower should update the BoM as necessary including their own observations and pilot reports.
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 10:53
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Been caught out 3 times in as many months by s###house TAF's lately.
Melb Cavok and fog clearing on arrival a few months ago
TS closing TSV with TAF containing no more than light shwrs
SYD sea fog unforcast.

Absolutely cannot trust TAF's even for a 2-3hr trip between capitals.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 00:57
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Melbourne Grand Prix day 2019. MEL TAF screams fog in all but the letters "FG" from at least 18 hours before.
Depart LAX for MEL with usual reserves plus a top-up to MTOW but not enough for a planned alternate other than ability to go to AVL.
4 or 5 hours out of MEL every aviator reading the MEL TAF or TTF except the BoM TAF and TTF writer knows MEL is about to fog in.
70nm abeam SYD TTF released "MEL 400m FG"….unfortunately AVL was also below Alt Minima and would probably be worse by the time we got there.
Divert to SYD via well south of CBR and landed in arguably even worse weather in Sydney - vis 2000m in pouring rain and a strong, gusty south-westerly. F/O did a great job!
A couple of hundred pax didn't make the GP as all the domestic flights were full and not enough standby A380 cabin crew in SYD so our jet went empty to MEL - but that's another story.

It often amused me that the BoM operators could be incredibly conservative in forecasting non-critical weather (eg: INTER 5000m in RASH when there'll likely not be a cloud in the sky) but then be reluctant to forecast critical weather like fog and thunderstorms.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 01:51
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No, Sydney Airport has an observer and a bunch of cameras.
Sorry to bang on about it but does that mean there is no meteorologist on the ground at Mascot for the purpose of providing trend information to the fancy new TAF3 ‘s?
​​​​​​​Crazy if true.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 02:04
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Originally Posted by framer
Sorry to bang on about it but does that mean there is no meteorologist on the ground at Mascot for the purpose of providing trend information to the fancy new TAF3 ‘s?
Crazy if true.
There hasn’t been meteorologists at airports since the demise of flight briefing many years ago, nor is there a need for one, observations from the technical officer along with instruments and the odd radio sonde gives the team all they need. There is a few jobs going at present in fact when it comes to airport positions https://www.seek.com.au/job/66220065...-Referrer-4324. As an aside - today is world meteorological day!
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