A trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this past weekend reinforced a lesson I learned early on: The weather is always changing, and the only thing you can count on is that you can’t count on the weather.
The forecast five days out had been shaping up beautifully for a Saturday morning departure and a Monday morning return. As we got closer to the weekend, Saturday in Frederick, Maryland, began to include rain in the forecast. No problem. My watchword when it comes to flying is always “Be flexible.” This means being open to the possibility that you will change your departure date. So I launched on Friday afternoon. Aside from a couple of bumps over the Alleghenies, the trip was smooth and uneventful and the arrival into Dare County Regional at Manteo positively beautiful (and breezy!).
On Saturday, I checked the weather again. (I check the weather constantly when I fly somewhere. It helps me to keep tabs on developments.) Thunderstorms were forecast for that evening and the report mentioned the possibility of hail and tornadoes. Yikes! Back to the airport I went. Fortunately, Barrier Island Aviation had hangar space and were happy to rent me some square footage for the night. (Hence the need for a credit card. Of course I needed one anyway to buy fuel, but you get the general idea.)
Sunday dawned clear and breezy, but Monday wasn’t looking so promising back in Maryland. So I opted to cut the weekend short and come back on Sunday afternoon. The headwinds were annoying and the ride home bumpier than the ride out. But, to use yet another cliche, better the devil you know. Bumps and headwinds are infinitely preferable to low ceilings and thunderstorms. — Jill Tallman