Mastering The Skew-T Diagram
Learn how to use this powerful planning tool to predict cloud tops, icing levels, turbulence and convective weather with greater precision and accuracy.
With the Skew-T diagram, you can predict:
- Where will the cloud tops be along your entire route?
- What will the conditions be above the cloud tops?
- Where will the cloud bases be on both stratus and convective days?
- Will cumulus clouds stay benign or become thunderstorms?
- Where will you find the smoothest ride—and what altitudes should you avoid?
- When will fog be unlikely even though the temperature and dewpoint are equal?
- When do benign looking stratocumulus clouds have potential for copious icing?
- What is the key temperature for assessing the icing risk near a cloud top?
Many pilots have heard of the Skew-T log (p) diagram. Some even know a trick or two for using it. But few have learned to master its full power. For IFR pilots, it’s a real game-changer. The Skew-T diagram is one of the best kept secrets in aviation and one of the most versatile power tools in the pilot’s preflight planning toolbox.
Sure, there are plenty of tools and forecasts to give you a general picture of weather for your flight. But the Skew-T lets you drill down on specific places and altitudes like no other tool to predict cloud bases, cloud tops, cloud layers, turbulence, icing, and thunderstorms with greater precision and accuracy.
For a pilot, learning to read the clues in a Skew-T is akin to being a musician who played by ear before learning to read music.
It starts at the beginning and gives you a real understanding of the Skew-T, step-by-step. You get all the fundamental concepts first, so you won’t be left behind. Then a deeper dive into each part of the tool provides a practical understanding. You’ll see exactly how to use it, and how to apply it to your own flight planning challenges.
The course designer and presenter (Scott Dennstaedt) is a pilot, aircraft owner, and CFI – so he uses plenty of simple analogies to make the material more accessible. You’ll see real-world examples of what the Skew-T shows and exactly what that equates to on actual flights.
This course will help you understand and use the Skew-T in just a few hours. Based on the value you’ll get back, it might be one of the best investments of time you make as a pilot.
Scott Dennstaedt is an FAA-certificated instrument flight instructor and former NWS research meteorologist specializing in aviation weather training. He has written over 100 articles for various aviation magazines to include IFR, Plane & Pilot, Pilot Journal, Flying, Aviation Consumer and Twin & Turbine magazines just to name a few.
Scott has logged over 3,500 hours of flight time all throughout the United States. He’s always had a love for weather and aviation since childhood and is now enjoying his true vocation of teaching.
“I am amazed at the quality of your Skew-T workshop. You are one of the first instructors I’ve encountered with a substantive body of knowledge that is independent of flying skills, per se, but which is vital to piloting, no matter the level. And it is so applicable to any pilot, at any level, in any aircraft!”
This program was first introduced over a decade ago and has been continually improved and updated, as recently as January, 2018. It is delivered online so Scott can monitor changes to the Skew-T tools presented and update the course accordingly.
“I just finished your premium workshop on the Skew-T log (p) diagram last week. Although I have gone through all the primary training that a CFI gets, I understand a great deal more after going through your Skew-T program. It is not just a matter of learning what the lines on the graph represent, but the Skew-Ts give you such a great visual representation of what is happening vertically.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I access the Skew-T program?
A: Your training is available online via a secure, password-protected website. You can watch it on any Windows PC, Mac, iPad, or Android tablet. The program has a simple menu structure so you can easily find the segment you want to watch.
Q. Do you have a download option?
A. No, the program is delivered online so it can be updated as changes are made to the Skew-T diagram screens and functions.
Q. Will my online access to the program ever expire?
A. No. Once you register your login credentials, they never expire. You will always have access to the program.
Q. Can I access the program from more than one computer or device?
A. Yes. With your login info, you can access the site from any device as often as you want.
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