With weather patterns getting more volatile it makes sense air travel will get a bit more interesting. Makes me wonder if they are planning and training for it.Rapidly moving weather systems making forecasting of location and strength of Jet Streams less accurate.
Delayed departure such that the flight/fuel plan are optimised for wind patterns which have since changed.
When flying in an area of forecast CAT, the crew should err on the safe side and keep the passenger seat belt sign illuminated. This may of course disrupt the cabin service and cause distress to passengers so the seat belt sign should not be left on unnecessarily.
If encountering unexpectedly strong headwinds:
Record ground speed and fuel burn and try flying 2,000 ft and 4,000 ft lower. Compare the ground speed and fuel burn at those levels and fly at the level which gives the best specific ground range (the lowest kg/nm figure).
Seek information from aircraft ahead and to the north and south of your planned track to find out what winds they are experiencing and consider adjusting your route to avoid the high winds.
When you are eventually free of the strong headwinds, consider flying long range cruise/fuel economy speed and profile to conserve fuel.
Start contingency planning for an intermediate fuel stop.
Consider the consequences of the longer flight time e.g. destination weather forecast, opening times, crew duty times etc.
Tropical Revolving Storm
Clear Air Turbulence (CAT)
B741, en-route, Pacific Ocean, 1997 - on 28th December 1997, a B747, operated by United Airlines, encountered severe turbulence thought to have been associated with a Jet Stream over the Pacific Ocean. Several passengers and crew members sustained serious injuries and one passenger was killed. For further information, see NTSB Final Report DCA98MA015
Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) Incidents in Air Transport No 5 - Wind Gradients and Turbulence
Meteorological Office; Handbook of Aviation Meteorology, 3rd Edition, HMSO London, 1994.