A very important part of preflight planning is obtaining weather information. It really pays off to start observing the weather a number of days ahead of the flight to see what the weather systems are doing, thus getting the big picture. Make sure you also get the forecasts for the day of your flight and keep checking daily, noting any change in the weather as the date of your proposed flight comes closer.
This gives you an idea of the accuracy of the reports and the speed of any weather change. Also compare forecasts from different sources to get the real picture. For example: an upper level chart with jet streams is a good indicator of the direction where the pressure systems are moving.
Looking at the weather this way makes it easy to assess if forecasts are reasonably correct and if the sources they use are reliable for use as a flight planning tool.
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