I have some basic questions concerning long VFR cross country flights. How do you stay on top of real time weather developments during long flights (over 2 hours)? I know how to get pre-flight briefings and that you can get revised briefings during a flight from a FSS. Are there any freq's used where pilots talk to each other about weather during flight?
Also, what is "Flight Watch" and how is it used? Hope these questions aren't too basic. Thank for the help.
There are frequencies you can use to talk to other pilots, but generally they are not used for that. What you are talking about is the best way I can think of. Specifically request PIREPS from the FSS when you call up, as they can give you what I would consider the most pertinent to what you are looking for.
Flight Watch is another outlet to receive weather information. You reach them on 122.0 and identify them by whatever center boundary you are within. For example, in Utah, it would be "Salt Lake Flight Watch", as in Salt lake city center. Calling them will tap you into the nearest FSS and its helpfull to give them a location you are near such as a VOR radial and distance so they can get the right transmitter to talk to you.
The best way to get information is through a flight service station which includes flight watch. Additionally you can listen to HIWAS (broadcasted over selected VORs), TWEB (transcribed weather broadcasts) and of course AWOS, ASOS and ATIS on various frequencies. Don't forget ATC. While they may not have time to give you the forecast for your favorite vacation spot, they can provide you with any data they have including reports from other pilots. Keep in mind that when the weather gets nasty, ATC is required to solicit reports from pilots.