A simplification, to be sure, but this is a great national cheat sheet on the dominant spring weather patterns found in North America. The more long trips I do, the more I like the nationwide surface analysis and prog charts.
The list of accidents involving controls not operating correctly from the moment of takeoff is pretty staggering. "...free and correct." Do I check "correct" every flight? Probably not, but I do a good number of maintenance test flights and I take the "free and correct" check pretty seriously.