Occasionally I run across a pilot who doesn't care to understand the upper-air meteorology that affects high altitude aviation (airline ops). Not pilots who just don't understand it, but don't care to understand it, the "eh, I don't need to know that stuff" attitude.
So, I ask: Should a lion tamer know something about lions? Who would say no?
I'm not talking about the pressure/temperature gradient phase shift calculus that are the dreams of meteorologists, but much more basic levels of understanding.
When it's turbulent do you know why? If you do, then you might know if there's something you can do about it (climb, descent, alter course).
If is seems to have smoothed out, can you look at your wind readout and temperature display and tell if you've passed that trough line or upper front, or is there still potential trouble ahead?
How will the height of the tropopause affect your quest for smooth air? When the trop height changes 10,000 feet, how will that affect the temperature at altitude and therefore your performance?
Can you recognize wave action when you see it? If you were caught in a wave's descending airflow, do you know where the rising air would be? Wouldn't it be nice to know that when you're running out of airspeed and the ability to maintain level flight? Of course it would!
So pilots, open your eyes! When it's bumpy, figure out why. Watch the wind and temperature change as you cross features on the weather charts in your daily operation. Notice which features tend to produce the turbulence, remember what works and what doesn't. Learn which features are highly altitude dependent (e.g., the tropopause) and which are not (e.g., a trough line). Learn to tell a purring lion from a growling one.