The information contained in this section may include wind data, variable visibility, beginning and ending times of particular phenomenon, pressure information, and various other information deemed necessary. 08:12 PM Mountain  |   The temperature is given in degrees Celsius. Areas of IFR conditions (ceilings less than 1,000 feet and visibility less than 3 miles) are shown by a hatched area outlined by a smooth line. No information—If information is not reported, the chart will say “NA.” If no echoes are detected, the chart will say “NE.”. IFR areas are enclosed by solid lines, MVFR areas are enclosed by scalloped lines, and the remaining, unenclosed area is designated VFR. Each report is issued at 55 minutes past the hour, but special reports can be issued during the interim for any reason. KPIR 111130Z 111212 15012KT P6SM BKN090 TEMPO 1214 5SM BR FM1500 16015G25KT P6SM SCT040 BKN250 FM0000 14012KT P6SM BKN080 OVC150 PROB40 0004 3SM TSRA BKN030CB FM0400 1408KT P6SM SCT040 OVC080 TEMPO 0408 3SM TSRA OVC030CB BECMG 0810 32007KT=. 3. How to Read Aviation Weather Charts! NAV CANADA is the private non-share capital corporation responsible for providing civil air navigation services, including the aviation weather program Present Weather—Over 100 different weather symbols are used to describe the current weather. The area forecast shows information given by Dallas Fort Worth, for the region of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, as well as a portion of the gulf coastal waters. The information contained in an AIRMET is of operational interest to all aircraft, but the weather section concerns phenomena considered potentially hazardous to light aircraft and aircraft with limited operational capabilities. The 3 day forecast is actually a 3 1/2 day forecast. If the windspeed is forecast to be 200 knots or greater, the wind group is coded as 99 knots. Current Conditions—This portion of the briefing contains the current ceilings, visibility, winds, and temperatures. *urxqg 6fkrro &uhdwhg e\ 6whyh 5hlvvhu.qrz 86 7lph =rqhv frqwlqhqwdo 367 067 &67 (67 )/ 72 7\shv ri 7lph &lyloldq /rfdo $0 dqg 30 It does, however, contain several limitations for the usage of the chart. Freezing level height contours for the highest freezing level are drawn at 4,000-foot intervals with dashed lines. Weather Flying by Robert N Buck and Robert O Buck. It should be noted that when information is given in the area forecast, locations may be given by states, regions, or specific geological features such as mountain ranges. 9. An example of a 36- and 48-hour surface prognostic chart is shown in figure 14. A pilot can usually contact an EFAS specialist from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. anywhere in the conterminous U.S. and Puerto Rico. A standard briefing provides the following information in sequential order if it is applicable to the route of flight. TOPS FL200. 2. If no hazardous weather exists, the Convective SIGMET will still be issued; however, it will state “CONVECTIVE SIGMET…. The maximum top of the precipitation, as determined by radar and satellite, is 57,000 feet and it is located on the 159° radial, 65 NM out. Synopsis—The synopsis gives a brief summary identifying the location and movement of pressure systems, fronts, and circulation patterns. This discussion of METAR will cover elements used in the United States. Unique symbols indicate the type of precipitation and the manner in which it occurs. Forecast Change Group—For any significant weather change forecast to occur during the TAF time period, the expected conditions and time period are included in this group. There are three types of weather observations: surface, upper air, and radar. 5. Aviation Weather Reporting: This page will help the pilot to get an overview of the common sources of aviation weather reporting and how to read them. The first is the routine METAR report that is transmitted every hour. Normally, these differences are minor but necessary to accommodate local procedures or particular units of measure. Winds and temperatures aloft forecasts provide wind and temperature forecasts for specific locations in the contiguous United States, including network locations in Hawaii and Alaska. 2. Maximum tops may be coded with the symbols “MT” or “MTS.” If it is coded with “MTS,” it means that satellite data as well as radar information was used to measure the top of the precipitation. The code TS indicates the possibility of thunderstorms and implies there may be an occurrence of severe or greater turbulence, severe icing, low-level wind shear, and IFR conditions. For example, when the data appears as “7799,” subtract 50 from 77 and add 100 to 99, and the wind is 270° at 199 knots or greater. Alaska identifiers always begin with the letters “PA” and Hawaii identifiers always begin with the letters “PH.” A list of station identifiers can be found at an FSS or NWS office. 10:12 PM Eastern, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, N A T I O N A L   W E A T H E R   S E R V I C E, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, every 3 hours about 90 minutes after valid time, ~0200 (valid 12Z), 0400 (18Z), 1300 (00Z), and 1430 (06Z), ~0430 (valid 00Z), 0700 (06Z), 1330 (12Z), and 1930 (18Z), ~1400 (valid 12Z). The Direct User Access Terminal Service, which is funded by the FAA, allows any pilot with a current medical certificate to access weather information and file a flight plan via computer. 4. The phone numbers for the TIBS service are listed in the A/FD. Using radio telemetry, radiosonde observations are made by sounding balloons from which weather data is received twice daily. Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS). As of 1000 Zulu, there is a low pressure trough over the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle area, which is forecast to move eastward into central southwestern Oklahoma by 0400 Zulu. Figure 4 shows the elements of a PIREP form. A square model indicates the observation is from an automated station. This type of briefing should be obtained prior to the departure of any flight and should be used during flight planning. A 4-digit data group shows the wind direction in reference to true north, and the windspeed in knots. Aviators use METAR reports to gain essential knowledge about flying conditions. Areas of moderate or greater turbulence are enclosed in dashed lines. The last section is primarily used to prepare radar summary charts, but can be used during preflight to determine the maximum precipitation intensity within a specific grid box. Azimuth, referenced to true north, and range, in nautical miles, from the radar site, of points defining the echo pattern. Surface weather observations for reporting points across the United States are also depicted on this chart. They are issued 3 times a day, amended as needed, and are valid for a 24-hour period. Direction of movement of the pressure center is depicted by an arrow. RAREPs are especially valuable for preflight planning to help avoid areas of severe weather. A 6-digit group includes the forecast temperature aloft. In addition, medium range forecasts every day from three It defines an area from Oklahoma City to Dallas, Texas, to San Antonio, to Midland, Texas, to Childress, Texas, to Oklahoma City that will experience occasional moderate turbulence below 6,000 feet due to strong and gusty low-level winds. The current vendors of DUATS service and the associated phone numbers are listed in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Valid Period Date and Time—The valid forecast time period is given by a six-digit number group. Here are the precipitation types: NDFD Rain (Chance) - There is chance of measurable rain (≥0.01") at the valid time. Forecast Sky Condition—Forecast sky conditions are given in the same manner as the METAR. to seven days are also provided. GLOSSARY OF WEATHER TERMS A. absolute instability—A state of a layer within the atmosphere in which the vertical distribution of temperature is such that an air parcel, if given an upward or downward push, will move away from its initial level without further outside force being applied.. absolute temperature scale—See Kelvin Temperature Scale. The best part is it’s easy to read. The WSR-88D NEXRAD radar, commonly called Doppler radar, provides in-depth observations that inform surrounding communities of impending weather. Radar weather reports are issued by radar stations at 35 minutes past the hour, with special reports issued as needed. Typically, weather charts show the movement of major weather systems and fronts. Figure 6 shows an area forecast chart with six regions of forecast, states, regional areas, and common geographical features. The weather depiction chart also provides a graphic display of IFR, VFR, and MVFR (marginal VFR) weather. Precipitation—A record of the precipitation that has fallen over the last 6 hours to the nearest hundredth of an inch. It is the pilot’s decision whether or not to continue the flight under VFR, but this advisory should be weighed carefully. 3. The National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) contains a mosaic of SIGMETs are unscheduled forecasts that are valid for 4 hours, but if the SIGMET relates to hurricanes, it is valid for 6 hours. Figure 14: 36- and 48-hour surface prognostic chart. If the notation “AUTO” is listed in the METAR, the report came from an automated source. A service specifically designed to provide timely enroute weather information upon pilot request is known as the enroute flight advisory service (EFAS), or Flight Watch. This report is valid for 2 hours until 2055 Zulu time. When RVR is reported, it is shown with an R, then the runway number followed by a slant, then the visual range in feet. The notation “VC” indicates a specific weather phenomenon is in the vicinity of 5 to 10 miles from the airport. 9. Areas of precipitation expected at the valid time of the forecast are Precipitation intensity contours—Intensity can be described as one of six levels and is shown on the chart by three contour intervals. Radar weather reports provide information on the type, intensity, and location of the echo top of the precipitation. In any form, the surface observation provides valuable information about airports around the country. When unexpected weather conditions are encountered, pilots are encouraged to make a report to an FSS or ATC. A weather brief should be part of any preparation for flight. It is valid until the 10th day of the month at 0530 Zulu time. Time is always given in UTC as denoted by the Z following the number group. The chart is published hourly at 35 minutes past the hour. This is the most comprehensive book on aviation weather ever written. The network is made up of government run facilities and privately contracted facilities that provide up-to-date weather information. A transcribed weather broadcast is a weather report transmitted continuously over selected navaids. Height of tops—The heights of the echo tops are given in hundreds of feet MSL. 14-16Z BECMG AGL SCT030. Those that are not MSL will be above ground level (AGL) or ceiling (CIG). Typically, weather charts show the movement of major weather systems and fronts. Cloud bases and tops, ceilings, and visibility are not detected by radar. The speed, in knots, is shown next to the arrow. The common EFAS frequency, 122.0 MHz, is established for pilots of aircraft flying between 5,000 feet AGL and 17,500 feet MSL. Some typical reports are aviation routine weather reports (METAR), pilot weather reports (PIREPs), and radar weather reports (SDs). Figure 12: Intensity levels and contours, and precipitation type symbols. ... Ep. WRMFNT 10Z CNTRL OK-SRN AR-NRN MS FCST LIFT NWD INTO NERN OK-NRN AR EXTRM NRN MS BY 04Z. A preflight weather briefing from an automated FSS (AFSS) can be obtained 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-WX BRIEF almost anywhere in the U.S. Area forecasts are issued three times a day and are valid for 18 hours. While the METAR code has been adopted worldwide, each country is allowed to make modifications to the code. the web site. Line (LN)—A line of precipitation echoes at least 30 miles long, at least four times as long as it is wide, and at least 25 percent coverage within the line. At times, RVR, or runway visual range is reported following the prevailing visibility. If you’re looking at the 4 panel view, the Surface Prog chart shows fronts, pressure areas, and areas of expected precipitation. Station Identifier—Each station is identified by a four-letter code as established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). SkyVector is a free online flight planner. There are six areas for which area forecasts are published in the contiguous 48 states. Other helpful information is whether the flight is visual flight rule (VFR) or instrument flight rule (IFR), aircraft identification and type, departure point, estimated time of departure (ETD), flight altitude, route of flight, destination, and estimated time en route (ETE). Only cumulonimbus (CB) clouds are forecast in this portion of the TAF report as opposed to CBs and towering cumulus in the METAR. The High-Level Significant Weather Prog, encompasses airspace from 25,000 feet to 60,000 feet pressure altitude over the conterminous U.S., Mexico, Central America, portions of South America, the western Atlantic, and eastern Pacific. After the letter “G,” the peak gust recorded is provided. Weather simulator makes sure you can read any condition. DFWTWA 241650 AIRMET TANGO UPDT 3 FOR TURBC… STG SFC WINDS AND LLWS VALID UNTIL 242000 AIRMET TURBC… OK TX…UPDT FROM OKC TO DFW TO SAT TO MAF TO CDS TO OKC OCNL MDT TURBC BLO 60 DUE TO STG AND GUSTY LOW LVL WINDS. The terminal forecast includes the following information in sequential order: 1. CB TOPS FL450. 3. The final line of the precautionary statement alerts the user that heights, for the most part, are mean sea level (MSL). This type of briefing is a good source of flight planning information that can influence decisions regarding route of flight, altitude, and ultimately the go, no-go decision. Modifier—Modifiers denote that the METAR came from an automated source or that the report was corrected. PIREPs are easy to file and a standard reporting form outlines the manner in which they should be filed. Figure 1: HIWAS availability is shown on sectional chart. The information gathered for the surface observation may be from a person, an automated station, or an automated station that is updated or enhanced by a weather observer. For example, when the RVR is reported as R17L/1400FT, it translates to a visual range of 1,400 feet on runway 17 left. The aviation area forecast (FA) gives a picture of clouds, general weather conditions, and visual meteorological conditions (VMC) expected over a large area encompassing several states. The forecasts are made twice a day based on the radiosonde upper air observations taken at 0000Z and 1200Z. Destination Forecast—The destination forecast is a summary of the expected weather for the destination airport at the estimated time of arrival (ETA). A TWEB forecast is valid for 12 hours and is updated four times a day. When a pilot weather report is filed, the ATC facility or FSS will add it to the distribution system to brief other pilots and provide in-flight advisories. Weather watches—Severe weather watch areas for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are depicted by boxes outlined with heavy dashed lines. The heights of the cloud bases are reported with a three-digit number in hundreds of feet above the ground. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to read a VFR Sectional Chart. ATC Delays—This is an advisory of any known air traffic control (ATC) delays that may affect the flight. Prior to every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. Each forecast is valid for 2 hours. These broadcasts are only a summary of the information, and pilots should contact an FSS or EFAS for detailed information. In this case, “2321-04” indicates the wind is forecast to be from 230° at a speed of 21 knots with a temperature of –4°C. Pressure Change/Tendency—Pressure change in tenths of millibars over the past 3 hours. This translates as occasional lightning in the clouds, and from cloud to ground. While weather forecasts are not 100 percent accurate, meteorologists, through careful scientific study and computer modeling, have the ability to predict the weather patterns, trends, and characteristics with increasing accuracy. TAF reports are usually given for larger airports. 3. CONDS CONTG BYD 2000Z. “Temporary” is used for temporary fluctuations of weather, expected to last for less than an hour. Type of Observation—A round model indicates an official weather observer made the observation. The FAA is the source for all data and information utilized in the publishing of aeronautical charts through authorized publishers for each stage of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) air navigation including training, planning, and departures, enroute (for lo… Areas of precipitation that are shaded indicate at least one-half of the area is being affected by the precipitation. In northwestern Oklahoma and panhandle, the clouds are scattered at 3,000 feet with another scattered to broken layer at 10,000 feet AGL, with the tops at 20,000 feet. After 1900 Zulu, the cloud bases are expected to continue to increase to 5,000 feet AGL and the outlook is VFR. When this is the case, the weather specialist needs to know the time and source of the previous briefing so the necessary weather information will not be omitted inadvertently. Figure 9: Sample station model and weather chart symbols. This Chart User's Guide is an introduction to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) aeronautical charts and publications. However, radar only detects objects in the atmosphere that are large enough to be considered precipitation. Probability Forecast—The probability forecast is given percentage that describes the probability of thunderstorms and precipitation occurring in the coming hours. Next, the dimension of this echo is given as 20 nautical miles wide (10 nautical miles on either side of the line defined by the azimuth and range). In aviation, weather service is a combined effort of the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other aviation groups and individuals. The broadcasts include advisories such as AIRMETS, SIGMETS, convective SIGMETS, and urgent PIREPs. Each AIRMET bulletin has a fixed alphanumeric designator, numbered sequentially for easy identification, beginning with the first issuance of the day. A free ground school seminar presented by Jonathan Walter of Walter Aviation Inc., covering basic aviation weather. This forecast is not used for the first 6 hours of the 24-hour forecast. The second is the aviation selected special weather report (SPECI). NONE.”, MKCC WST 221855 CONVECTIVE SIGMET 21C VALID UNTIL 2055 KS OK TX VCNTY GLD-CDS LINE NO SGFNT TSTMS RPRTD LINE TSTMS DVLPG BY 1955Z WILL MOV EWD 30-35 KT THRU 2055Z HAIL TO 2 IN PSBL. Pilots remain the only real-time source of information regarding turbulence, icing, and cloud heights, which is gathered from pilots in flight, through the filing of pilot weather reports or PIREPs. Temperature and Dewpoint—The air temperature and dewpoint are always given in degrees Celsius (18/17). 7. Between 1400 Zulu and 1600 Zulu, the cloud bases are expected to increase to 3,000 feet AGL. Descriptors are used to describe certain types of precipitation and obscurations. It is Convective SIGMET number 21C, indicating that it is the 21st consecutive report issued for the central United States. Forecast Wind—The wind direction and speed forecast are given in a five-digit number group. You might see rain clouds forming. METAR is an acronym that stands for Meteorological Terminal Air Report, and it’s a highly practical way to transmit weather data that’s primarily used by pilots. A standard briefing is the most complete report and provides the overall weather picture. The first three indicate the direction of the wind in reference to true north. In this case, “2714” means the wind is forecast to be from 270° at a speed of 14 knots. Weather observers use three types of radar to provide information about precipitation, wind, and weather systems. Terminal radar ensures pilots are aware of wind shear, gust fronts, and heavy precipitation, all of which are dangerous to arriving and departing aircraft. It is useful to new pilots as a learning aid, and to experienced pilots as a quick reference guide. Each of these reporting points is illustrated by a station model. 11. After 2000 Zulu, the forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms with rain developing and a few becoming severe; the cumulonimbus clouds will have tops at flight level 450 or 45,000 feet MSL. The radar summary chart is a valuable tool for preflight planning. 4. Many U.S. and international airlines have equipped their aircraft with instrumentation that automatically transmits in-flight weather observations through the DataLink system to the airline dispatcher who disseminates the data to appropriate weather forecasting authorities. Several different government agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Weather Service (NWS) work in conjunction with private aviation companies to provide different means of accessing weather information. It also lists “AO1” or “AO2” in the remarks section to indicate the type of precipitation sensors employed at the automated station. 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