Descriptors are used to describe certain types of precipitation and obscurations. How to Read an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR). 08:12 PM Mountain  |   The radar summary chart is a valuable tool for preflight planning. A variety of different forecast products are produced and designed to be used in the preflight planning stage. It is valid until the 10th day of the month at 0530 Zulu time. The first is the routine METAR report that is transmitted every hour. 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. Dimension of echo pattern—The dimension of an echo pattern is given when the azimuth and range define only the center line of the pattern. Areas of precipitation and thunderstorms are observed by radar on a routine basis. It is useful to new pilots as a learning aid, and to experienced pilots as a quick reference guide. Numbers within these areas give the height of the turbulence in hundreds of feet MSL. Forecast Visibility—The forecast visibility is given in statute miles and may be in whole numbers or fractions. Thunderstorms and very heavy rain showers are indicated. An example of a remark regarding weather phenomenon that does not fit in any other category would be: OCNL LTGICCG. However, the temperature information is provided only on request. This Chart User's Guide is an introduction to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) aeronautical charts and publications. Each AIRMET bulletin has a fixed alphanumeric designator, numbered sequentially for easy identification, beginning with the first issuance of the day. OTLK…VFR OK PNDLAND NW…AGL SCT030 SCT-BKN100. When the forecast windspeed is calm or less than 5 knots, the data group is coded “9900,” which means light and variable. Page loaded:  The first chart is a four-panel chart that includes 12- and 24-hour forecasts for significant weather and surface weather. 9. Temperature and Dewpoint—The air temperature and dewpoint are always given in degrees Celsius (18/17). 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. For cells, there will be only one azimuth and range set. Radar summary charts are a depiction of current precipitation and should be used in conjunction with current METAR and weather forecasts. 6. 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. It should be requested when a departure has been delayed or when specific weather information is needed to update the previous briefing. This chart is issued only two times a day. METAR KGGG 161753Z AUTO 14021G26 3/4SM +TSRA BR BKN008 OVC012CB 18/17 A2970 RMK PRESFR. 9. 2. 3. The final line of the precautionary statement alerts the user that heights, for the most part, are mean sea level (MSL). A terminal aerodrome forecast is a report established for the 5 statute mile radius around an airport. Copyright © 2006 SkyVector is a free online flight planner. This information may be shown as From (FM), Becoming (BECMG), and Temporary (TEMPO). 2. Figure 13 depicts a typical significant weather prognostic chart as well as the symbols typically used to depict precipitation. Two or more numbers appearing after a grid box reference, such as PM34, indicates precipitation in consecutive grid boxes. 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. Automated stations also use the remarks section to indicate the equipment needs maintenance. 7. A square model indicates the observation is from an automated station. In areas not served by an AFSS, National Weather Service facilities may provide pilot weather briefings. Weather data is always … If the windspeed is forecast to be greater than 100 knots but less than 199 knots, the computer adds 50 to the direction and subtracts 100 from the speed. Figure 12: Intensity levels and contours, and precipitation type symbols. Radar weather reports are issued by radar stations at 35 minutes past the hour, with special reports issued as needed. Type of Observation—A round model indicates an official weather observer made the observation. The elevation at Amarillo, TX (AMA) is 3,605 feet, so the lowest reportable altitude is 6,000 feet for the forecast winds. Since the temperatures above 24,000 feet are negative, the minus sign is omitted. Information about wind barbs which are used on a variety of weather charts. A bracket ( ] ) symbol to the right of the station indicates the observation was made by an automated station. It is designed to be used for flight planning by giving an overall picture of the weather across the United States. SIGMETs (WSs) are in-flight advisories concerning non-convective weather that is potentially hazardous to all aircraft. 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. These reports and forecasts enable pilots to make informed decisions regarding weather and flight safety. The remarks section always begins with the letters “RMK.”, METAR BTR 161753Z 14021G26 3/4SM -RA BR BKN008 OVC012 18/17 A2970 RMK PRESFR, Winds 140° at 21 knots gusting to 26 knots. The weather depiction chart is prepared and transmitted by computer every 3 hours beginning at 0100 Zulu time, and is valid at the time of the plotted data. Figures below the line show the anticipated base, while figures above the line show the top of the zone of turbulence. If the word “AUTO” appears in the report, it means the report is automated from WSR-88D weather radar data. Zigzag lines and the letters “SFC” indicate freezing levels in that area are at the surface. (1 is light and 6 is extreme.). 14-16Z BECMG AGL SCT030. The last six hours of each period is covered by a categorical forecast indicating that VFR, MVFR, IFR, or LIFR conditions are expected. OTLK…VFR. WPC and rendered for 11. Aviation hazard of fog: Fog in aviation is not just a source of frustration for any VFR pilot, but a hazard to be taken seriously. DFWC FA 120945 SYNOPSIS AND VFR CLDS/WX SYNOPSIS VALID UNTIL 130400 CLDS/WX VALID UNTIL 122200…OTLK VALID 122200-130400 OK TX AR LA MS AL AND CSTL WTRS. A SIGMET is issued under an alphabetic identifier, from November through Yankee, excluding Sierra and Tango. A follow-up briefing prior to departure is advisable since an outlook briefing generally only contains information based on weather trends and existing weather in geographical areas at or near the departure airport. Pilot reports are easily decoded and most contractions used in the reports are self-explanatory. Re-issued SIGMETs for the same weather phenomenon are sequentially numbered until the weather phenomenon ends. RVR is the distance a pilot can see down the runway in a moving aircraft. In addition to this, pilots provide vital information regarding upper air weather observations. Wind—Winds are reported with five digits (14021) unless the speed is greater than 99 knots, in which case the wind is reported with six digits. If the departure time is more than 2 hours away, current conditions will not be included in the briefing. 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. 19Z AGL SCT050. In-flight weather advisories, which are provided to en route aircraft, are forecasts that detail potentially hazardous weather. VFR clouds and weather information on this area forecast is valid until 2200 hours on the 12th and the outlook is valid until 0400 hours on the 13th. The current date is the 22nd of the month and it was issued at 1855 Zulu. Visit: to see how we can help you put your aviation exams behind you! To decode this type of data group, the reverse must be accomplished. In south central and southeastern Texas, there is a scattered to broken layer of clouds from 1,000 feet AGL with tops at 3,000 feet, visibility is 3 to 5 statute miles in mist. IFR areas are enclosed by solid lines, MVFR areas are enclosed by scalloped lines, and the remaining, unenclosed area is designated VFR. They provide an overall picture of the United States and should be used in the beginning stages of flight planning. A weather depiction chart details surface conditions as derived from METAR and other surface observations. The phone numbers for the TIBS service are listed in the A/FD. Single Cell (CELL)—A single isolated convective echo such as a rain shower. The current vendors of DUATS service and the associated phone numbers are listed in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). *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 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. Figure 6 shows an area forecast chart with six regions of forecast, states, regional areas, and common geographical features. Clouds above 12,000 feet are not detected or reported by an automated station. The data gathered from surface and upper altitude observations form the basis of all weather forecasts, advisories, and briefings. A warm front located over central Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi at 1000 Zulu is forecast to lift northwestward into northeastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, and extreme northern Mississippi by 0400 Zulu. The network is made up of government run facilities and privately contracted facilities that provide up-to-date weather information. This radar is used primarily to detect aircraft; however, it also detects the location and intensity of precipitation which is used to route aircraft traffic around severe weather in an airport environment. This is a special report that can be given at any time to update the METAR for rapidly changing weather conditions, aircraft mishaps, or other critical information. The WSR-88D NEXRAD radar, commonly called Doppler radar, provides in-depth observations that inform surrounding communities of impending weather. 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. A Convective SIGMET (WST) is an in-flight weather advisory issued for hazardous convective weather that affects the safety of every flight. Aviation weather reports are designed to give accurate depictions of current weather conditions. Two methods of access are available to connect with DUATS. A 6-digit group includes the forecast temperature aloft. TAF reports are usually given for larger airports. The forecasts are made twice a day based on the radiosonde upper air observations taken at 0000Z and 1200Z. AIRMETs (WAs) are examples of in-flight weather advisories that are issued every 6 hours with intermediate updates issued as needed for a particular area forecast region. NAV CANADA is the private non-share capital corporation responsible for providing civil air navigation services, including the aviation weather program I think a lot of people are seeing practice questions like this from the FAA’s sample UAG exam, and they’re trying to figure it out if they really need to be able to interpret a Sectional Chart during the UAG Part 107 Aeronautical Knowledge Test. Temperatures below 0°C are preceded by the letter “M” to indicate minus. Convective SIGMETs are issued for the eastern (E), western (W), and central (C) United States. updated twice a day. 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. Low cloud symbols are placed beneath the station model, while middle and high cloud symbols are placed directly above the station model. Typically, weather charts show the movement of major weather systems and fronts. The following is a typical example of the METAR format: METAR CYYC 071500Z 04010KT 11/2SM -RAFGFU FEW003 OVC007 05/04 A2983 RMK SF2 ST6 VIS 1 SW SLP 115 They are also issued to advise pilots of embedded thunderstorms, lines of thunderstorms, or thunderstorms with heavy or greater precipitation that affect 40 percent or more of a 3,000 square foot or greater region. 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. The synopsis is valid from the time of issuance until 0400 hours on the 13th. On this third update, the AIRMET Tango is issued for turbulence, strong surface winds, and low-level wind shear until 2000 Zulu on the same day. The types of clouds, specifically towering cumulus (TCU) or cumulonimbus (CB) clouds, are reported with their height. SIERRA is the AIRMET code used to denote instrument flight rules (IFR) and mountain obscuration; TANGO is used to denote turbulence, strong surface winds, and low-level wind shear; and ZULU is used to denote icing and freezing levels. These broadcasts are only a summary of the information, and pilots should contact an FSS or EFAS for detailed information. Modifier—Modifiers denote that the METAR came from an automated source or that the report was corrected. Typically, only one type of cloud will be depicted with the station model. The Prog chart gives a forecasted 12 and 24 hour picture of what type of weather to expect over the US. Typical millibar pressure readings range from 950.0 to 1040.0 millibars. It was issued on the 12th day of the month at 0945. There are three types of weather observations: surface, upper air, and radar. working in collaboration with NCEP. Stations located offshore give data from ships, buoys, or offshore platforms. 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. 1. 07:12 PM Pacific  |   Statements made here regarding height are given in MSL, and if given otherwise, AGL or CIG (ceiling) will be noted. Figure 13: Significant weather prognostic chart. They join together places with the same mean sea level air pressure (weight per square area of air above). 9. It does, however, contain several limitations for the usage of the chart. Each report is issued at 55 minutes past the hour, but special reports can be issued during the interim for any reason. VIS 3-5SM BR. 09:12 PM Central  |   In the United States, aeronautical charts are published by the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration. Direction of movement of the pressure center is depicted by an arrow. The heights of the cloud bases are reported with a three-digit number in hundreds of feet above the ground. If the notation “AUTO” is listed in the METAR, the report came from an automated source. Remarks—Comments may or may not appear in this section of the METAR. Location identifier and time of radar observation. The second is the aviation selected special weather report (SPECI). Figure 7: Winds and temperatures aloft forecast. Aviation weather packages should always include SIGWX SIGWX charts provide an accurate visual presentation of what weather hazards an aircrew can expect to encounter while en route. Significant Weather Prognostic Charts are available for low-level significant weather from the surface to FL240 (24,000 feet), also referred to as the 400 millibar level, and high-level significant weather from FL250 to FL600 (25,000 to 60,000 feet). 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. No information—If information is not reported, the chart will say “NA.” If no echoes are detected, the chart will say “NE.”. AIRman’s METeorological information (AIRMET). 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. TLX 1935 LN 8 TRW++ 86/40 199/115 20W C2425 MTS 570 AT 159/65 AUTO ^MO1 NO2 ON3 PM34 QM3 RL2=. 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. There are only two methods by which upper air weather phenomena can be observed: radiosonde observations and pilot weather reports (PIREPs). 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. 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. Radar weather reports provide information on the type, intensity, and location of the echo top of the precipitation. These reports may also include direction and speed of the area of precipitation as well as the height and base of the precipitation in hundreds of feet MSL. Winds and Temperatures Aloft—Winds and temperatures aloft is a report of the winds at specific altitudes for the route of flight. Typically, weather charts show the movement of major weather systems and fronts. along with significant weather forecast charts. Constant pressure charts and … The last line indicates the intensity of the precipitation, for example in grid QM the intensity is 3 or heavy precipitation. 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. RAREPs are especially valuable for preflight planning to help avoid areas of severe weather. Cloud bases and tops, ceilings, and visibility are not detected by radar. 4. Some typical reports are aviation routine weather reports (METAR), pilot weather reports (PIREPs), and radar weather reports (SDs). 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. Figure 1: HIWAS availability is shown on sectional chart. Areas of precipitation that are shaded indicate at least one-half of the area is being affected by the precipitation. For example, when the RVR is reported as R17L/1400FT, it translates to a visual range of 1,400 feet on runway 17 left. An in-flight weather advisory is issued in the form of either an AIRMET, SIGMET, or Convective SIGMET. In this case, “2714” means the wind is forecast to be from 270° at a speed of 14 knots. Similarly, temperatures are not forecast for any station within 2,500 feet of the station elevation. If the wind is variable, it is reported as “VRB.” The last two digits indicate the speed of the wind in knots (KT) unless the wind is greater than 99 knots, in which case it is indicated by three digits. First, the qualifiers of intensity, proximity, and the descriptor of the weather will be given. Make your Flight Plan at Weather charts are graphic charts that depict current or forecast weather. Synopsis—The synopsis is an overview of the larger weather picture. For 1000 mbs or greater, prefix a 10 to the three digits. The last two digits state the windspeed in knots as denoted by the letters “KT.” Like the METAR, winds greater than 99 knots are given in three digits. This information is recorded in the flight plan system, and a note is made regarding the type of weather briefing provided. The first two digits of the six-digit group are the date. 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. It is always preceded by the letter “A.” Rising or falling pressure may also be denoted in the remarks sections as “PRESRR” or “PRESFR” respectively. 7. Figure 3: Reportable contractions for sky condition. CONDS BGNG AFT 0200Z CONTG BYD 0530Z . AFT 20Z SCT TSRA DVLPG..FEW POSS SEV. This AIRMET was issued by Dallas Fort Worth on the 24th day of the month, at 1650 Zulu time. Movement of cells—Individual cell movement is indicated by an arrow pointing in the direction of movement. Thus, the purpose of this course in Aviation Weather is not to produce meteorologists, but rather aviators who understand the basics of weather phenomena and the weather information systems in use. Aviation Weather Support Products TERMINAL FORECASTS (FT) contain information for specific airports. Clouds—Cloud types are represented by specific symbols. Charts are issued four times a day at 0000Z, 0600Z, 1200Z, and 1800Z. Pressure Change/Tendency—Pressure change in tenths of millibars over the past 3 hours. to seven days are also provided. The first issuance of a SIGMET is designated as a UWS, or Urgent Weather SIGMET. Precipitation intensity contours—Intensity can be described as one of six levels and is shown on the chart by three contour intervals. Nrn MS by 04Z a routine basis proximity, and if given otherwise, AGL CIG. 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