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Satellite Weather

in Aviation Weather Services

Advancement in satellite technologies has recently allowed for commercial use to include weather uplinks. Through the use of satellite subscription services, individuals are now able to receive satellite transmitted signals that provide near real-time weather information for the North American continent.

Satellite Weather

Recently private enterprise and satellite technology have expanded the realm of weather services. Pilots now have the capability of receiving continuously updated weather across the entire country at any altitude. No longer are pilots restricted by radio range or geographic isolations such as mountains or valleys.

In addition, pilots no longer have to request specific information from weather briefing personnel directly. When the weather becomes questionable, radio congestion often increases, delaying the timely exchange of valuable inflight weather updates for a pilot’s specific route of flight. Flight Service Station (FSS) personnel can communicate with only one pilot at a time, which leaves other pilots waiting and flying in uncertain weather conditions. Satellite weather provides the pilot with a powerful resource for enhanced situational awareness at any time. Due to continuous satellite broadcasts, pilots can obtain a weather briefing by looking at a display screen. Pilots have a choice between FAA-certified devices or portable receivers as a source of weather data.

Satellite Weather Products

Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET)

SIGMETs are weather advisories issued concerning weather significant to the safety of all aircraft. SIGMET advisories can cover an area of at least 3,000 square miles and provide data regarding severe and extreme turbulence, severe icing, and widespread dust or sandstorms that reduce visibility to less than three miles. [Figure 12-4]

Figure 12-4. Satellite SIGMET.

Figure 12-4. Satellite SIGMET.

Airmen’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET)

AIRMETs are weather advisories issued only to amend the area forecast concerning weather phenomena which are of operational interest to all aircraft and potentially hazardous to aircraft having limited capability because of lack of equipment, instrumentation, or pilot qualifications. AIRMETs concern weather of less severity than that covered by SIGMETs or convective SIGMETs. AIRMETs cover moderate icing, moderate turbulence, sustained winds of 30 knots or more at the surface, widespread areas of ceilings less than 1,000 feet and/or visibility less than three miles, and extensive mountain obscurement. [Figure 12-5]

Figure 12-5. Satellite AIRMET.

Figure 12-5. Satellite AIRMET.

515G+mn0RuL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about aviation weather with Weather Flying by Robert Buck. Regarded as the bible of weather flying, this aviation classic not only continues to make complex weather concepts understandable for even the least experienced of flyers, but has now been updated to cover new advances in technology.



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