Pilot and student pilot community. Share your pilot lessons or aviation stories.



Aviation Weather Services

Weather Charts – Surface Analysis Chart

Aviation Weather Services

The surface analysis chart depicts an analysis of the current surface weather. [Figure 12-14] This chart is a computer prepared report that is transmitted every 3 hours and covers the contiguous 48 states and adjacent areas. A surface analysis chart shows the areas of high and low pressure, fronts, temperatures, dew points, wind directions and […]

Read the full article →

Winds and Temperature Aloft Forecast (FD)

Aviation Weather Services

Winds and temperatures aloft forecasts (FD) provide wind and temperature forecasts for specific locations in the contiguous United States, including network locations in Hawaii and Alaska. The forecasts are made twice a day based on the radiosonde upper air observations taken at 0000Z and 1200Z. Through 12,000 feet are true altitudes and above 18,000 feet […]

Read the full article →

Inflight Weather Advisories – SIGMET

Aviation Weather Services

SIGMETs (WSs) are inflight advisories concerning non-convective weather that is potentially hazardous to all aircraft. They report weather forecasts that include severe icing not associated with thunderstorms, severe or extreme turbulence or clear air turbulence (CAT) not associated with thunderstorms, dust storms or sandstorms that lower surface or inflight visibilities to below three miles, and […]

Read the full article →

Area Forecasts (FA)

Aviation Weather Services

The FA gives a picture of clouds, general weather conditions, and visual meteorological conditions (VMC) expected over a large area encompassing several states. There are six areas for which area forecasts are published in the contiguous 48 states. Area forecasts are issued three times a day and are valid for 18 hours. This type of […]

Read the full article →

Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF)

Aviation Weather Services

A TAF is a report established for the five statute mile radius around an airport. TAF reports are usually given for larger airports. Each TAF is valid for a 30-hour time period, and is updated four times a day at 0000Z, 0600Z, 1200Z, and 1800Z. The TAF utilizes the same descriptors and abbreviations as used […]

Read the full article →

Radar Weather Reports (RAREP)

Aviation Weather Services

Areas of precipitation and thunderstorms are observed by radar on a routine basis. Radar weather reports (RAREPs) or storm detections (SDs) are issued by radar stations at 35 minutes past the hour, with special reports issued as needed. RAREPs provide information on the type, intensity, and location of the echo top of the precipitation. [Figure […]

Read the full article →

Pilot Weather Reports (PIREP)

Aviation Weather Services

PIREPs provide valuable information regarding the conditions as they actually exist in the air, which cannot be gathered from any other source. Pilots can confirm the height of bases and tops of clouds, locations of wind shear and turbulence, and the location of inflight icing. If the ceiling is below 5,000 feet, or visibility is […]

Read the full article →

Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR)

Aviation Weather Services

A METAR is an observation of current surface weather reported in a standard international format. While the METAR code has been adopted worldwide, each country is allowed to make modifications to the code. Normally, these differences are minor but necessary to accommodate local procedures or particular units of measure. This discussion of METAR will cover […]

Read the full article →

Weather Briefings

Aviation Weather Services

Prior to every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. This includes an appropriate weather briefing obtained from a specialist at a FSS, AFSS, or NWS. For weather specialists to provide an appropriate weather briefing, they need to know which of the three types of briefings is needed—standard, abbreviated, […]

Read the full article →