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Inside Weather Charts and Notices
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Fax Weather; Computerized weather;...WEB Weather; ...Radio Weather; ...Getting the Weather; ...Cold Fronts; ...Standard Briefing; ...Weather Charts; ...Prognostic Charts; ...Radar Summary (SD); ...In-Flight Advisories; PIREP; ...NOTAMS; ...NOTAM Basics; ....PLANNING WITH DUATS; ...Using the Area forecast (FA); ...
Accuweather 800 438-9847
American Flight Service Systems 800 432-3265
Weatherfax 800 359-4242
ZFX 800 876-1232
You only pay for what you use
DUATS (Direct User Access System)
Contel (800) 767-9989
DTC (800) 245-3828
FSS (800) WX-BRIEF
Clearer than Government issue
Composite chart of radar + weather systems
Two-panel chart option
WeatherMation PC Modem Briefing Numbers (Fresno) (209) 498-1027
Discount to AOPA members register at www.aopa.org You can get a 4-day graphic weather as well as forecast charts from 12 hours to 4 days. Costs $4 per month. www.weatherconcepts.com is the provider.
122.1 and listen on VOR is a way when close to VOR. Uses land line.
122.0 Flight Watch can be contacted almost nation wide if plane is 5000' AGL
135.7 Flight Watch for high altitudes and as alternate to 122.0
122.2 Nearly universal FSS frequency if you can't use a discrete one.
TWEB Transcribed weather en route broadcast.
Over NAVAID frequencies with weather changes as they occur,
advisories, winds, and local NOTAMS
HIWAS High Altitude weather advisory service
Transcribed in flight advisories using AWW, WST, WS, WA, CWA, and FSS
You can learn the weather by watching the sky. As clouds occur, correlate their types, altitudes and seasons with flight conditions. Clouds may be classified by shape but its trend of change is more significant. Changes in color, from pearl-like to lead-like give a feel for the presence of trouble or lack of it. Clouds can grow vertically, flatten, fall apart, change color, become transparent, and display luminosity. Clouds precede weather frontal systems. Where one weather front meets with another we have a zone of discontinuity between air masses giving a change in weather. Clouds are the advance salesmen of weather fronts.
The difference between the world systems occurred because the U.S. had limited coding ability via Teletype. The rest of the world could transmit faster and developed a different code.
There are seventeen terminal forecast sites from Bakersfield to the northern California border to make SFO forecast. 14 more are south of Bakersfield for LAX forecast. Nevada has 6 for Reno forecast. California has three upper air wind and temperature forecast sites, 5 more give wind and temperatures. Sacramento is the only northern weather radar site. Southern California has 6 such sites. California has eleven in flight weather advisory (Flight Watch) sites remoted to OAK and LAX.
The New FSS115 Weather Forecast Offices in the U.S.
Data automation, Doppler radar, satellite pictures
Where a cold front comes from will help determine its moisture content.
In a weather briefing that includes a cold front, be sure to ask as to the nature and type of this cold front. Ask about its speed, intensity change, gust front, thunderstorms, cloud tops, icing, and convection.
Consider giving flight plan first. This allows FSS specialist to fit briefing to plan.
1. Pilot statement:
2. Identification and type
3. IFR or VFR
4. Departure point and time
5. Destination and route
6. Altitude and time enroute
Synopsis - where weather is (watch TV) This tells you where the fronts and pressure systems are and where they are 'expected' to move. This is the core information all the rest is details, details, and more details.
Hazardous weather - Try not to interrupt but this might be
where you cancel flight. Ask for additional information or alternative
Current weather - Ask questions of Flight Watch (122.0)
when real time and forecast weather differ. Get frequent weather updates if conditions begin to change. Monitor 122.0 to keep up to date with what others are encountering.
Forecasts from route terminals - This tells you how the weather is 'supposed' to progress. By getting an update before departure you will get an idea as to how accurate the forecast is. Time is the greatest variable in accuracy.
Area forecast - Winds aloft - When weather does not occur
as forecast it can be detected in changes in the winds aloft tables.
Weather moves with the wind.
--NOTAMS (DUAT best source for unpublished notams. but giving L"s is not in their contract)
--You must ask briefer for published notams.
--Local user requirements
--'D" Distant beyond FSS area
--'FDC' Regulatory system-wide
Ask briefer for Class II notams and consult the Airport/Facilities directory.
300 route forecasts
Routes are numbered
Weather to 25 miles each side of route
All AIRMETS, SIGMETS and convective SIGMET from Kansas City
WinDs and temperatures Aloft Forecast (FD)
--Winds and temperatures aloft from 176 locations in continental U.S. and are generated from Washington, D. C.
--Header states day and time for data base. Valid time is a twelve hour prognosis that is valid for only nine hours.
--Winds in 10 degrees segments from true north
--Winds aloft information is usually inaccurate but rarely off by more than 30-degrees or 10-knots.
Temperatures in Celsius
Very close approximation to Celsius temperature in Fahrenheit can be Obtained by doubling the Celsius deg; and then subtracting 10%. Works!
--Require interpolation for intermediate altitudes.
--Radar system in west is FAA, in East combined FAA and NWS
--Clues to upper-level wind shear and z-level.
Metar supplemental information given as
WS13 means wind shear and two digit runway number or ALL for
RE is a recent weather of significance indicator
RMK is an indicator of remarks to follow, U.S. only.
METAR supplemental information given if:
Turbulence if 4 to 8-kt change per 1000' between levels
Turbulence if 40 kt wind speed change in 150 miles
The AC is the weather outlook chart has two presentations that give the possibilities of severe surface winds, hail, thunderstorms over a selected area.
The composite moisture stability chart has four charts they
-- The 'lifted index' written as a fraction. The numerator less than zero down to -4 means thunderstorms are possible. 10 or higher is good weather.
--Freezing levels chart
--Perceptible moisture chart
----Average relative humidity chart tells less than 60% is good weather, 805 overcast, above 80% rain.
----Area forecast and significant weather prognosis chart will give textual information about reasons for instability as it exists.
----Winds and temperatures aloft (FD) gives you profile of temperature lapse rate. When temperatures aloft are colder than standard with moisture and lifting below you have a weather problem.
Rule of thumb:
To find standard temperature Celsius for a given altitude you should double the altitude, subtract 15 and place a - sign in front.
Radar and satellite tell what is happening now. Charts depict either old or what may happen.
--Surface Analysis Chart
Maps position of fronts, highs, lows, and isobar lines of equal pressure indicative of wind direction and strength.
--Weather Depiction Chart
Shows similar to Surface Analysis chart but shads in areas of visual, instrument, and MVFR weather.
Shows areas of precipitation
--Upper Air constant Pressure Analysis Chart
5,000, 18,000 and 30,000 feet.
If these show U-shaped bend indicates cold front. Best advice is never to fly to the East side of such a trough. Over 40 knot winds above 10,00' mean possible mountain waves if winds are perpendicular to mountain ridges. 500 mb charts are at 18,000' these winds steer storm movements. 500 mb flows across the country foretell good weather.
--Composite moisture Stability Chart
Outlines stable/unstable area and moisture content
--Severe Weather Outlook Chart
Plots area of thunderstorms. Hatched areas is possible T+'s. Convective areas outlined.
--Low-Level significant Weather Prognosis Charts
Specific multi-panel shadings of forecast for 12, 24, 36, and 48 hours. Expected positions of fronts, weather systems, precipitation and VFR, MVFR, and IFR conditions.
--Severe Weather Watch
Posted for specific times, routes, and areas of T-storms.
Shows where T-storms are possible, mentions stability, and wereprecipitation is falling.
--Convective SIGMETS (WSTs)
Describes area of actual storm activity
--Center Weather Advisories (CWAs)
From Air Route Traffic control Centers (ARTCCs) to advise of weather avoidance routes.
--Surface Observation (SAs)
--Pilot Reports (PIREPS) (UA)
--Terminal Forecast (FT)
--Area Forecast (FA)
Pictorial of expected weather good for planning
--Prognostic below 24,000 feet
--4 times daily of two sections
--4 panel, 2 -12 hour and 2 24 hour
--Legend to determine IFR, marginal VFR, turbulence and tops of turbulence
--Second section gives 36 and 48 hour forecasts. The further off the more inaccurate.
Weather Depiction Chart
From 01Z every 3 hours
Weather vision obstructions and visibility
--IFR Ceiling below 1000, visibility below 3 miles
--MVFR Ceiling 1 to 3000, visibility 3 to 5 miles
--VFR Ceiling over 3000, visibility over 5 miles
Does not give route weather
The SD is a good indicator of past forecast accuracy. If the SD shows precipitation not forecast for that time period it indicates inaccuracy as would the absence of precipitation. The chart is a pre-planning aid that must be updated before flight.
The SD is a Polaroid of a moment at 35 after the hour that will not be issued for another twenty minutes and become available only after the hour. This means that any SD you see could be as much as an hour and a half old. This is significant to the pilot only as a predictor of accuracy since thunderstorms seldom last over thirty minutes.
Radar information is a composite of many different radars that helps fill in the picture of weather over the past few hours. East of the Rockies and the Pacific Coast is given better coverage than the mountain regions. Radar is a detector of water in the atmosphere. The processing of a chart takes about an hour and the data may be two hours old. The best way to get current radar is to visit an FSS having a weather radar scope. Radar is poor as detecting clouds unless the moisture level is quite high as in thunderstorms. The SD is commonly used to detect thunderstorms as they were, a trend indicator of development, but not as they are in real time.
The SD chart tells you where the storms were, where they came from, and where they seem to be heading. The echoes are given as areas of returns, lines of precipitation, and as cells. Areas between radar sites may show returns even though there is no actual coverage. A dashed line box indicates either a WS (storm watch) or WT (tornado watch) The number after WS/WT tells how many this year. NE = no echoes with radar working, OM = out for maintenance there may be echoes, NA = radar out of service there may be echoes. A + or - after a radar indication is not related to intensity it indicates the returns are getting stronger or weaker.
Shaded areas show rain showers the number of contour lines inside the shaded areas indicate the intensity. Each line counts two levels of intensity.. Level I,II has an outline, III,IV has one interior contour and V, VI has two interior lines.
Generally the higher the top the worse the storm. Bases over three thousand imply virga and microbursts. When virga evaporates, it cools and this cooling increases down drafts. At extra cost radar information is available through DUAT.
Radar (SD) Information
--Areas and movements of precipitation and thunderstorms
--Type, intensity, trend, configuration, coverage, tops, bases and movement.
--No clouds or fog
--Gives Density/velocity of weather out to 125 miles
--Gives vertical information and can distinguish between types and movement of weather systems.
Jan 1835 AREA 5TRW-/+ 140/92 221/102 340/42 010/62 080/80
C2327 MT 380 AT 150/43
35 minutes after the hour, area 5/10s covered with light thunderstorms expected to increase in intensity. Azimuth/distance of cell activity. Cells moving from 230 at 27-kts. Maximum tops 38,000 azimuth of 150 and distance of 43 miles.
All are issued from Kansas City Center Weather Advisory (CWA)
Aviation Weather Advisories
WST, WS and WA come from the Aviation Weather Center AWC convective SIGMETS at 55 minutes past the hour. Issued for thunderstorms and tornadoes. AIRMETS are issued to advise of lower than SIGMENT conditions.
for moderate icing
for moderate turbulence
30+ kt winds
Ceilings below 1000
Visibility below 3 miles
WAUS1 KSLC 232045
SLCZ WA 232045
AIRMET ZULU UPDT 3 FOR ICE AND FRZLVL VALID UNTIL 240300
AIRMET ICE...ID MT NV WA OR CA AND CSTL WTRS
FROM YQL TO BZN TO EKO TO RNO TO 150W UKI TO 120W TOU TO YDC TO YQL OCNL MOD RIME/MXD ICGICIP ABV FRZLVL TO FL200...WITH LCLY SEV CONDS POSS IN AREAS OF FZDZ/FZRA SFC AND ALF OVR WA/NRN OR/NRN ID/WRN MT. FRZLVL SFC-080. CONDS OVR WA/OR/ADJ CSTL WTRS SPRDG E AND S OF RMNDR AREA BY 02-06Z...CONTG THRU 09Z
AIRMET for icing over Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California and coastal waters from Lethbridge, Alberta, to Bozeman, Montana, to Elko, Nevada, to Reno, Nevada, to 150 miles west of Ukiah, California, to 120 miles west of Tatoosh, Washington, to Princeton, British Columbia to Lethbridge, Alberta. Occasional moderate rime and mixed icing in clouds and precipitation above the freezing level to Flight Level 200 (twenty thousand) with locally severe conditions possible in areas of freezing drizzle and freezing rain at the surface and aloft over Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, western Montana. Freezing level from the surface to 8999 feet above sea level. Conditions over Washington, Oregon and adjacent coastal waters spreading east and south over the reminder of the area by 0200 Zulu to 0600 Zulu, continuing through 0900 Zulu.
November through Yankee
Severe icing (not TRW)
Severe turbulence (not TRW)
Visibility below 3 miles
Severe thunderstorms forecast based on latest radar reports
for two-hour period. Reliable. Should ground light aircraft.
Lines of thunderstorms
40% TRW coverage level 4 or better
winds s50+ kts
All PIREP altitudes are MSL.
The PIREP is a powerful real-time weather report. It is important that a PIREP report when things are not bad as well as when they are. The more PIREPS there are the more pilots can make safe decisions to fly.
When in-flight advisories are in effect it is important that PIREPS be given to confirm or negate such advisories. The FAA can take enforcement action against a pilot who reports icing even though that information may be vital to the safety of other pilots.
Pilot reports include:
1. Type of aircraft, position, altitude, and flight conditions
2. Cloud cover- bases and tops
3. Turbulence and icing
5. OAT (air temperature)
PIREP Elements Code Contents............................
Station identity xxx Nearest station to report
Report type UA or UUA Routine or Urgent
Location /OV Relative to a VOR location
Time /TM Coordinated Universal Time
Altitude /FL Essential for turbulence/icing information
Type aircraft /TP Essential for turbulence/icing information
Sky cover /SK Cloud height and coverage
Weather /WX Visibility, precipitation, restrictions
Temperature /TA Degrees Celsius
Wind /WV Direction TRUE, speed in knots
Turbulence /TB AIM 7-21
Icing /IC AIM 7-20
Remarks /RM To clarify
A PIREP is the closest we can now come to real time weather in the cockpit that applies directly to a specific flight. An weather that affect aircraft safety or operations justifies a PIREP. Occasionally two pilots will give differing perspectives of the same weather phenomena. The absence of PIREPS is a major problem
---Started as notices to mariners as weather data
---Telegraphic spelling saved money years ago no one dared change it.
---High proportion of pilots unable to interpret NOTAMS
(Notices to Airmen)
Time critical information to pilots. Every 14 days NOTAMS are published in "Notices to Airmen" (NTAP)($125) and are dropped from FSS Service "A" weather briefings. Published information is not part of a standard weather briefing. Permanent changes will later appear in the Airport/Facility Directory and will never again appear as a NOTAM.
---148,000 notices a year with an average of 1,400 active per day.
--May be a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) or Emergency Air Traffic Rules
--Any one condition that comes under the above NOTAMS makes the rule in effect.
--Private pilots may get 150 day suspension, Commercial pilots lose their certificates.
--The pilot is responsible for knowing about the NOTAM and how it applies to his flight.
---Check prior to departure
---Make in-flight inquiry
---Designed to inform pilots of critical information not published
---Know what to look for and where to find it
---L (local) gives airport nice to know information in FSS area
---Special phone system makes possible easy access to distant FSS to get L-Notams
---Just ask your local FSS for the number.
---D (distant) NavAid facilities and lighting affecting IFR
---FDC (flight data center) changes in charts, procedures, minimums and airspace within 400 nm.
---After two weeks a NOTAM is published in the NTAP (notices to airmen publication)
---informational web site at https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/distribution/atcscc.html (read disclaimer)
---TFR presidential military, events strategic
---Blanket TFR (temporary flight restrictions) all refineries, all arenas, etc.
---TFRs soon to go graphic based on charts.
---TFRs will be filtered and orderd by time, date, sequence, relevance, region, altitude, VFR and IFR
---Violation of TFR is minimum 60-day pilot suspension
---You cannot be too careful in searching for NOTAMs published, unpublished and cancelled.
---The difficult flight information planning may be the best thing to do.
---You must ask for everything to get everything.
NOTAM War Story
I used to own a Starduster Too. My A&P was at an airport less than 10 miles from where I hangered it. The annual came due at the end of the month, but the Friday before the last weekend, I came down with a terrible cold and couldn't fly. So the plane went out of annual, 10 miles from the mechanic. I called the FSDO, and they issued a ferry permit for the next weekend. In order to fly under the ferry permit, I had to get a special signoff in the logbook from an A&P - something that said more or less that it was safe to fly.
So I went to A&P #2, who signed it off, and gave me a stern warning: "No matter what, don't go goofing off. Do not land anywhere except the destination airport - the FAA does not take kindly to that, and you're going to be in a ton of trouble if you do."
The date of the ferry permit came, and my SO dropped me off at the Starduster hanger. It was a gorgeous, VFR day - not a cloud in the sky, 50 mile vis, winds light and variable - it just didn't get any better then that. So I pulled her out, preflighted, climbed in, took off, and headed for my destination. No weather briefing -
heck, I could _see_ the destination from the pattern, practically!
Unfortunately, when I got on downwind at the destination, I could also see the large, white Xs on both runways. Yes, the airport was closed. They were restriping the runways! A call on Unicom confirmed that, yes, they were working on them, and yes, it would take all day.
So, now what do I do? I can't land here, and I can't land anywhere else, and I've only got 4 hours of fuel. Luckily, it was early in the morning, and they hadn't really gotten started yet, and one runway looked clear of workers and equipment. So I landed on it - put the mains right down on the X, and taxiied to the maintenance
hanger, being trailed by screaming construction workers (yes, I'd made sure they weren't _on_ the runway, but I'd scared them anyway).
I filed a NASA form, and cringed every time the phone rang for quite a few months. Now, I get a weather briefing every time I fly, no matter how short a trip or how good the weather is.
Uses National Weather Service data from:
FA (TAF) Terminal Area forecasts
FT Terminal Forecasts
SA Sequence reports
AWW Severe Weather Forecast Alerts
WST convective SIGMETS
1. Important hazards or changes
2. Would mention runway problem but not taxiway problem
3. Appended to hourly weather reports
4. Mostly temporary
5. In FSS data if unpublished
6. Can be issued by any airport
1. Potential hazards
2. Would mention taxiway problem but not runway problem
3. Regional only. Can be issued by any airport
With closing of local FSS "regional" has become much larger. If you call the 800 FSS number and get connected with Walla Walla Washington, as I once did, you may not get any "L"s because the briefer does not have them. I use a local FSS phone number if possible. Distributed Service "B" by FSS to local ATC facilities
Data related to procedures added, eliminated, changed.
Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMS
Regulatory to IFR system
Issued by FAA Air Traffic Control, Airports or by FAA Flight Standards
Generally permanent changes approach charts and other charts
May include temporary airspace restrictions.
Local FDC NOTAMS will be given but over 400 miles away must be specifically requested from FSS
Based on the following weather can you make a five and a half hour round trip flight with a one lunch/fuel stop from Kansas City to Brainerd MI and back. The distance is 490 nm from KOJC TO KBRD BY WAY OF STJ VOR, OVR VOR, AND KSUX, THEN TO DDL IA, OTG MI, RWF MI, ILL MI, KBRD. all leg times should be converted to ZULU time to make the weather report times conincide with your ETAs. Departure is 1900Z and landing about 0100Z. The outlook for SD, ME, KA, MI, IA and MO is VFR with 8000' clouds. MI shows scattered clouds at 2500 between 1300 and 1500Z. Our departure will be 4 hours after this occurence. Turbulence is to east and south of route.
The AIRMET Zulu has ice in clouds below 14 thousand. around DSM. VFR should not be a problem at lower altitudes in scattered clouds. METARs show 10 mile visibility below 12 thousand in cold air but wide dew point spread. No fog that way.
TAFs show 6 mile visibility and good VFR below 12 thousand but by KSUX we will have overcast at 10 thousand. At KBRD at 0100 the wind will be 320 at 12 knots so we must pick an appropriate runway. The NOTAM warns about braking.
The next day the reverse route for a 1600Z departure the TAFs between 1300-1500Z the ceiling is broken at 4 thousand and lowering at KBRD. KSUX will be getting worse down to MVFR. KOMA is much the same and trending lower. Any precipitation is going to be snow because of the temperature. This means snow on any airport runways. No go.
EE AIRMET SIERRA FOR IFR CONDS AND MTN OBSCN. TS IMPLY SEV OR GTR TURB SEV ICE LLWS AND IFR CONDS. NON MSL HGTS DENOTED BY AGL. OR CIG.
SYNOPIS...11Z CDFNT ALG A SSM-MBS-EVV-30N ARG-OSW-GLD LM...CONTG AS A QSTNRY FNT ALG A GLD-BFF LN. ANOTHER CDFNT ALG A 50N MQT-DLH-AXN LN. HIGH INVOF LBF WITH TROF EXTDG ALG A LBF-DHT LN. HIGH INVOF MSP
SD: WRN/CNTRL...AGL SCT025 SCT-BKN-SCT080-100. CLDS LYRD FL2500. 15-17Z
AGL SCT080 SCT-BKN1500. OTLK...VFR. ERN...AGL SCT-BKN080-100 CLDS LYRD FL2500. OTLK...VFR
NE: N CNTRL/NERN...AGL SCT025 SCT-BKN100 TOPS 130. 18-20Z BKN080-100. OTLK...VFR. RMNDR...SCT CI. OCNL SCT100. OTLK...VFR.
KS: NRN HLF...SKC. OCNL SCT CI. 15-18Z SCT150 SCT-BKN CI ABV. OTLK...VFR. SRN HLF...SKC OTLK...VFR.
MN: WRN HLF...AGL SCT-BKN010-020 TOPS 050. OCNL VIS 5SM BLSN. 13-15Z SKC.OCNL AGL SCT025. OTLK...VFR.ERN HLF...AGL SCT-BKN010 CIG BKN030-040 TOPS 070. VIS 3-05SM -SHSN. 13-15Z AGL SCTO25=035. OTLK...VFR
IA: WRN HLF...SKC. 15-18Z SCT100. OTLK...VFR. ERN HALF...AGL SCT-BKN 020-030 TOPS 070. 13-15Z SCT CI. OCNL AGL SCT025 SCT100 NRN SXNS. OTLK...VFR.
MO: SKC. 18-020Z SCT CI. OTLK...VFR.
AIRMET TANGO UPDT 3 FOR TURB VALID UNTIL 062100
AIRMET TURB..MN IA WI IL MI IN KY LS LM LH LA TN MS AL..UPDT FROM YWG TO YQT TO YVV TO DTW TO FWA TO CVG TO HNN TO TRI TO CHA TO 50SW ABY TO 40W CEW TO 90SE MSY TO BTR TO MEI TO MSL TO STL TO YWG. OCNL MOD..ISOL SEV..TURB BLW..080 OVR ERN KY/ERN KY..BLW 060 ELSW DUE TO OCNLYSSTG AND GUSTY NWLY LOW LVL FLOW ACRS AREA. ISOL SEV CONDS MAINLY AL PTNS AREA. CONDS CONTG BYD 21Z...ENDG BY 03Z.
AIRMET TURB...MO IL IN KY AR TN MS AL. FROM BRL TO CVG TO HNN TO TRI TO CHA TO 50SW ATL TO TXK TO MKC TO BRL. OCNL LGT/MOD TURB BTWL FL 180 AND FL370 DUE TO WINDSHEAR. CONDS MOVG EWD AND ENDG BY 21Z.
AIRMET ZULU UPDT 2 FOR ICE AND FRZLVL VALID UNTIL 062100
ND SD MN IA: LGT..ISOL MOD..RIME ICGIC BLW 140 IN AREA BNDD BY 50NNW ISN-MOT-RWF-MCW-DSM-FSD-RAP-90SW DIK-50NNW ISN. CONDS DVLPG/SPRDG EWD DURG PD... CONTG BYD 21Z THRU 03Z.
FRZLVL...SFC-040..N OF BFF-LBF-BUM-ARG LN ..040-080..S OF BFF-LBF-BUM -ARG LN
METAR KOJC 061653Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 06/M07 A3044 RMK A02 SLP 303
METAR KSTJ 061652Z 36007KT 10SM CLR 01/M08 A3047 RMK A02 SLP 324
METAR KOMA 061652Z 00000KT 10SM CLR M03/M11 A3048 RMK A02 SLP332
METAR KSUX 061655Z 10SM CLR M06/M16 A3047 RMK A02 SLP337
METAR KILL 061655Z AUTO 29007KT 10SM CLR M16/M18 A3041 RMK A02
METAR KILL 061715Z AUTO 3006KT 10SM CLR M16/M18 A3041 RMK AO2
METAR KILL 061735Z AUTO 29006KT 10SM CLR M15/M18 A3041 RMK AO2
METAR KBRD 061653Z AUTO VRBO4KT 10SM CLR M12/M18 A3032 RMK AOT
SLP 297 T11171183 FZRANO TSNO
TAF KOMA 061130Z 061212 35010KT P6SM SKC BECMG 1718 VRB05KT SCT120
FM2200 12010KT P6SM SCT100 BECMG 0506 BKN100
FM1200 12012KT P6SMBKN025
TAF KSUX 061130Z 051212 31012KT P6SM OVC100 BECMG 2022 VRB05KT
FM0100 12008KT -6SM BKN050 0VC100 PROB040 0106 5SM -SN BKN35
FM0600 14010KT P6SM OVC030 TEMPO 0610 3SM -SN BR
TAF KBRD 061735Z 061818 31012KT P6SM SKC BECMG 0002 VRB04KT
FM0500 VRB03KT P6SM BKN100
FM1100 VRB05KT P6SM BKN060 BECMG 1215 BKN040
the Area forecast (FA)
--FAs begin with a header that uses designators to give the area, the time and the valid time.
--Next the synopsis gives a broad description of the weather patterns expected.
--After the synopsis comes a state by state prediction of weather.
--Only source of wide area ceilings and visibilities for VFR clouds and conditions.
--Go to www.awc-KC.NOAA.gov/awc/awc-fa.html for your own prebriefing then call the FSS to be legal.
--Gives outlook of ceilings and visibilities for non-tower airports without AWOS or ASOS
--Use of FSS for interpretation is best method.
--The U.S. is divided into six FA areas; SFO, SLC CHI, DFW,BOS and MIA. FAs issued every eight hours.
--FAs cover 12-hours plus an additional 6-hour outlook.
--Hawaii and Alaska give four FAs per day.
--Great Lake FAs use LO, LE, LH, LM and LS as lake designators.
Reading Without Vowels
--BR = mist, fog with 5-8th visibility
--CIG = ceiling height AGL of broken or overcast cloud layer.
--CSTAL WTRS = coastal waters
--FZ = freezing; FZDZ = freezing drizzle; FZFG = freezing fog; FZRA - freezing rain; SHSN snow showers
--TS = thunderstorm no rain; TSRN = thunder with rain; TSSN = thunder with snow; TSPE with ice pellets,
TSGR = with hail; TSRAGR = with rain and hail; TSRASN = with rain and snow.
--IFR - instrument flight rules with ceiling >1000' and less than 3-mile visibility
--MVFR = marginal visual flight rules with between l and 3 thousand foot ceilings and 3 to 5 mile visibility.
--VFR = Ceilings over 3000 and visibility greater than 5 statute miles.
--clear = no clouds
--Few = 1 to 2/8 coverage
--Scattered = 3 to 5/8 coverage
--Broken = 5 to 7/8 coverage
--Overcast = over 7/8 coverage
Extent of Storms
--ISOL = isolated single cells
--WDLY SCT = widely scattered with less than 25 percent coverage
--SCT or AREAS = 25 to 54 percent coverage of area
--NMRS or WDSPRD = numerous or widespread over 55 percent coverage.
FA = Area forecast
FD = Winds aloft forecast
FT Terminal Area Forecast (TAF)
SA = Surface weather observation (METAR)
UA = pilot report
WA = AIRMET
WS = SIGMET
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Continued on 5.550 Preparing a Cross-Country