Weather Hazards, Reports, and Forecasts


General behavior of weather

  • Fronts—movement of air masses
  1. Warm
  2. Cold
  3. High pressure
  4. Low pressure
  • Stability vs. instability

Log on to and direct the student to navigate through the following pages while explaining their use and significance; also differentiate between reports and forecasts.  Use as if you were about to go on a cross-country flight.

  • Reports
  1. METARS—aviation routine weather report
  2. Surface analysis chart—see java tool also
  3. Radar summary chart
  4. Winds and temperature aloft chart
  5. AWOS, ASOS and ATIS reports
  • AWOS/ASOS: Automated Weather /Surface Observing Systems
  • ATIS: Automatic Terminal Information Service
  1. PIREPS—pilot weather reports
  • Forecasts
  1. TAF—Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
  2. FA—Area Forecast
  3. Significant weather prognostic charts
  4. Convective outlook chart
  • ARTCC—Air Route Traffic Control Center

In-Flight weather advisories

  • En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) aka Flight Watch
  1. Provides current weather information along the route of flight; flight advisories tailored to the type of flight, route, and cruising altitude.
  2. Available from 6a.m. to 10p.m. anywhere in the conterminous USA and Puerto Rico between 5,000 feet AGL and 17,500 feet MSL
  3. Contact flight watch on 122.0 MHz
  • Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory (HIWAS)
  1. Broadcast of hazardous weather information continuourly over selected navigation aids (NAVAIDs)
  2. Includes AIRMETS, SIGMETS, convective SIGMETS, an d urgent PIREPs.
  3. Contains summaries only—contact FSS for detailed information.
  4. Symbol in upper right right-side of a NAVAID box “H” in blue circle

Weather hazards to flight

  • Squall line
  • Tornadoes
  • Turbulence
  • Icing
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Ceilings
  • Visibility
  • Thunderstorms
  • Wind sheer

Weather Briefing

  • FSS—Flight Service Station
  1. Advantages
  2. Disadvantages
  3. Importance of getting a weather briefing

Go/No-Go Decision

  • Unforecasted weather
  1. Deteriorating weather conditions create fewer choices
  • Aircraft Limitations
  1. Cross-wind landings
  2. Instruments
  • Personal Limitations
  1. Time in type
  2. Instrument rating
  3. Get-there-it is
  4. Time restraints
  5. Personal or social pressures


Conclusion and Evaluation:

It is not only important to know how to attain and interpret weather information, but more importantly how to make an informed decision as to whether it is wise to be in the air in those conditions.