Aviation Area Forecasts (FA) Help
|NWS Product Description Document (PDD) ...
|An area forecast (FA) is a forecast of Visual Flight
Rules (VFR) clouds and weather conditions over an area as large as the
size of several states. It must be used in conjunction with the AIRMET Sierra (IFR) bulletin for
the same area in order to get a complete picture of the weather. The
area forecast together with the AIRMET Sierra bulletin are used to
determine forecast enroute weather and to interpolate conditions at
airports which do not have a terminal forecast (TAF) issued. FAs are
issued 3 times a day from Kansas City for each of 6 areas in the
contiguous 48 states (domestic)
as well as the Gulf of Mexico (FAGX) and Caribbean (FACA).
Map of Current FAGX:
Detailed maps of domestic FA regions and geographic areas are
available in GIF
(185K) or PDF (4.3M)
In Alaska, FAs are issued by the Weather Service Forecast Office
(WSFO) in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau for their respective areas
(Alaska). The WSFO
in Honolulu issues FAs for Hawaii (Hawaii).
The FA consists of a:
- 12 hour forecast plus a 6 hour outlook. All times are
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). All distances except visibility are
in nautical miles. Visibility is in statute miles.
- synopsis section which is a brief summary of the location
and movement of fronts, pressure system, and circulation patterns for
an 18 hour period.
- VFR clouds and weather section which is a 12 hour
forecast, in broad terms, of clouds and weather significant to flight
operations plus a 6 hour categorical outlook. This section is usually
several paragraphs. AIRMET Sierra supplies information regarding
Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) conditions. The breakdown may be by
states, by well known geographical areas, or in reference to location
and movement of a pressure system or front. A categorical outlook,
identified by OTLK, is included for each area breakdown.
Amendments to the FA are issued as needed. An amended FA is identified
by AMD, a corrected FA by COR, and a delayed FA is
identified by RTD.
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