Understanding Weather

When you have gathered all the Met information you need, and spent time understanding the weather, then it’s a good idea to spend a little more time to build a picture of what you can expect on your flight.

If you are having trouble decoding a report or forecast, you can use our handy Met Decoder.

We have developed a tool and an app which lets you paste the coded weather into it and it provides a plain English translation for you. Great for figuring out some of those codes you don't see very often.

Once you've got everyting decoded you can then transfer the information from the reports and forecasts into a table to help show you patterns and trends.

We have developed the Planning Tables into a tool to help you collate your Met information — Met Planning Tables.

There are example weather briefings for you to use to fill in the tables, or alternatively you can enter the data for your flight.

We also have a blank version if you would like to print it off and fill it in by hand.

You can use this tool to prepare for any flight. At the end you can print out your tables and take them with you.

Once you have done that, you can then move on to building the picture.

Let's look at how to create a picture of the expected weather over time, or for a flight. We’ve called it a GARFOR.

Invercargill

Above mean sea level

TCu

Towering Cumulus

agl

above ground level

Cb

Cumulonimbus

Flight Information Service communications

ATS

Air Traffic Service

Royal New Zealand Air Force

in vicinity of aerodrome Thunderstorm

ATC

Air Traffic Control

VC

in vicinity of aerodrome

Probabilityxx%

TIL

Until

FM

From

Becoming

Temporarily

Routine air report from aircraft in flight

FIR

Flight Information Region

Internet Flight Information Service

VFR

Visual flight rules

Automatic Terminal Information Service

BWR

Basic weather report

New Zealand Flight Information Region

Aerodrome special routine meteorological report

Automatic aerodrome routine meteorological report

Aerodrome routine meteorological report

TAF

Aerodrome forecast

Area forecast

Significant meteorological information