Building the Picture

Just like they do on the TV weather segments, start with an overview of the whole country and surrounding seas. You can get this from assessing surface weather charts, satellite pictures and radar images. These will give you the overall situation.

Then you need to start asking some questions in relation to your particular route or area of operation:

  • Do the maps and images agree with each other? If not why not?
  • Is there a frontal situation overhead or expected? When will it arrive?
  • What general wind direction and strength is expected?
  • What effect will terrain have on the wind?
  • What cloud would you expect to see?
  • What is the visibility likely to be?
  • What changes would you expect to see?
  • Does the information suggest any hazardous conditions?

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