Section 5. Aviation Surface Forecast/Aviation Cloud Forecast/Area Forecast (FA)

  1. GENERAL
  1. Area forecasts (FA) are available for the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Hawaii, and Alaska through the WMSCR and provide an overview of weather conditions which could impact aviation operations. FAs are issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, Missouri, the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) in Anchorage, Alaska, and the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Honolulu, Hawaii. The delineation of the areas is specified in the National Weather Service Instruction 10-811. Canadian and Mexican FAs are also available through WMSCR.
  2. FAs consist of the following elements according to each geographical location in TBL 9-5-1.
  3. The Aviation Surface Forecast and Aviation Cloud Forecast are displayed as nine regional views and a CONUS view. These images are produced by the Aviation Weather Center and distributed by NOAAPORT and static URLs. See FIG 9-5-1, Graphical Forecast Images, for regional views.

TBL 9-5-1
Area Forecasts (FA)

 

Gulf of Mexico

Caribbean

Hawaii

Alaska

Synopsis

 

X

X

X

Clouds and Weather

X

X

X

X

(Includes AIRMETs)

Icing and Freezing Level

X

X

 

X

Turbulence

X

X

 

X

  1. AREA FORECAST (FA) SCHEDULE

FAs are issued three times a day in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico; and four times a day in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The issuance times are in TBL 9-5-2.

TBL 9-5-2
Area Forecast (FA) Schedule

 

Gulf of Mexico (UTC)

Caribbean (UTC)

Hawaii (UTC)

Alaska

1st Issuance

0130

0330

0430

0415 DT
0515 ST

2nd Issuance

1030

0930

0940

1215 DT
1315 ST

3rd Issuance

1830

1530

1540

2015 DT
2115 ST

4th Issuance

 

2130

2140

 

Note: DT – Daylight Time, ST – Standard Time, UTC – Coordinated Universal Time

  1. AVIATION SURFACE FORECAST AND AVIATION CLOUD FORECAST ISSUANCE TIMES

The Aviation Surface Forecast and Aviation Cloud Forecast are issued 8 times a day and are composed of 6 snapshots that are valid for up to 18 hours. The images are based on forecast model run times of 00Z, 03Z, 06Z, 09Z, 12Z, 15Z, 18Z, and 21Z. The actual issuance time will be 1-2 hours after each model run. The delays are due to latency.

FIG 9-5-1
Graphic Forecast Images

A graphic depicting the regional views for graphic forecast images.