Abbreviation-heavy, text-based weather forecasting—like that still present in the old aviation Area Forecasts (FA)—might soon be a relic of the past. In the era of internet weather, there are better, clearer ways to get a good forecast and the National Weather Service’s new Graphical Forecast for Aviation (GFA) is now, officially, one of them.
The goal of the new forecast is to provide a more complete (and more accessible) picture of flight-relevant weather. The GFA covers observations from the past 14 hours and forecasts 15 hours ahead. It includes the same kinds of data and warnings as the FA: thunderstorms, clouds, precipitation, icing, turbulence and wind.
This isn’t, however, the first look we’re getting at the product. Prior to gaining operational status on April 13th, an experimental version of the GFA has been available while NWS worked out the kinks and took comments. Though the GFA currently only covers the continental U.S., it is part of a larger NWS plan to move away from FAs altogether.
Learn more at the NWS Aviation Weather Center.