Aviation weather symbols


Aviation weather symbols are graphical representations used on weather charts and maps to convey information about various atmospheric conditions that can affect aviation.


These symbols are standardized to ensure consistent communication among pilots, meteorologists, and other aviation professionals. Here are some common aviation weather symbols:

  1. Station Model:
  • A small circle with various lines and symbols represents a weather station's observed weather conditions. Elements on the station model include wind direction and speed, temperature, dew point, cloud cover, and atmospheric pressure.
  1. Wind Barbs:
  • Wind direction is indicated by a line extending from the station model, while the wind speed is represented by "wind barbs" or flags along the line. A short barb indicates 5 knots, a long barb is 10 knots, and a triangle is 50 knots.
  1. Visibility:
  • Visibility is represented by a number in statute miles. For example, "6" indicates a visibility of 6 miles.
  1. Cloud Cover:
  • Cloud cover is represented by various symbols, including:
    • Cirrus Clouds (Ci): Wispy, high-altitude clouds indicated by filaments.
    • Cumulus Clouds (Cu): Puffy, white clouds with a flat base.
    • Stratus Clouds (St): Low, overcast clouds that often cover the entire sky.
  1. Weather Phenomena:
  • Various symbols represent different weather phenomena, such as rain, snow, thunderstorms, fog, and more. For example:
    • Rain (RA): Lines slanting down from left to right.
    • Snow (SN): Star or asterisk-like symbols.
    • Thunderstorms (TS): Thunderstorm clouds with an anvil shape.
  1. Pressure Systems:
  • High-pressure areas are marked with an "H," and low-pressure areas are marked with an "L."
  1. Temperature and Dew Point:
  • The air temperature and dew point are often included in the station model. Temperature is represented by a number, and the dew point is usually shown with a small circle.
  1. Fronts:
  • Fronts, which are boundaries between different air masses, are depicted with lines and symbols. For example:
    • Cold Front: Blue line with triangles pointing in the direction of movement.
    • Warm Front: Red line with half-circles pointing in the direction of movement.

These symbols are essential for pilots and aviation professionals to interpret and analyze current weather conditions, make informed decisions, and ensure the safety of flights.

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