Replacing text-based area forecasts (FA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) upgraded its Graphical Forecasts for Aviation product to operational status on Saturday. This service is accepted by the FAA for weather briefings in the continental United States.
NOAA’s GFA webpage is intended to give users a complete picture of weather that might impact their flights, with observational data, forecasts and warnings that can be viewed 14 hours in the past to 15 hours in the future. The product also features the National Weather Service’s digital forecast data, including information on clouds, flight category, precipitation, icing, turbulence and wind. From the surface to 30,000 feet, wind, icing and turbulence forecasts are available in 3,000-foot increments.
The GFA allows users to pan and zoom in on areas of interest on a map, with graphics displaying specific weather information. Turbulence forecasts are distinguished in HI (at or above 18,000 MSL) and LO (below 18,000 MSL) graphics, and maximum icing and maximum wind graphics are also available.