Types of Weather
This page lists some of the different types of weather which can be identified and will commonly form part of a weather picture or weather forecast. Some of the most common types of weather which are of great use to the Air- Traffic Control function and support tools are listed below:
- Wind, Speed (which can be effectively gathered using Doppler principles) and Wind Direction
- Rain (light / heavy / storm)
- Hail, Snow & Ice
- Fog (this is seldom effectively detected and output from ground based rotating weather radar systems)
- Temperature (never directly available from ground based rotating weather radar systems. Would be useful for identifying the dew point and possibility for ground mist and fog).
- Cloud and heavy cloud (such as cumulonimbus)
- Various types of storm (a wide range of different storm and hazardous conditions exist. These range from conditions which permit aircraft operation to severe weather_patterns in which aircraft operation is certainly not recommended - such as hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes).
The above list provides some of the information that may comprise a weather picture. Where forecasts are developed, it is common to use recorded data sets of what happened during previous weather conditions similar to that being identified at present as a backup check. Rules based on what weather has been like in the past under all sorts of conditions can be derived.
In addition to the 'normal' weather characteristics defined above, there are also several other, more severe weather conditions that may form (although these are less common in Europe than in other parts of the world). Torndoes, hurricanes, tropical storms and microbursts, (local severe turbulence) are all potentially disastrous weather formations for air traffic.