Defining And Understanding Aviation Meteorology Engineering Essay

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In this assignment I describe about aviation meteorology which important factor in aviation industry. Today aviation industry is growing very rapidly as well as weather patterns also change due to human activities on the earth. Therefore it is important to discuss about aviation meteorology. In this report, as a second topic is explained how meteorological information is used in aviation. Next report is described aviation accidents caused by issues involved in meteorology. And also I propose a strategy to avoid accidents caused by issues involved in meteorology.

1.2 Meteorology

Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology).

1.3 Aviation meteorology

Aviation meteorology (MET) is an essential element of the complex system that constitutes Air Traffic Management (ATM) in its broadest sense. Weather conditions all aspects of ATM operations, as example by variations in head and tail-wind components, through changes in pressure and temperature values at airports, and in imposing low visibility operating conditions. Adverse meteorological conditions have the greatest impact on the ATM system creating disruption and the consequent problems of disturbed flow rates, lost capacity and induced additional costs.

Therefore aviation meteorology deals with the impact of weather on air traffic management. It is important for air crews to understand the implications of weather on their flight plan as well as their aircraft, as noted by the Aeronautical Information Manual.

2. Meteorological Information

2.1 Meteorological Information

The Pilot Request Meteorological Information for In-Flight Re-planning Service provides weather information upon request to support in-flight planning or re-planning for hazard avoidance or for flight efficiency.

Pilots need to be informed about meteorological conditions along the routes to be flown and at their destination aerodromes.


2.2 What is the meteorological information

The data gathered from surface and upper altitude observations form the basis of all weather forecasts, advisories, and briefings. There are three types of weather observations: surface, upper air, and radar.

Aerodrome reports and forecasts are required by aeronautical users to carry out their functions. Aerodrome reports include surface wind, visibility, runway visual range, present weather, cloud, air and dew-point temperature and atmospheric pressure, and are issued either half-hourly or hourly.

To assist pilots with their flight planning, most States provide meteorological briefings which are increasingly carried out using automated systems. Briefings comprise details of en-route weather, upper winds and upper-air temperatures, often given in the form of meteorological charts, warnings related to hazardous phenomena en-route, and reports and forecasts for the destination aerodrome and its alternates.

They prepare warnings of hazardous weather conditions, including thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, severe squall lines, heavy hail, severe turbulence, severe icing, mountain waves, sandstorms, dust storms and volcanic ash clouds. Moreover, these offices issue aerodrome warnings of meteorological conditions that could adversely affect aircraft or facilities on the ground: for example, warnings of expected snowstorms.

2.2.1 Standard weather briefing

A standard briefing is the most complete report and provides the overall weather picture. This type of briefing should be obtained prior to the departure of any flight and should be used during flight planning. A standard briefing provides the following information in sequential order if it is applicable to the route of flight.

Adverse Conditions

This includes information about adverse conditions that may influence a decision to cancel or alter the route of flight.


The synopsis is an overview of the larger weather picture. Fronts and major weather systems that affect the general area are provided.

Current Conditions

This portion of the briefing contains the current ceilings, visibility, winds, and temperatures. If the departure time is more than 2 hours away, current conditions will not be included in the briefing.

En Route forecast

The en route forecast is a summary of the weather forecast for the proposed route of flight.

Destination Forecast

The destination forecast is a summary of the expected weather for the destination airport at the estimated time of arrival (ETA).

Winds and Temperatures aloft

Winds and temperatures aloft are a report of the winds at specific altitudes for the route of flight. However, the temperature information is provided only on request.

2.2.2 Aviation weather reports

An aviation routine weather report, or METAR, is an observation of current surface weather reported in a standard international format. While the METAR code has been adopted worldwide, each country is allowed to make modifications to the code. Normally, these differences are minor but necessary to accommodate international procedures or particular units of measure.


METAR BTR 161753Z 14021G26 3/4SM -RA BR BKN008 OVC012 18/17 A2970 RMK PRESFR


Type of Report:

Routine METAR


Baton Rouge, Louisiana


16th day of the month


1753 Zulu


None shown

Wind Information:

Winds 140° at 21 knots gusting to 26 knots


3/4 statute mile


light rain and mist

Sky Conditions:

Skies broken 800 feet, overcast 1,200


Temperature 18°C, dewpoint 17°C


29.70 in. Hg.


Barometric pressure is falling.

2.2.3 Why is the meteorological information

It has been found that the key decisions related to operating in potentially hazardous weather conditions include:

• Go/no-go, or the decision to launch or delay a flight;

• Route selection;

• Tactical adverse weather avoidance;

• Tactical escape from adverse weather conditions;

• Aircraft systems management.

2.3 How meteorological information is used in aviation.

2.3.1 Expected benefits.


Improved flight safety through hazard avoidance (i.e., reduced flight attendant and passenger turbulence injuries) (I/P)

Informed escape from hazardous weather (I)

Improved aircrew decision making in adverse weather situations (I/P)

Improved aircrew / passenger confidence in avoiding hazardous flight conditions


Improved flight profiles resulting in exploitation of latent capacity

Efficiency - ATS

reduced impact of flight diversion through early pilot decision to avoid weather hazard

Reduced voice radio communications by reducing amount of weather information required to be relayed to pilots

Improved flight efficiency through advantageous use of changing flight levels winds

Reduced pilot/controller/dispatcher workload through more efficient weather information processing


Reduce fuel costs through more efficient flight profiles

Reduce aircraft maintenance costs through reduced exposure to hazardous weather

Reduced cost of system disruption

Reduced cost of fatalities, injuries and/or hull losses

Reduced demand for voice frequencies and associated infrastructure


Reduced impact of fuel consumption

3. Aviation accidents

3.1 Aviation accidents

Weather-related aviation accidents, in both large and small aircraft, still remain one of the most significant causes for concern in aviation safety today, despite all the research and development which has been carried out over the last hundred years since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk Field.

3.2 Caused by issues involved in meteorology

Aviation weather hazards associated with Convection / thunderstorms:


Wind shear


Reduced visibility


Damaging hail

Tornado / Water Spout

Heavy precipitation

Water ingestion


Vertical displacements, velocities and accelerations

Gust front from horizontal outflow from down draft spreading out from storm base / wind shears

Turbulence Hazards

Up / down draft boundaries within the cloud

Leading edge and upper surface of the gust front:

Strong vertical and horizontal wind shears

Funnel clouds (e.g., tornadoes)

Upper extent of updraft within cloud

Vertical Motion Close to Convective Clouds

Cruising Above Cumulonimbus Tops

Turbulence Associated with a Large Cumulus Cloud

Turbulence Associated with a Downdraft

Wind Shear: Shears in Horizontal Winds

Downburst Schematic

Downburst Wind Shears: Effects on Landing and Taking Off

Icing in Thunderstorms

General Icing Regimes

Hazardous Effects of Aircraft Icing

Accumulated icing may lower aircraft performance:

Increase stalling speed

Destroy optimal aerodynamic flow over the aircraft

Increase drag

Decrease lift

Reduced Visibility

Horizontal visibility - Due to precipitation, Showers of rain, snow and hail

Vertical visibility - Due to obscuring cloud, Cumulonimbus, Stratus


A high-current electrical discharge caused by a thunderstorm …



Lightning: Aircraft Damage

Puncturing the fuselage

Burning, melting or distorting aircraft parts

Fire in the fuel system

Visual or instruments

Funnel Clouds:

Tornado / Water Spout

Tornadoes / water spouts are usually identified by a funnel cloud

Tornadic winds are extremely destructive - the most violent weather phenomenon

Can cause structural damage to an aircraft

Tornado formation depends on the wind shear environment of the severe storm

Heavy Precipitation

Thunderstorms are capable of extreme rainfall intensities

Heavy precipitation can be reduced visibility in flight and on the ground interferes with radio transmission

Wet runways are reduced stopping ability upon landing and decrease steering control on the ground

Water Ingestion

If thunderstorm updraft suspends sufficient water droplets …

Jet engine may ingest more water than design specifications

Can lead to engine flame-out

There is no known successful operational recovery procedure

3.3 Statistics of Aviation accidents

According to the statistics of last 60 years aircraft accident from, I can identify there are taken place considerable number of weather related accident. "Pilot error (weather related)" represents accidents in which pilot error was the cause but brought about by weather related phenomena.








 Pilot Error







 Pilot Error  (weather related)







 Pilot Error (mechanical related)







 Total Pilot Error







 Other Human Error














 Mechanical Failure














 Other Cause







4. Strategy to avoid accidents caused by issues involved in meteorology

4.1 Existing Strategies

Uses International Standards and Recommended Practices related to ICAO standards. (Annex 3-Meteorological Services-provision of meteorological services for international air navigation and reporting of meteorological observations from aircraft.)

In aircraft technology, short-wingspan aircraft will be more sensitive to a specific vortex than long-wingspan aircraft. Even high-performance aircraft will be more sensitive to wake turbulence than a civilian transport aircraft, because of its short wingspan. Always notify the ATC of what separation is needed, in order to avoid suspected wake turbulence.

They also support the development of new forecast products, graphical and integrated cockpit weather displays, improved capabilities for weather data link, as well as enhanced interfaces and tools for the dissemination of weather information.

4.2 Proposed a strategies

Introduce new system with the rapid development of technologies, improved scientific understanding, advancements in weather forecasting processes, dissemination and presentation of weather related data.

Improved meteorology training and weather interpretation skills, at all levels and areas of the aviation industry, have become more frequent as the result of the numerous studies and investigations of weather occurrences.

Improve knowledge of meteorology and develop practical interpretation skills of traditional and modern technologies, including numerical weather prediction models, with an international focus.


The meteorological service is contributed to the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation

Forecasting thunderstorm activity in a timely and accurate way has great utility to the aviation Industry

While weather forecasts are not 100 percent accurate, meteorologists, through careful scientific study and computer modeling, have the ability to predict the weather patterns, trends, and characteristics with increasing accuracy.

We have to develop models for forecast accurate data using latest technology for forecast accurate weather condition in future.