How historical data helps aviation customers make decisions

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Every airport records weather data in the form of Meteorological Aerodrome Reports, or METARs. This is usually used in the very short term to help pilots and air traffic control manage a minute by minute situation and make adjustments to ensure that an aircraft takes off and lands safely. In addition, a METAR is used to write a Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) for several hours ahead so that decisions can be made to account for inclement (or benign) weather conditions. Continue reading

How do tropical storms impact aviation?

Tropical cyclone distribution_Met Office website

With a cloud top height of 40,000-50,000ft and a diameter of anything from 500km to 1500km, tropical storms are difficult to fly over, divert around, or, even worse, to fly through!

Although tropical storms are not a constant phenomenon, they affect a large area of the Earth’s surface at various times of the year. Their seasonal occurrence has a major impact on aviation, and trade routes and popular tourist destinations, such as Florida, USA, Bali and Indonesia are affected. Continue reading

Jet Streams – a river in the sky

A big temperature contrast across America has led to a powerful jet stream driving low pressure systems towards the UK over the coming days, as shown in this short video.

So what is a jet stream?

Over the Earth’s surface there are large-scale wind circulations. The global circulation can be described as the world wide system of winds by which the necessary transport of heat from tropical to polar latitudes is accomplished. In each hemisphere there are three cells (Hadley Cell, Ferrel Cell and Polar Cell) in which air circulates through the entire depth of the troposphere. Continue reading