Weather

Lots of info below, but in short, these are the sites I favor:
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  • General
  • AIRMETs (see in-flight advisories below)
  • Area Forecast:
    • Frequency:  3x per day; valid for 12 HRS forecast & 6 HRS outlook (18 total)
    • Categorical outlook includes:
      • LIFR (low IFR):  ceiling < 500 feet and/or visibility < 1 mile
      • IFR:  ceiling 500 to < 1,000 feet and/or visibility 1 to < 3 miles
      • MVFR (marginal VFR):  ceiling 1,000 to 3,000 feet and/or visibility 3 to 5 miles inclusive
      • VFR:  ceiling > 3,000 feet & visibility > than 5 miles; includes sky clear
  • Aviation Weather Center (AWC)
  • Brief, standard:  Standard weather brief (AWC) 
  • Clouds, four basic groups
    • Low/Surface to 6,500.  Stratus, Stratocumulus, and nimbostratus
    • Medium/6,500 to 20,000.  Altostratus and altocumulus
    • High/20,000 and up.  Cirrus, Cirrostratus, and Cirrocumulus
    • Clouds with vertical development
  • In-flight weather advisories:
    • AIRMETs and SIGMETs (Sporty's Video)
    • AIRMET (WA) – Forecast
      • An advisory of significant weather phenomena but describe conditions at intensities lower than those that require the issuance of a SIGMET.
      • AIRMET Sierra is for IFR conditions or mountain obscuration
      • AIRMET Tango is for turbulence
      • AIRMET Zulu is for icing
    • SIGMET (WS)  – Forecast
      • Advise of non-convective weather that is potentially hazardous to all aircraft.
      • SIGMETs are unscheduled products that are valid for four hours but can be extended.
    • Convective SIGMET (WST) – Forecast or Observation
      • Includes tornadoes, lines of thunderstorms, thunderstorms over a wide area, embedded thunderstorms, hail > ¾ inch in diameter, and/or wind gusts of 50 knots or greater.
      • NOTE: A WST consists of either an observation and a forecast or simply a forecast.
  • Fronts, pressures and associated weather
    • HIGH pressure = clear, sunshine
    • LOW pressure = cloudy, rainy, snowy
    • WARM front = overcast
    • COLD front = showers/thunderstorms
    • Hand trick: using left hand, point thumb up for HIGH and your fingers show the surface winds.  However, your thumb is OPPOSITE the vertical movement.  I.e., HIGH pressure is sinking air (drying) and LOW pressure is rising air (warming).
  • METAR decoder
  • SIGMETs (see in-flight advisories above)
  • Standard weather brief(ing) -this is how I handle the question of "what is a legit / complete / thorough / correct weather brief?"  If you follow the page, you will cover all that is required.  And all the products are linked!
  • TAF decoder
  • Terminal Area Forecast (TAF)
    • Coverage:  an area within approximately five statute miles (8.0 km) from the center of an airport runway complex.
    • Duration:  generally, apply to a 24- or 30-hour period
    • Update frequency:  normally every six hours; 0000, 0600, 1200 and 1800 UTC
  • Turbulence
  • Websites:
    • Aviation Weather Center (AWC)
      • Standard Briefing.  This is how I handle the question of "what is a legit / complete / thorough / correct weather brief?"  If you follow the page, you will cover all that is required.  And all the products are linked!
    • Windy.com
- FIG -

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