terminal forecast


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terminal forecast

[′tər·mən·əl ¦fȯr‚kast]
(meteorology)
An aviation weather forecast for one or more specified air terminals.

terminal forecast (TAF)

terminal forecast (TAF)
The forecast weather conditions at a given terminal aerodrome (usually the destination and diversion aerodromes) for a specified period of time. Terminal forecasts may be issued separately but more often form part of a flight, route, or area forecast. An example of a coded TAF for Donlon/International is as follows: TAF YUDO 160000Z 160624 13018KMH 9000 BKN020 BECMG 0608 SCT015 BKN020 TEMPO 0812 17025 G40KMH 1000 TSRA SCT010CB BKNO20 FM1230 15015KMH 999 BKN020 BKN100. It means “the aerodrome forecast for Donlon/International issued on the 16th of the month at 0000 UTC valid from 0600 UTC to 2400 UTC on the 16th of the month; surface wind 130°/18 km/h; visibility 9 km, broken clouds at 2000 ft; becoming between 0600 and 0800 UTC, scattered cumulonimbus clouds at 1500 ft and broken clouds at 2000 ft; temporarily between 0800 and 1200 UTC surface wind 170°/25 km/h gusting to 40 km/h; visibility 1000 m in a moderate thunderstorm with rain, scattered cumulonimbus clouds at 1000 ft; from 1230 UTC surface wind 150°/15 km, visibility 10 km or more; broken clouds at 2000 ft and broken clouds at 10,000 ft. UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time. Also called a terminal area forecast.
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Terminal forecasts get issued every six hours (0000, 0600, 1200 and 1800 UTC) and hit the wire about 20 to 40 minutes prior to this time.
Certainly terminal forecasts are your best friend when it comes to a forecast for reduced visibilities and fog, but are not available for most airports.
Terminal forecasts (TAFs) have limitations as do area forecasts (FAs), AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and Convective SIGMETs.
The five statute mile radius of the Terminal Forecasts (TAFs) is not generally a good way to capture the weather at airports between TAFs.