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AWC Home > Testbed > TAF Graphics > FYI/Help
AWC TAF Graphics Help       
Cloud forecasts indicate the prevailing flight conditions. An open magenta circle with an 'X' indicates Low Instrument Flight Rules (LIFR, ceilings less than 500 feet and/or visibilities less than 1 statute mile). A red circle indicates Instrument Flight Rules (IFR, ceilings 500 to less than 1000 feet and/or visibilities 1 to less than 3 statute miles), a blue circle indicates Marginal Visual Flight Rules (MVFR, ceilings 1000 to 3000 feet and/or visibilities 3 to 5 statute miles), and no circle (background color) indicates Visual Flight Rules (VFR). See the following table.

Category Ceiling   Visibility
LIFR below 500 feet and/or less than 1 mile
IFR 500 to below 1,000 feet and/or 1 to less than 3 miles
MVFR 1,000 to 3,000 feet and/or 3 to 5 miles
VFR greater than 3,000 feet and greater than 5 miles


Wind forecasts use wind barbs to indicate forecast winds to the nearest 5 knots. Standard meteorological convention for plotting winds is used. The tail of the barb indicates the direction of the wind. Click here for sample wind barbs with explanations. On the wind gust graphic, forecast wind gusts of 20 knots or greater are plotted.

Weather forecasts are plotted using standard weather symbols. Click here for a graphic with weather symbols explained.

'Prevailing conditions' at a forecast location means the weather is expected to occur over 50 percent of the time during the forecast period. 'Temporary conditions' means weather conditions with at least 40 percent probability of occurrence at the forecast location. It is important to remember TAFs are made for a 5 mile radius around an airport. The forecast made for the airport location may not be representative of conditions in nearby areas. The Area Forecast, along with AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and Convective SIGMETs provide information for en-route weather and weather between airport locations.

Turbulence     Icing     Convection     Winds/Temps     Progs     Java Tools
METARs     TAFs     PIREPs     SIGMET/AIRMET     Satellite     Radar
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Page last modified: January 18, 2012
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