Though pilots see a lot of weather maps, the playbook of what all these spring patterns mean and where they’re going is not often explained. So, we’ll explain it.
Aviation weather columns typically talk about hazards in terms of elements: “Watch the 0 to -20 degrees C layer for icing.” “Be cautious of wet, clear nights because of fog,” etc. We can always learn more from a change in perspective, and we can do so using surface charts from the Aviation Weather Center website. Using these charts we can get a better understanding of why weather hazards occur rather than how they develop. Let’s take a look at the sample chart below and break down all the patterns that are going on.