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View surface visibility, forecast surface fronts, and forecast ceiling information on the map

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1       Introduction 

View surface visibility, forecast surface fronts, and forecast ceiling information on the map 

In this topic, you learn how to add and interpret information on surface weather conditions to the map in addition to viewing areas in which different flight rules apply. 

We estimate that this will take 5 minutes to complete.

2       Detailed explanation 

Work with and interpret surface visibility, forecast surface fronts and forecast ceiling information on the map 

Apply the Surface Visibility Forecast layer to the map to view colored shapes representing different surface visibility for your region of interest.

View the  information in the Forecast Surface Fronts layer to see how surface fronts are expected to develop and move into the future. For information on viewing current surface fronts (available as part of a basic weather subscription), consult the topic, Display basic weather information (U.S. only).

Use the Forecast Ceiling layer to view areas in which the different flight rules (LIFR, IFR, and MVFR) apply. Forecast ceiling information is available for North America and Europe only.

Let's get started on learning how to use the last three of the weather layers available to you with a regional weather subscription:

        Surface Visibility Forecast

        Forecast Surface Fronts and

        Forecast Ceiling (where various flight rules apply).
 

Access the REGIONAL tab from the Layers menu to start. 

Interaction 2Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Layers button.

Interaction 2 Click the REGIONAL tab.

The Surface Visibility Forecast layer works similarly to other layers you have already explored. Enable it now to see how you can use the information it provides in your flight planning and tracking tasks.

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Surface Visibility Forecast slider.

The Surface Visibility Forecast layer adds colored shapes to the map. These shapes represent differences in surface visibility in different areas.

The colored areas indicate where a forecast for LIFR (low instrument flight rules), IFR (instrument flight rules), MVFR (marginal flight rules), or VFR (visual flight rules) apply.

You can display the forecast for up to 24 hours into the future.  

Click + to advance the forecast to show conditions 6 hours from now.  

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the plus (+) button.

Notice the color changes on the map, reflecting the changes in surface visibility. 

Hover your mouse over one of the colored areas; for this example, a red zone.

N-Tracking displays detailed information: MVFR are in effect for this area. 

Next, hover your mouse over a purple area. LIFR apply here and visibility is less than .5 statute miles. 

The ACTIVE LAYERS pane displays the time of the last update for the information shown by the surface visibility forecast. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Layers button.

Disable the Surface Visibility Forecast layer and review the Forecast Surface Fronts layer and the information it adds to the map. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Surface Visibility Forecast slider.

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Forecast Surface Fronts slider.

Use this layer to investigate the forecast development and movement of fronts going forward. You may recall that a Current Surface Fronts layer is available in the BASIC weather tab. 
 Cold Front - a zone separating two air masses, of which the cooler, denser mass is advancing and replacing the warmer air.
 Warm Front - a transition zone between a mass of warm air and the cold air it is replacing.
 Trough - an area of relatively low atmospheric pressure. This is the opposite of a ridge.
 Occluded Front - a composite of two fronts, formed as a cold front overtakes a warm front. Two types of occlusions can form, a cold occlusion where the cold air is behind the cold front and a warm occlusion where the coldest air is ahead of the warm front.
 Stationary Front - a front between a warm and cold air mass that is moving very slowly.
 

Click the + button to advance to show the forecast for 12 hours out. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the plus (+) button.

In the next 12 hours, a cold front is expected to move in. 

Next, click the + button again to show conditions forecast for 18 hours in the future. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the plus (+) button.

Six hours later, another cold front will be affecting some states in the Southern U.S. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the plus (+) button.

Click the plus (+) button again and you see the forecast for a full 24 hours in the future. 

Hover your mouse over the cold front and N-Tracking displays some detailed information on-screen.

The map also shows some troughs developing (look for dashed brown lines). 

Next, enable the Forecast ceiling layer. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Forecast ceiling slider.

The shapes shown in the Forecast ceiling layer indicate where

        low instrument flight rules (LIFR)

        instrument flight rules (IFR), and

        marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) apply. 

Forecast ceiling information is available for North America and Europe only.

Hover your mouse over one of the colored areas and N-Tracking displays more details on-screen.

In this particular area, MVFR apply and the ceiling is 2,000 to 3,000 feet. 

The colors provide information on the ceiling height and which flight rules are applicable.

 

Hover your mouse over a red colored area and use the information that N-Tracking displays on-screen. 

As you did with the previous layers, click the + button to advance the forecast further into the future. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the plus (+) button.

Notice the changes in the colors on the map.

Once again, if you hover your mouse over an area of interest, details display on the map. 

Optionally, disable the Forecast ceiling layer. You have completed your exploration of the last three options available for your use in the REGIONAL weather tab. 

SUCCESS 

Congratulations! You have successfully applied weather layers to the N-Tracking map to view ground level visibility conditions, surface fronts, and forecast ceiling conditions for different areas.

You have learned to use the time offset controls to show conditions forecast for the future as well as current conditions.

Another weather-related topic you should be sure to review is Weather hazards. 

 



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