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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aviation Weather Services

Electronic Flight Displays (EFD)
Multi-Function Display (MFD) Weather

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Electronic Flight Displays (EFD) /Multi-
Function Display (MFD) Weather

Many aircraft manufacturers now include satellite weather
services with new electronic flight display (EFD) systems.
EFDs give a pilot access to many of the satellite weather
services available.

Products available to a pilot on the display pictured in
Figure 12-21 are listed as follows. The letters in parentheses
indicate the soft key to press in order to access the data.
• Graphical NEXRAD data (NEXRAD)
• Graphical METAR data (METAR)
• Textual METAR data
• Textual terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAF)
• City forecast data
• Graphical wind data (WIND)
• Graphical echo tops (ECHO TOPS)
• Graphical cloud tops (CLD TOPS)
• Graphical lightning strikes (LTNG)
• Graphical storm cell movement (CELL MOV)
• NEXRAD radar coverage (information displayed with
the NEXRAD data)
• Surface analysis to include city forecasts (SFC)
• County warnings (COUNTY)
• Freezing levels (FRZ LVL)
• Hurricane track (CYCLONE)
• Temporary flight restrictions (TFR)
Pilots must be familiar with any EFD or MFD used and the
satellite weather products available on the display.

Weather Products Age and Expiration
The information displayed using a satellite weather link is near
real time but should not be thought of as instantaneous up to-
date information. Each type of weather display is stamped
with the age information on the MFD. The time is referenced
from Zulu when the information was assembled at the ground
station. The age should not be assumed to be the time when
the FIS received the information from the satellite.
Two types of weather are displayed on the screen: "current"
weather and forecast data. Current information is displayed
by an age while the forecast data has a data stamp in the form
of "__ / __ __ : __". [Figure 12-22]

The Next Generation Weather Radar System (NEXRAD)
The NEXRAD system is comprised of a series of 159 Weather
Surveillance Radar–1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) sites situated
throughout the United States as well as selected oversees sites.
The NEXRAD system is a joint venture between the United
States Department of Commerce (DOC), the United States
Department of Defense, (DOD) as well as the United States
Department of Transportation (DOT). The individual agencies
that have control over the system are the NWS, Air Force
Weather Agency (AFWA) and the FAA. [Figure 12-23]
NEXRAD radar produces two levels of products: level II
and level III.

List of weather products and the expiration times of each.
Figure 12-22. List of weather products and the expiration times
of each.

Level II Data Products
All NEXRAD level-II data products are available through the
National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Level II data consists
of the three meteorological base data quantities: reflectivity,
mean radial velocity, and spectrum width.

Level III Data Products
There are 41 products routinely available through the
NCDC. Level III graphic products are available as digital
images, color hard copy, gray scale hard copy, or acetate
overlay copies. This information is then encoded and
disseminated through the satellite weather system as well
as other sources.

NEXRAD level III data for up to a 2,000 mile range can be
displayed. It is important to realize that the radar image is not
real time and can be up to 5 minutes old. At no time should
the images be used as storm penetrating radar nor to navigate
through a line of storms. The images display should only be
used as a reference.