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TERMINAL AERODROME FORECAST (TAF)




Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) are forecasts that are for an area of 5SM radius from the center of the airport. The information on a TAF is very similar to a METAR, in which they both use the same weather codes, descriptions, and abbreviations.

  • TAF’s are forecasts.

  • Valid for a 24 - 30 hour period.

  • Issued every 6 hours, released four times a day starting at 0000Z, 0600Z, 1200Z, and 1800Z.


Below we will break down two examples of actual TAF’s.


Example 1:

KLAX 031506Z 0315/0418 01018G28KT P6SM SCT040 FM031700 35012G20KT P6SM SKC FM031900 30012KT P6SM SKC FM040200 35008KT P6SM SKC FM041000 03005KT P6SM SKC


KLAX – 4-character ICAO identifier. This report is for Las Angles International, CA (LAX)

  • K – Is used for the lower 48 states in the U.S. i.e.

    • KLAX (Los Angeles), KSAN (San Diego), KORD (Chicago O’Hare)

    • Other U.S. station identifiers are PA – Alaska and PH – Hawaiian Islands.

Date and Time - 031506Z, is the first date and time is when the TAF came out.

  • 03th – is the day of the month

  • 1506Z is always given in Zulu time (UTC).​

2nd Date/Time - 0315/0418 is the TAF forecast period.

  • 03rd day at 1500Z thought 04th day at 1800Z.

Wind direction and speed - 01018G28KT

  • Winds are from the NNE (010 degrees) at 18 knots

  • G - (wind gust) at 28 knots

Visibility - P6SM P (plus) 6 statute miles or greater


Sky Condition - SCT040 Cloud scattered 4000 feet.


Forecast Change Group -

FM (From) - FM031700 35012G20KT P6SM SKC – FM031700 FM 3rd Day at 1700Z, winds are 350 degrees at 12 knots gusting 20 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, SKC - sky conditions are clear.


From - FM031900 30012KT P6SM SKC - FM031900 FM 3rd Day at 1900Z winds are 300 degrees at 12 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, SKC - sky conditions are clear.


From - FM040200 35008KT P6SM SKC - FM040200 FM 4th Day at 0200Z winds are 350 degrees at 8 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, SKC - sky conditions are clear.

From - FM041000 03005KT P6SM SKC - FM041000FM 4th Day at 1000Z winds are 030 degrees at 5 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, SKC - sky conditions are clear.




Example 2:

KONT 281739Z 2818/2924 VRB04KT P6SM BKN200 FM282100 20008KT P6SM SCT050 BKN150 FM282300 26014G22KT P6SM BKN040 FM290600 26009KT 2SM RA OVC009 FM291200 25006KT P6SM -SHRA SCT025 BKN035 FM291900 25010KT 6SM SHRA SCT015 BKN025 FM292300 25010KT P6SM VCSH SCT025 BKN040


KONT – 4-character ICAO identifier. This report is for Ontario International, CA USA

  • K – Is used for the lower 48 states in the U.S. i.e.

    • KLAX (Los Angeles), KSAN (San Diego), KORD (Chicago O’Hare)

    • Other U.S. station identifiers are PA – Alaska and PH – Hawaiian Islands.

Date and Time - 281739Z, is the first date and time is when the TAF came out.

  • 28th – is the day of the month

  • 1739Z is always given in Zulu time (UTC).​

2nd Date/Time - 2818/2924 is the TAF forecast period.

  • 28th day at 1800Z thought 29th at 2400Z

Wind direction and speed – VRB04KT

  • Winds are VRB (variable) at 04 knots.

    • Variable – variation in wind direction up to 60 degrees.

Visibility - P6SM P (plus) 6 statute miles or greater


Sky Condition – BKN (Broken) Clouds at 20,000 feet.


Forecast Change Group -

FM (From) - FM282100 20008KT P6SM SCT050 BKN150 – FM282100 FM 28th Day at 2100Z, winds are 200 degrees at 08 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, clouds are SCT050 scattered (SCT) clouds at 5000 feet, BRK150 broken (BKN) clouds at 15,000 feet.


From – FM282300 26014G22KT P6SM BKN040 – FM282300 FM 28th Day at 2300Z winds are 260 degrees at 14 knots G (gust) 22knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, clouds are BKN at 4000 feet.


From – FM290600 26009KT 2SM RA OVC009 – FM290600 FM 29th Day at 0600Z winds are 260 degrees at 9 knots, 2SM - visibility is 2 statute miles, RA (rain), sky is OVC (overcast) at 900 feet.


From – FM291200 25006KT P6SM -SHRA SCT025 BKN035 – FM291200 FM 29th Day at 1200Z winds are 250 degrees at 6 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, -SHRA minus symbol = light (showers/rain), clouds are SCT025 scattered (SCT) clouds at 2500 feet and BRK035 broken (BKN) clouds at 3500 feet.


From – FM291900 25006KT 6SM SHRA SCT015 BKN025 – FM291900 FM 29th Day at 1900Z winds are 250 degrees at 6 knots, 6SM - visibility is 6 statute miles, SHRA (showers/rain), clouds are SCT015 scattered (SCT) clouds at 1500 feet and BRK025 broken (BKN) clouds at 2500 feet.


From – FM292300 25010KT P6SM VCSH SCT025 BKN040 – FM292300 FM 29th Day at 2300Z winds are 250 degrees at 10 knots, P6SM - visibility is plus 6 statute miles or greater, VCSH (showers in the vicinity), clouds are SCT025 scattered (SCT) clouds at 2500 feet and BRK040 broken (BKN) clouds at 4000 feet.



Other Abbreviations that you need to know are:

  • 00000KT - Wind calm

  • TEMPO – Temporary (located in the Forecast Change Group)

  • Moderate

  • + - heavy

  • WS – Wind Shear

  • HZ – Haze

  • FG – Fog

  • BR – Mist

  • TS – Thunderstorms

  • DZ – Drizzle

  • SN - Snow




Reference:




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