Ground 4 - Interpreting Weather Data


The purpose of this lesson is to develop the pilot-in-training’s ability to obtain and interpret weather briefings.


You are planning a hiking trip for you and a friend in the Sierra Nevada mountains. To get there, you plan to fly from the Palo Alto airport (KPAO) to the South Lake Tahoe airport (KTVL).

  • Study these chapters in the Jeppesen Private Pilot Textbook and answer the end-of-section reviews.
    • Chapter 6 - Meterology for Pilots
      • Section A: Basic Weather Theory
      • Section B: Weather Patterns
      • Section C: Weather Hazards
    • Chapter 7 - Interpreting Weather Data
      • Section A: The Forecasting Process
      • Section B: Printed Reports and Forecasts
      • Section C: Graphic Weather Products
      • Section D: Sources of Weather Information
  • Prepare for the knowledge test by studying these sections in the ASA Private Pilot Test Prep book.
    • Chapter 6 - Weather
    • Chapter 7 - Weather Services
  • Study Advisory Circular 91-92 Pilot's Guide to Preflight Briefing
Learning Objectives
Source of Weather Information
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Describe Compiling and Processing Weather Data
Describe Forecasting Accuracy and Limitations
Describe Preflight Weather Sources
Describe In-Flight Weather Sources
Describe Weather Radar Services
Describe Automated Weather Reporting Systems
Printed Reports and Forecasts
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Describe Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR)
Describe Pilot Weather Reports (PIREP)
Describe Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF)
Describe Winds and Temperatures Aloft Forecast
Describe AIRMET/SIGMET/Convective SIGMET
Graphic Weather Products
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Describe Surface Analysis Chart
Describe Weather Depiction Chart
Describe Radar Imagery
Describe Satellite Weather Imagery
Describe Low-Level Significant Weather Prognostic Chart
Describe Graphical Area Forecast
Describe Forecast Winds and Temperatures Aloft Chart
Describe Convective Outlook Chart
Describe Volcanic Ash Forecast and Dispersion Chart
Completion Standards
The lesson is complete when the pilot-in-training can:
  • meet the desired outcomes listed in the learning objectives table.
  • explain the various sources for obtaining weather information during preflight planning and while in flight.
  • obtain a standard weather briefing for the scenario flight.
  • interpret the weather reports, forecasts and graphic charts in the weather briefing.
  • recognize critical weather situations described by weather reports and forecasts.
  • has completed a personal minimums worksheet and can apply them to a weather briefing.