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2 Answers

Why is temperature not included in TAFs?

Asked by: 3760 views
General Aviation

Does anybody know why temperature is not included within TAFs?  I know winds aloft forecasts included temperatures 3,000 feet and above. 

However surface temperature has it's value, and I would think this information should be included in TAFs.  It could be useful in determining density altitude of an airport, ground roll landing distance, and whether I'm likely to find frost on my wings around the time that I am scheduled to land.



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2 Answers

  1. SkyBoy98046 on Feb 15, 2011

    I don’t think you can forecast temperatures. Plus, it would not be proper to do a density altitude calculation from a future forcast. You need current and actual conditions to get accurate ground roll data. So it’s pointless to try to get this data from a forecast.

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  2. Kent Shook on Feb 15, 2011

    You can forecast temperatures. I’m not sure why they’re not included in TAF’s, but there are numerous other sources for temperature forecasts. It may just be that the temperature on the ground can change quite a bit through each forecast period on the TAF.
    So, I would use one of those other sources to get the temperature forecast (if you have an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, the Weather Channel app will give you hourly forecast temps for the next 36 hours) and make your preliminary performance calculations based on those. Then, when you are approaching your destination, tune in the ATIS/AWOS and compare the actual temperature with the forecast temp that you used for your calculations.
    Most likely, you’ll discover a temp fairly close to the forecast. If it’s different, adjust in your head – You probably don’t need to know your exact ground roll, just know that it’s going to be a little longer than you calculated if the temp is warmer, for example – If you’re landing on a 3000 foot runway, it really doesn’t matter if your landing roll is 500 feet or 510 feet. If you’re landing on a 1000-foot runway and you calculated a ground roll of 900 feet, you’d best go land elsewhere (most airplanes have a longer takeoff roll than landing roll, so you probably won’t get back out).

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