January 2016 Issue

Snow Storms

Meteorological terms can be casually tossed about by laymen and news readers in a way that makes them sound like synonyms for the same thing. But to a professional meteorologist—and therefore to us pilots—the distinctions matter. For example, the terms used to describe certain types of snowfall have specific meanings, and sometimes there is a Metar abbreviation, sometimes not. Here are a few definitions—and their abbreviations—from the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) for snow-related weather…

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