Weather Reports and Forecasts
Many pilots face a few challenges when they are first introduced to weather reports and forecasts. Just knowing what charts are available and how to interpret them can seem overwhelming. Don’t be concerned with memorizing all the information after one review of the lesson. Practice is necessary in order to utilize these weather products properly.

To begin, you should understand that we can generally arrange aviation weather products into two distinct areas: reports and forecasts. Weather reports are observations of current or recently occurring weather events, while forecasts provide scientific predictions of events that are expected to take place. Weather reports and forecasts are usually produced in two formats, textual and graphical.

Weather Information
Reports Forecasts
Textual Graphical Textual Graphical


As pilots, we are required to obtain specific weather information from approved products and sources. The Weather Channel, CNN, local news, etc., can be good starting points for general information, but they do not provide specific information or products and are not approved as legal sources of weather information for flight planning purposes.

In this lecture, we will concentrate on the most important approved weather products and identify the official methods for gathering this information. This will help you greatly in your preparation for the FAA Private Pilot Written Examination.