Aviation Weather

full text of the classic FAA guide


Temperature affects aircraft performance and is critical to some operations. Following are some operational pointers to remember, and most of them are developed in later chapters:

  1. The aircraft thermometer is subject to inaccuracies no matter how good the instrument and its installation. Position of the aircraft relative to the sun can cause errors due to radiation, particularly on a parked aircraft. At high speeds, aerodynamical effects and friction are basically the causes of inaccuracies.

  2. High temperature reduces air density and reduces aircraft performance (chapter 3).

  3. Diurnal and topographical temperature variations create local winds (chapter 4).

  4. Diurnal cooling is conducive to fog (chapter 5).

  5. Lapse rate contributes to stability (chapter 6), cloud formation (chapter 7), turbulence (chapter 9), and thunderstorms (chapter 11).

  6. An inversion aloft permits warm rain to fall through cold air below. Temperature in the cold air can be critical to icing (chapter 10).

  7. A ground based inversion favors poor visibility by trapping fog, smoke, and other restrictions into low levels of the atmosphere (chapter 12).

Table of Contents
Previous Section: Temperature Variations
Next Section: Atmospheric Pressure and Altimetry


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