Aviation Weather

full text of the classic FAA guide


Rain, drizzle, and snow are the forms of precipitation which most commonly present ceiling and/or visibility problems. Drizzle or snow restricts visibility to a greater degree than rain. Drizzle falls in stable air and, therefore, often accompanies fog, haze, or smoke, frequently resulting in extremely poor visibility. Visibility may be reduced to zero in heavy snow. Rain seldom reduces surface visibility below 1 mile except in brief, heavy showers, but rain does limit cockpit visibility. When rain streams over the aircraft windshield, freezes on it, or fogs over the inside surface, the pilot's visibility to the outside is greatly reduced.

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