VIDEO: How fog impacts air travel

With fog covering many parts of the UK so far this week, air travel can be disrupted.

In this short video we hear from our Meteorologist, Aidan McGivern who gives a quick summary of the weather over the past few days, followed by Jon Dutton, Aviation Business Manager who summarises the impact that fog can have on air travel.

What is a WAFC?

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Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud

(Strong vertical shear between two air streams causing winds to blow faster at the upper level than at the lower levels, causing turbulence. Sometimes these turbulent waves are seen in clouds).

From the early days of aviation, it was realised that meteorological information is vital for both the planning and safe conduct of flights. Pilots need to be informed about meteorological conditions along the routes they take and at their destination aerodromes.

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What is fog – and why does it occur?

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You may have noticed that fog is the predominant weather type across parts of the UK today and over the past few days. With all the coverage in the media, you may be wondering what fog is and how it is formed. Put simply, fog is just cloud at the ground! More specifically, it is made of small water droplets suspended in the air just above the ground, which cause a reduction in the near surface visibility.

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We are delighted to have won the Team Heathrow Partnership Award for the category ‘Improving Every Day’.

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You may or may not know that we have a team of meteorologists working on-site at Heathrow helping mitigate weather risks, reduce costs and improve ways of working.

As well as providing weather forecasts we worked closely with Heathrow staff to develop a Snow Response Forecast to help the airport team make key operational decisions as early as possible to improve the experience for all passengers. Continue reading

Why meteorologists need to work night shifts

019As a meteorologist I have often been asked, ‘Why do you need to work night shifts?’ And the simple answer is, because the weather doesn’t stop when everyone goes to bed!

Commercial airports require a Terminal Aerodrome Forecast, commonly known as a TAF, to remain operational and allow aircraft to land and take off. This is a coded forecast for pilots, describing the wind speed and direction, cloud height, visibility and weather for that airport for the next 9, 24 or even 30 hours ahead. Learn more…