Aviation Duties

By: Ken Wallingford, Aviation Focal Point


Along with forecasting the weather for everyday activities, as well as tracking and issuing warnings for major storms, there is another important responsibility for forecasters here at the NWS in Caribou. This responsibility is the preparation and issuance of several aviation products. These aviation forecasts have a tendency to remain somewhat out of the spotlight, but are in fact used readily by a wide spectrum of users across northern and downeast Maine. The specific products we issue fall into two groups: Terminal Aviation Forecasts (TAFs) and Transcribed Weather Broadcasts (TWEBs). TAFs are simply point forecasts of expected conditions at various airports across the forecast area for the next 24 hours. While TWEBs are more generalized enroute forecasts for regular flight routes across the region.


Our office issues 4 TAFs (Caribou, Presque Isle, Houlton and Bangor) and 2 TWEB routes (Portland, ME to Caribou, ME and Bangor, ME to Burlington, VT) These products are prepared in standard aviation METAR code, a code widely used throughout the world and by a wide variety of users. Our users range from recreational private pilots to major airline carriers to just about everything in between. Forecasters here use various computer software programs to prepare and disseminate our aviation products. For those interested in aviation, these products along with a wealth of additional aviation information can be found at www.aviationweather.gov

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