Forecast: change in the air coming next month


Less than one month from today the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will introduce its new graphical area (GAF) and grid point wind and temperature (GPWT) forecasts.

The bureau says the new forecast formats aim to improve safety and ease of flight planning. GAFs will incorporate an image outlining the boundaries of different weather areas, will present information in a more accessible format, and will rely less on complex location descriptions in long text strings. A pilot can look at the image and quickly see which weather areas are relevant to their flight.

GAFs will be accompanied by a table which outlines surface visibility and weather; cloud, icing and turbulence; and the freezing level. The vertical extent of GAFs will remain the same as the current ARFORs (surface to 10,000 ft).

The 28 forecast areas used in ARFORs have been amalgamated into ten larger GAF areas, using names based on region instead of the area numbering format currently used. GAFs will be valid for six hours, but two consecutive GAFs will be released at each issue time, providing a forecast for 12 hours.

Further information, webpage including a detailed user guide, video, sample GAFs and other resources can be found on the Bureau’s aviation web page.


  1. Remember ‘forecast’ means to predict, estimate. Been caught too many times in 40 yrs of driving planes to believe anything the BOM forecast!

  2. Firstly re the above comment.if the author has the courage of convictions,maybe he should have posted his identity.Enough said on that subject.I think back to the words of wisdom,that noted aviation journalist Jim Davis,a regular contributor in the Australian Flying magazine,often puts forward,when talking about airmanship,and other matters re the pilot actions etc.”Would you willingly sit in the back seat of an aircraft,with this pilot at the controls”.I my case,”No”.If this pilot believes that BOM,is putting out weather information that is not the best available at the time,then he must think he knows more than they do about forcasting, Weather is a fluid medium.Sometimes they get it wrong,but most times they get it right.Right enough for my flying activities over the last forty years.Most pilots have a high opinion of BOM,and a trust in their forcasts,and aviation weather services,Obviously this contributor does not.,

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