Weather is critical to tactical operations. Mobility, thoroughly integrated air
and ground operations, and the need to see and attack in deep operations may be
affected by prevailing weather conditions. Complex weapons and support systems
depend on favorable weather conditions for effectiveness. Every operation, piece
of equipment, and person on the battlefield is affected by weather.
Weather is so significant that commanders must be aware of and prepared for the
effect it will have on their operations. Commanders plan to take advantage of
favorable weather conditions, and to minimize adverse weather conditions.
PART A - WEATHER ANALYSIS
The effects of weather on military operations have traditionally been ignored or
slighted in favor of placing more emphasis on analysis of the enemy or terrain.
Weather has and will continue to have a profound effect on the outcome of the
battle. Commanders should be aware of future weather conditions so plans can be
made or changed to gain the maximum advantage of expected weather conditions.
In determining its tactical effectiveness, the weather forecast is important in
planning the use of chemical and biological agents. Understanding the effects of
weather on terrain or chemical agent behavior can be used to tactical advantage.
Weather is analyzed in terms of five general military aspects: visibility, clouds,
precipitation, temperature, and wind to determine their effects on tactical
operations. Additionally, temperature gradient, temperature gradient inversion,
temperature gradient lapse, temperature gradient neutral, wind speeds and
direction, humidity, terrain contour, trees and vegetation, and soils affect the
different reactions caused by a the use of spray or aerosol agents.
* Mobility. Fog, haze and precipitation reduce visibility, and provide varying
degrees of concealment from ground and air observation and reduce the effects
of thermal radiation from nuclear detonations. Decreased visibility normally
favors the attacker because disbursing actions, feints, ruses, and deceptions
are aided. Good visibility favors the defender by permitting observation of
the enemy's approach, therefore allowing the defender to bring fire on him.