PART C - WEATHER ANALYSIS
Aviation operations are especially susceptible to the effects of weather.
Therefore, intelligence analysts must recognize the significance of weather during
airspace analysis. Weather analysis for airspace operations considers the same
factors of visibility, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover and
temperature, and humidity as does weather analysis for ground operations.
Visibility has a significant impact on aviation operations and visual air defense
target acquisition. Visibility usually decreases as cloud cover increases, thereby
frequently creating situations which further decrease visibility aloft. CAS
operations normally require a minimum cloud ceiling of at least 1,000 feet for
rotary-wing aircraft and 2,500 feet for fixed-wing aircraft. Television-guided or
infrared precision-guided munitions require cloud-free LOS to the target without
Factors such as fog, blowing snow or rain, heavy blowing dust, or smoke and
obscurants will normally restrict or prohibit operations by aircraft that do not
capabilities will normally be unable to conduct low-level approaches, CAS missions,
or NOE flights during periods of reduced visibility.
Rotary-wing aircraft are especially restricted during periods of darkness and
reduced visibility due to their lack of sophisticated terrain avoidance and target
acquisition radars. This is particularly true of threat helicopters which have
less sophisticated night vision and infrared target acquisition devices. Most
rotary-wing operations become hazardous during times of reduced visibility.
Darkness will not normally place restrictions on radar-assisted or infrared-guided
air defense weapons systems. However, periods of reduced visibility will restrict
the employment of air defense systems which rely totally on visual target
acquisition and tracking.
Reduced visibility in the target area will limit the effectiveness of visual
bombing, visual target acquisition, and the accuracy of airborne personnel or
WIND SPEED AND DIRECTION
The impact of wind on airborne operations can be significant depending on the
mission and situation. High winds and associated air turbulence near the ground
will normally hinder CAS and aircraft target engagement. Rotary-wing aircraft are
particularly prone to severe buffeting by high