Weather Briefings

  • Type of flight – IFR or VFR. If you want to fly VFR, but you are instrument qualified and equipped, state that you can go IFR if necessary.
  • Aircraft Identification (tail number) – or last name.
  • Type of Aircraft – and equipment if IFR.
  • Departure Point and Destination – and specific airport name, if more than one is located at that city.
  • Route of Flight – including any planned stops.
  • Planned Altitude – or desired winds aloft levels.
  • Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) and Estimated Time En Route (ETE) – in Zulu or local time.
  • Type of Briefing Requested – Standard, abbreviated, or outlook.


Filing your flight plan before the briefing will save you time by providing the briefer with most of the background information needed.

Try to wait until the end of the briefing before asking questions.

If you are a student pilot and/or will be writing down some of the data, don’t hesitate to tell the briefer.


Standard: should be requested when you are planning a flight and have not received a previous briefing or information through mass dissemination. The briefer will automatically provide the following information in the sequence listed, as applicable to your proposed flight:

  • Destinations Outside U.S. Airspace – An International Flight Cautionary Statement will be provided unless you notify the briefer you have the international cautionary advisory.
  • Adverse conditions – Significant meteorological or aeronautical information that might influence a pilot to alter the proposed flight.
  • VFR Flight Not Recommended – A precautionary statement issued when VFR flight is proposed and IFR conditions exist or are forecast.
  • Synopsis – A brief summary of the weather systems that might affect the proposed flight.
  • Current Conditions – Summarized current weather conditions, applicable to your route of flight. If the proposed ETD is beyond 2 hours, you must request this information.
  • En Route Forecast – Conditions expected along the route at the time of your flight.
  • Destination Forecast – Forecast for the ETA and significant changes within 1 hour before and after the ETA.
  • Winds Aloft – Forecast wind direction and velocity above sea level. Briefers may summarize or interpolate as necessary. Temperatures are provided on request.
  • Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) – Notam D and FDC information pertinent to the proposed flight and Notam L information pertinent to the departure and/or local area.
  • ATC Delays – Flow control advisories or known air traffic delays.
  • On Request, the briefer will provide information on MOA’s, MTR’s, published NOTAMs, and approximate density altitude data. Information on U.S. Customs, ADIZ requirements, search and rescue, and other air traffic services is also available.

Abbreviated briefings should be requested to supplement weather data received from another source, update a previous briefing, or when only one or two specific items are needed. Provide the briefer with appropriate background information, and/or the specific items requested. Indicate the source of the information already received, so that the briefer can limit the briefing to the information that you have not received and/or appreciable changes.

If you request only specific items, the briefer will advise you if adverse conditions are present or forecast. Details will be provided on request.

Outlook briefings are to be used when calling 6 or more hours prior to departure time. Forecast data applicable to the proposed flight will be provided. An outlook briefing is for planning purposes and should be followed by a standard or abbreviated briefing prior to departure. Requesting an update when the original briefing was an outlook may mean that important information could be missed.