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5 Weather Products That Help You Determine Icing Conditions

It's your responsibility to determine if and where icing conditions exist. Make sure you're using the right weather products to determine the potential for icing conditions on your flight.


1) Temps / Freezing Level Chart

A starting point for determining icing conditions is to take a look at the temperature chart for the altitude you plan to fly.


2) Icing Severity

The icing severity chart provides information on expected icing severity in five categories: none, trace, light, moderate, and heavy. The severity estimations are roughly based on the accretion rate of ice on an airplane, and the levels are determined by the time it would take for an airfoil to accrete 1/4 in on ice: trace, 1 h; light, 15 min-1 h; moderate, 5-15 min; and severe < 5 min.


3) Current Icing AIRMETs/SIGMETs

The default layers for the icing product show AIRMETs and SIGMETs to help you determine where the greatest risk of icing encounters may be found.


4) Current Icing PIREPs

PIREPs (pilot reports) to ATC are another good tool to use if there's a recent one along your route of flight. If you're the first one to fly the route that day, giving reports to ATC will help other pilots in line behind you.


5) Winds and Temperatures Aloft

Deciphering winds and temperatures aloft can paint a good picture of exactly where temperature inversions and icing conditions might be found. This, in combination with other resources, can help you find areas of warm air to avoid ice.


What are your strategies to avoid icing conditions? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

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