Updated: Jan 29
Center Weather Advisories, or CWAs, are the “front lines” of aviation weather in the U.S. for adverse weather such as low IFR conditions, thunderstorms, icing, and turbulence, just to name a few. While they smell a lot like Graphical AIRMETs and SIGMETs, they are more of an in-flight advisory about current conditions than they are a planning tool or forecast. Therefore, it’s critical to look for these while en route to your destination and just before you close the door to depart.
These are issued by highly trained meteorologists located at the Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs) co-located at the FAA’s 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers
(ARTCC) as shown above. A CWA is an unscheduled weather advisory for conditions meeting or approaching national in-flight advisory criteria for non-convective SIGMETs, G-AIRMETs and convective SIGMETs. It is primarily used by pilots to anticipate and avoid adverse weather conditions in the en route and terminal environments.
Adverse weather includes, but is not limited to:
a. Convective weather includi