Effective February 24, 2022 at 19Z, the Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) will transition to an operational status in Alaska and surrounding waters.
The current operational GFA domain includes the conterminous United States, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Western Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean including Hawaii. As shown above, the GFA expansion into Alaska provides meteorological information in a graphical format over Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea, and portions of the Arctic Ocean. The GFA includes observations and forecasts valid for the Alaska Flight Information Regions (FIRs) critical for aviation safety overlaid on high-resolution maps. Where gridded NWS forecasts do not exist, the GFA uses automated computer model guidance from the Rapid Refresh (RAP) and Global Forecast System (GFS) models.
The Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) will continue to provide textual Area Forecasts (FA) for Alaska to support Alaskan users. Both products may be used for planning purposes. When released, you can find this graphical depiction on the Aviation Weather Center website under the GFA Tool.
Most pilots are weatherwise, but some are otherwise™
Dr. Scott Dennstaedt
Weather Systems Engineer
CFI & former NWS meteorologist