It is not common knowledge for a pilot to know the specific organization or forecasters that generate the various aviation weather forecasts they use every day. This is certainly a point that is clearly not emphasized in any training curriculum used by flight schools and typically is not discussed in many aviation texts. Pilots are simply taught the basic characteristics of those forecasts and how to utilize them in the context of their preflight planning analysis. But it can be useful to know the source of the official forecasts and understand the challenges faced by these underappreciated meteorologists.
There are several official weather products that pilots use that are generated by human forecasters. These include area forecasts (FA), AIRMETs (WA), SIGMETs (WS), convective SIGMETs (WST) and terminal aerodrome forecasts. Terminal aerodrome forecasts, better known to pilots as TAFs are provided to pilots as part of a standard briefing. Despite what some pilots are taught, they are not automatically generated by a computer and are not issued by the staff at the Leidos (Flight Service). Leidos only reports the weather and forecasts and never issues any specific forecasts including TAFs.
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