FAA Now Offers 12-Hour Icing Forecast Online

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The FAA on Thursday unveiled a new Web-based product that offers warning to pilots about icing hazards up to 12 hours in advance. The Forecast Icing Tool provides a high-tech color weather map and/or a flight-route display of icing potential at flight levels from 3,000 to 18,000 feet. The user can view freezing-level graphics with forecast times at three-, six-, nine-, and twelve-hour intervals to plan safe routes of travel, the FAA said. "One of the best ways to manage the effects of bad weather is to avoid it altogether," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in a news release. "With information provided by this automated tool, pilots flying aircraft under 18,000 feet can make critical flight decisions." In-flight icing is most hazardous to private pilots and air-taxi and commuter-aircraft operators flying at lower altitudes and often lacking sophisticated wing-deicing equipment, the FAA said. The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., developed the new tool with funding from the FAA's Aviation Weather Research program. It joins the growing FAA-developed suite of weather tools, such as the Current Icing Potential tool. All are publicly available online. The National Weather Service operates these products for the FAA.