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Light and Weather Data

Leaders must consider the impacts of how light (daytime and nighttime conditions) and weather impact the environment in which operations will be conducted. 

The primary aspects of weather analysis include reviewing: 

  • Cloud cover — How do clouds obscure air operations? How much sunlight will we be exposed to? Will a lack of moonlight help or hurt our operation?

  • Precipitation — How do rain, sleet, snow, and hail impact equipment, personnel, and vehicles? 

  • Temperature and humidity — How hot or cold will it be? Does the temperature or humidity hinder our performance? Will it damage equipment? 

  • Visibility — How far can we see? Will fog or mist be a hinderance? 

  • Wind — How does wind impact structures, field maneuvering, smoke signaling, etc?

When reviewing light data, planners must consider how the seasons will affect the climate in which operations are conducted, to include how the sun and moon will rise and set at different times throughout the year. 


Obtaining Light Data

The unit obtains light data using the "World Clock" tools to identify sun and moon phases. 

When planning for operations, it is best to try to locate the nearest large city. 
For operations conducted at Squadron Headquarters (A.I. Root Middle School in Medina, Ohio), use Akron, Ohio.


Use the "Sun & Moon" tab to review applicable light data. 


Light data considered should be Moonlight (%)Morning Civil Twilight, and Evening Civil Twilight


Obtaining Weather Data

Weather should be obtained from official government sources, such as the National Weather Service (NWS) as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Keep in mind that weather is obtained as a forecast and not current weather since it is intended to plan for future or upcoming operations. 

The NWS provides for a detailed 7-day forecast. 







Light and Weather Report

A compiled light and weather report includes the following: 

Date Obtained:  
Forecast for:  
Temperature and Humidity: 
Cloud Cover: 
Impacts to Visibility: 
Start Morning Civil Twilight: 

End Morning Civil Twilight: 
Start Evening Civil Twilight:
End Evening Civil Twilight:
Moonlight (%): 

Weather reports may be lengthened or shortened as appropriate for the complexity of the operation to be conducted. Longer-duration operations may use tables to fill in detail light and weather data over a span of several days or if weather is expected to significantly change during a single day. 



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