Get the latest news on coronavirus impacts on general aviation, including what AOPA is doing to protect GA, event cancellations, advice for pilots to protect themselves, and more. Read More
Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Weather Wise: Air Masses and Fronts

Lift the curtain on air masses, fronts, regional weather, and high- and low-pressure systems to come to the right decision about flying in weather.

Get Started

Create Free Account

Already have an account? Log In here

Sponsored by SiriusXM Aviation

Weather Wise: Air Masses and FrontsWeather Wise Air Masses and Fronts


 Are you planning a quick local flight or a weeklong cross-country adventure? Understanding the large-scale forces that create weather makes it easier to come to the right decisions about flying in weather. For example, hazardous weather associated with fronts can include thunderstorms, icing, low ceilings and visibilities, and wind and turbulence. It’s also good to remember that forecasts are not guarantees of what the weather will be, so compare them to actual conditions and pay attention to trends.

This safety spotlight lifts the curtain on air masses, fronts, regional weather, and high- and low-pressure systems. 

You’ll review:

  • How geography influences air masses
  • Stable vs unstable air characteristics
  • High and low pressure systems
  • Isobars and pressure gradients
  • Front types and characteristics
  • Regional weather trends
  • The value of PIREPs
  • Cockpit weather tools

SiriusXM Aviation

The 2020 ADS-B Mandate does not require you to use ADS-B weather. You are free to choose SiriusXM, ADS-B weather, or both. SiriusXM’s satellite-delivered weather is always available inflight with no altitude limitations or line-of-sight restrictions. It’s coast-to-coast, high-resolution radar and cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning make it the best choice for pilots. Explore the significant differences between SiriusXM and ADS-B weather at