Topic Author
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:18 am

Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:55 am

I was wondering ... I noticed that since the storm last week, ATC controllers at MIA and other South Florida airports provide wind heading and speed advises as estimates -- as opposed to actual readings? (Wind estimated at zero eight zero at one zero). What is behind the language change?

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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:52 pm

RE: Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:11 am

unstable atmosphere conditions that could lead to sudden wind changes maybe?
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

RE: Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:31 am

It might be a technicality. The hurricane likely did some damage to the anemometers on the field. They could be using a backup that's not 'legally' reliable, or the repaired anemometer might not be completely calibrated yet. Stating the winds to be 'estimated' conveys the message that the accuracy of their information can't be guaranteed.
Ask why..
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:26 am

Kohflot called it correctly. Broken instrumentation. "Estimated" is the prescribed ATC (US) phraseology in these circumstances.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:01 pm

RE: Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:45 pm

It could also be estimated if the wind sensor is not located near the approach end of the runway. For instance, Runway 9 is in use but the wind sensor isn't working. The Runway 27 sensor is operating, so the wind is estimated.
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:08 am

RE: Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"?

Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:56 pm

Kohflot and SPREE34 have it right. If the certified wind speed/direction indicator is out of service ATC may use a backup that while technically correct is not legally "correct," hence the "estimated."

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