6. SmartBrief & Brief Page¶
SmartBrief, available with an Australian Premium subscription, is an interactive map that combines a variety of different weather sources. You can access the Graphical Area Forecasts (GAF), NAIPS location briefings, SIGMETs, AIRMETs, Grid Point Wind & Temperature (GPWT) and more. When you first open SmartBrief you will see a map of Australia with the GAF regions overlaid (Image 6.1) The sections below describe how to interact with the various elements of SmartBrief.
A video demonstration of SmartBrief is also available at https://ozrunways.com/learnmore/smartbrief
6.2. Graphical Area Forecasts (GAF)¶
Zoom in to the map to see more detail. You will notice that the GAF regions and areas are drawn on the map. Tap on an area to bring up the forecast text, as shown in Image 6.2
Coloured items in the forecast text are tappable (for example, in the image above ‘B2’, ‘YMES/YDLI’ and ‘B1’ can be tapped on). When tapped, the text and the corresponding depiction on the map will turn orange to help you locate it. You can adjust the size of the text box by sliding the grab handle. Surface vis and wx, along with associated cloud, icing and turbulence is depicted. Use the ‘X’ to dismiss the text box. There is a PDF button to load the original GAF PDF.
The translate button converts the acronyms to plain text (as shown in Image 6.3)
In the top right corner of the page is the time slider box (Image 6.4)
Use this slider to control the forecast period you want to view. Periods where a GAF is available are shown as boxes, tap the boxes to automatically jump the slider to the relevant time period. Tap once in a blank section of the box to change to local time. Tap again to change back to UTC time. Double tap inside the box to return the slider to the current time. The current UTC time is always displayed in the top right corner of this box for your reference. If you have a plan loaded a magenta line is displayed above the slider to give you an indication of what forecast times are relevant to you. Make sure you have your ETD set correctly in the plan for this to work.
6.3. NOTAMs for Plan¶
The ‘NOTAMs for Plan’ button is only shown when you have a plan loaded. Tap to see a list of NOTAMs relevant to the airfields and areas contained in your plan. For more information about the symbols next to the NOTAMs see NOTAM grading system further down.
6.4. Significant Weather (SIGMETs & AIRMETs)¶
If there are any SIGMETs or AIRMETs valid for the selected time they will be drawn on the map in red (SIGMETs) or yellow (AIRMETs). Tap on a SIGMET or AIRMET to view more information.
Tap the Significant Weather button to see a list of all SIGMETs and AIRMETs valid within the set forecast time. You can tap a SIGMET or AIRMET in the list and it will become highlighted on the map. The Significant Weather button is not shown if there are no valid SIGMETs or AIRMETs for the set forecast time.
If for any reason a SIGMET or AIRMET shape cannot be drawn on the SmartBrief map, a warning will appear prompting you to check the list.
The Charts button opens a chart directory. Here you can find various charts produced by different meteorological authorities, along with the original PDF versions of the GAFs, GPWTs, and SIGWX charts.
6.6. Location Briefings¶
To access location briefings zoom in on the map until the location waypoints appear. Tap a location to bring up the briefing. Image 6.5 shows the location briefing for YORG (Orange). Once again there is a translate button but please note that at this stage only the TAFs can be translated.
eAWIS is created from unverified one-minute observation data from BoM. For situational awareness only.
Locations that have an eAWIS/METAR available will be colour coded according to the observed meteorological conditions. The criteria for the colours is shown in Image 6.6 below. Where wind data is available a wind indicator is also shown on the waypoint, with each full barb indicating 10kts and a half barb indicating 5kts.
NOTAM grading system¶
There are two symbols next to each NOTAM: a star and a thumbs down. Use these symbols to sort the NOTAMs. Press the star to mark the NOTAM as important. Press the thumbs down to mark the NOTAM as junk. The list of NOTAMs is sorted as follows: 1. Unread 2. Important 3. Junk
The idea of this system is that it’s easier to read through a bunch of NOTAMs, as those that you have already read and marked as junk go to the bottom, new NTOAMs always appear first, and NOTAMs marked as important after those.
6.7. Grid Point Wind/Temperature (GPWT)¶
Switch to the GPWT view by pressing the windsock in the bottom left corner. The GPWT overview shows different coloured squares overlaid across Australia as shown in Image 6.8.
These boxes give a graphical representation of the data from the GPWT charts. The colour indicates temperature (see colour scale in bottom right corner) and the arrow represents wind direction and strength, the longer the arrow the stronger the wind. Zoom in to see the actual figures for each square as shown in Image 6.9. The figures are interpolated for altitude and time.
Use the slider in the bottom right corner to adjust the altitude. The selected altitude in Image 6.9 is 5000ft. As with the GAF, use the time slider in the top right corner to adjust the forecast time you want to view. The available GPWT periods are pre-filled in boxes so that you can easily switch between them.
If you have an Australian Premium subscription but don’t have access to SmartBrief, try pressing and holding the ‘Brief’ icon in the menu bar. The option to switch between Brief and SmartBrief will appear.
6.8. Basic Brief (Brief)¶
Basic Brief provides easy to access weather and NOTAM information relevant to your route in one place.
If you have set up any Favourites on the Airfields Page (see Favourites), then those airfields will be displayed at the top of the Basic Brief page for quick access to their location briefings.
If you have a plan entered then all the airfields in your plan will be displayed in the list underneath the Favourites section. Tap an airfield to load the location briefing.
Weather in Plan¶
The Weather in Plan section is only displayed when you have a plan entered. This section provides Area Briefings, GAF, and GPWT charts relevant to the areas your plan crosses. Tap an item in the list to view the chart or briefing.
The Charts button in the top right corner opens a chart directory. Here you can find various charts produced by different meteorological authorities, along withs PDF versions of the GAFs, GPWTs, and SIGWX charts.