Snowtam Help Page

What is a SNOWTAM, and what does all the codes mean?  Below is a short explanation and a couple of examples - click on the element you wish to know more about.  For further information, ref. AIP Norway AD 1.2.

 

A SNOWTAM is a message describing the conditions of the runways, taxiways and apron at an aerodrome.  During the winter season a SNOWTAM will be issued each day in the morning, before flying starts.  A SNOWTAM is valid for 24 hours, but there are rules stating that a new SNOWTAM shall be issued sooner if significant changes occur.

 

The SNOWTAM consist of different fields, each with its own letter, and the information is almost entirely given in code.  Below are two examples of SNOWTAM with the most used fields filled in.

 

Each aerodrome has its own SNOWTAM series, and they are numbered consecutively for the whole season, starting with 0001.

 

The SNOWTAM itself contains mostly codes, below are examples of SNOWTAM for aerodromes with one and two runways.  Each field in the SNOWTAM is identified with a letter, if you click on each field, your browser will take you to a text with further explanations.

 

Single runway:

 

SWEN0393 ENHF 04200243 
(SNOWTAM 0393 A) ENHF B) 04200243
C) 05 F) 48/7/47 G) 02/XX/03 H) 60/58/53/GRT
N) 47
R) 47

T) RWY SANDED)

 

Two runways:

 

SWEN0497 ENGM 04200155 
(SNOWTAM 0497 A) ENGM B) 04200155
C) 01L F) NIL/NIL/NIL G) XX/XX/XX H) 5/5/5
N) NIL
C) 01R F) NIL/NIL/NIL G) XX/XX/XX H) 5/5/5
N) NIL
R) NIL)

 

 

SWEN

 

SWEN is an international code for SNOWTAM originated in Norway , and the number indicates how many SNOWTAM has been issued for the aerodrome shown in the following field.

 

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Field A

 

This is the ICAO 4-letter location indicator for the aerodrome.

 

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Field B

 

This is the day-time group for when the SNOWTAM was issued.  The format is month-day-hour-minute UTC.

 

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Field C

 

This field shows which runway the SNOWTAM is for.  A SNOWTAM will always tell you the condtions of a runway seen from the end with the lower designator, for example if the runway orientation is 03/21, then the conditions for RWY 03 will be in the SNOWTAM. 

 

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Field F

 

This field show runway contamination (any deposits on the runway). The runway is divided into three equal parts, and the SNOWTAM will give the values for each third divided by a slash (/).  The following codes are used to describe the type of contamination:

 

NIL:     Clear and dry

1:         Damp

2:         Wet or water patches

3:         Rime (normally less than 1 mm deep)

4:         Dry snow

5:         Wet snow

6:         Slush

7:         Ice

8:         Compact or rolled snow

9:         Frozen ruts or ridges.

 

As shown in the ENHF example, there may be more than one code used for each third of the RWY.  If this is done, the codes will show the different layers of contamination from the top down.  48 thus indicates that there are dry snow on top of compact snow on the first third of the runway, the next third has ice (7), while the last third is covered with dry snow on ice (47).

 

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Field G

 

Gives the average depth of the contamination, again for each third of the runway.  The depth is given in millimeters, but if the depth cannot be measured, as would be the case for ice, then the letters XX are used.

 

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Field H

 

This field indicates the braking action, the friction on the runway.  Again the runway is divided into three parts, and the numbers are the mean values for each third.  The braking action may be determined by measuring equipment, or estimated.  If measuring equipment have been used, the friction will always be given in two digits, and an abbreviation stating which equipment was used is also shown.  If the friction have been estimated, a single digit will be used. 

 

Measured fricton:

 

>40:                 Good

39 ? 36:           Medium/good

35 ? 30:           Medium

29 ? 26:           Medium/poor

<25:                 Poor.

 

Estimated friction:

 

5:         Good

4:         Medium/good

3:         Medium

2:         Medium/poor

1:         Poor

9:         Unreliable*

 

* If  unreliable is used, it is because the contamination is outside the approved range of whatever equipment is used to measure the braking action.  This could either be because the contamination is too deep, or of a type that the equipment is not approved for.  For example, measured friction by Grip Tester (GRT) on wet ice is considered to be unreliable and the SNOWTAM will then have the value 9 in field H).

 

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Field H ? Friction measuring equipment used

 

If the friction on the runway has been measured, the type of equipment used is indicated with the following abbreviations:

 

BRD:   Brakemeter-Dynometer

GRT:    Grip Tester

MUM: Mu-meter

RFT:    Runway friction tester

SFH:    Surface friction tester (high pressure tires)

SFL     Surface friction tester (low pressure tires)

SKH    Skiddometer (high pressure tires)

SKL    Skiddometer (low pressure tires)

TAP     Tapleymeter

 

Any other type of equipment will be stated in clear text.

 

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Field N

 

Gives the conditions on the taxiways associated with the runway.  The codes are the same as for the runway, but the taxiways are not divided into thirds.

 

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Field R

 

Tells you whats on the apron, again, the codes are the same as for the runway.

 

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Field T

 

This is a clear text-field.  In this field information of significance will be entered.  If there is no text in this field, the T) will not be shown on the SNOWTAM.

 

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