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.   

 

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:

 

SWEB0393 EBBR 04200243 
(SNOWTAM 0393 A) EBBR B) 04200243
C) 07 F) 48/7/47 G) 02/XX/03 H) 60/58/53/GRT
N) 47
R) 47

T) RWY SANDED)

 

Two runways:

 

SWEB0497 EBLG 04200155 
(SNOWTAM 0497 A) EBLG B) 04200155
C) 05L F) NIL/NIL/NIL G) XX/XX/XX H) 5/5/5
N) NIL
C) 05R F) NIL/NIL/NIL G) XX/XX/XX H) 5/5/5
N) NIL
R) NIL)