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FM 34-81: Weather Support for Army Operations



Meteorological critical values are those values which reduce significantly the effectiveness of tactical operations and/or weapon systems. Significant variations above or below critical values can prevent the successful completion of a mission. Therefore, the SWO must be aware of critical values and must consider them in all forecasts.

This appendix provides a table of critical values for specific and branch operations. It does not, however, provide absolute values for every operation or weapon system on the battlefield. Critical values must be weighed against the tactical situation and the mission. Although weather personnel forecast and call attention to critical factors, only commanders decide which values are critical for each operation. Additional input from terrain analysis teams and other sources and the criticality of the mission are weighed by the commander in reaching a decision. Figure C-1 shows some meteorological critical values for specific and branch operations.

Weather information frequently is color coded to help the decision maker quickly assess the impact of weather on impending operations and decisions. This person normally is the tactical unit commander whom the WETM supports. The following color code is suggested for consistency within the operational commands:

  • GREEN (Favorable): weather has no restrictions.
  • AMBER (Marginal): weather degrades or limits.
  • RED (Unfavorable): weather prohibits.

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