A) Decode the following METAR;

METAR CYZU 161900Z 28015G24 2SM SN VV005 M12/M18 RMK A2968 SN8 SLP089=

METAR for Whitecourt Airport

16th day at 1900 Zulu

Wind from 280° True at 15 Knots gusting to 25 knots

Visibility 2 statute mile in moderate snow

Vertical Visibility of 500ft and remember this is also considered a cieling

Temperature is minus 12 degrees Celsius and a dewpoint of minus 18 degrees Celsius

RMK stands for Remarks

Altimeter is 29.68 Inches of Mercury

Sky is obscured by snow 

Sea Level Pressure is 1008.9 millibars

B) Is it legal to fly in the above conditions?

Depends on what airspace you need to be in. If your departure point is in uncontrolled airspace you would be able to fly as the minimums required is 1 sm visibility while remaining clear of cloud.

You would not be able to fly into controlled airpace as your minimums are 3 SM visibility, 1 sm horizontally and 500ft vertically from cloud.

That being aid it is possible to enter or leave a control zone by requesting special VFR.

For more on weather minimums see this TAKE FIVE from Transport Canada.


C) What are the weather minimums for SVFR?

You need one half statute mile of visibility and to remain clear of cloud. As the pilot you must request SVFR and if there are any IFR aircraft in or outbound you will not be given it.

D) What type of cloud is this?

This photo was taken last summer at a remote spray setup with Black Hawk Helicopters.

This is Mammatus clouds typically associated with cumulonimbus clouds. These bulges are formed by subsiding air within the cloud.