Foreflight Radar Signs and Symbols

Hello IFC:

Today I bring you something alot of people probably don’t know. I am going to explain how to read the symbols and signs on a radar overlay on ForeFlIght. As we all know, ForeFlight is an app that real world pilots and hard core simmers use to help navigate, pull up charts, etc. In this ForeFlight “tutorial”, I took a screenshot of the radar on Foreflight and circled each symbol in a different ink pen to explain it.

As you can see, here is a snippet of that current radar in North Texas, Northern Louisiana, and a good majority of Arkansas. So, lets start explaining what this all means.

The main radar

What is the main radar? The main radar is all of the greens, yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, purples, and sometimes whites on the radar. These colors depict how heavy the precipitation is. The green is light, yellow is moderate, red is heavy/severe, pink,purple and white is all extreme precipitation.

Black Circles

Do you see the black circles I drew on the radar? Yes? Cool! Those numbers show how high (in feet MSL) that part of the storm is or how high the tops of the clouds are. As you can see, they range from 20,500 feet (FL205) to 37,500 feet (FL375) to 44,700 feet (FL447). The higher numbers can usually be found were the precipitation is heavier.

Blue Circles

Do you see the Blue circles I drew on the radar? Yes? Cool! Those circles show were the lighting in the storm is and how frequent it is. You can tell it is lighting by the lighting shaped symbol.

White Circles

Do you see the White circles I drew on the radar? Yes? Cool! Those circles show were the storm is rotating. It is really self explanatory. If someone else wants to add details, they can

Red Circles

Do you see the Red circles I drew on the radar? Yes? Cool! Those circles show were there is frozen precipitation falling to the ground. It could be anything but it is most usually hail coming from the thunderstorm.

I hope you enjoyed this little ForeFlight tutorial.



Nice tutorial, nice details, easy to explain. I would rate 9 out of 10! Wondering why you are missing one star? Look at the photo that you uploaded, it is hard to see some circle and there 2 different blue circle, can you make a second one that is little more clear, thank!

I do not see two blue circles. One of them is black and the other one is blue. The light blue circles you see are airspace around major airports and are Class B airports

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There are 2 blue circle, one is around the major airport and another is on the radar (Precipitation) mostly at the bottom and along the front to the top.

Please show. The blue circles I used highlighted the lighting bolts if that is what you are talking about

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OK, but I recommend to use different color, because there is another blue circle is around the major airport. It make me confuse.

You drew these dark blue circle is not circle, it a polygon. A circle is must be near 360* around.

Does it honestly matter! You’re missing the point of this topic over some circles not being perfect and the color not the best. Settle down there happy. Enjoy the tutorial and if it really bugs you, feel free to copy the photo and make your own perfect one. Not all of us really care how close in color it is. Some of us just enjoy a good tutorial.


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