How do I interpret the Vertical Cross Section Chart in a Graphical PDF briefing?

This article will describe the elements of the Vertical Cross Section Chart that you see in Graphical PDF briefings.

The image below is an example of a typical Vertical Cross Section Chart that you will get in a Graphical PDF briefing.


Image 1. Typical Vertical Cross Section Chart.

At the top, you will see arrows with a line that bisects the arrow. Those icons represent the direction of North relative to your direction of flight for that leg segment.


Image 2. North indicators relative to the direction of flight for the leg.

Throughout the chart, are wind barbs. They are displayed as wind direction relative to your direction of flight. On the chart, the direction of flight is from left to right. 


Image 3. Wind barbs show the direction of the wind relative to an aircraft traveling left to right.

The blue curves with a bisecting line are icing severity indicators. As bisecting lines are added, the icing severity increases.


Image 4. Icing severity icons.

The colored boxes refer to areas of turbulence. Turbulence coloration is based on the turbulence EDR scale. The scale can be found at the bottom of the chart. Each colored turbulence box displays a turbulence EDR value in the lower right corner.


Image 5. Areas of turbulence.


Image 6. Turbulence EDR scale and values in boxes.

Each box will have a temperature value shown. The temperature is written in degrees Celcius and is a negative value unless it is prefixed with a "+" symbol.


Image 7. Temperatures written in degrees negative Celcius. 

The Tropopause altitude is displayed on the chart. At the top is a textual description of the Tropopause altitude as a flight level. There is also a red dashed line that shows the Tropopause altitude relative to your flight path.


Image 8. Tropopause altitude.