P3.6 Development of a new en-route graphical weather forecast for aviation, the Graphical Area Forecast

Monday, 4 October 2004
Ronald J. Olson, NOAA/NWS, Kansas City, MO; and S. Albersheim

Abstract for the 11th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology, 4-8 October 2004, Hyannis, Massachusetts

Development of a New En-route Graphical Weather Forecast for Aviation, the Graphical Area Forecast

Ron Olson NWS/Aviation Weather Center Steve Albersheim FAA/ARS-100

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) have collaborated on the development of a new en-route aviation weather forecast in graphical format - the Graphical Area Forecast (GFA). The GFA serves as a foundation for the structure of aviation weather information in the near future. The GFA represents a major shift from text-based products to operational graphical products. It is designed to replace the information in the current AIRMET (WA) and Area Forecast (FA) products, using new technology to help meteorologists identify and depict the required weather information to support a standard weather briefing provided by the FAA. The GFA will be included in a publically assessable database in a format suitable for processing and display.

A class of users will continue to exist that will not have the capability to access or process graphical products or may wish to continue to use a text-based message. To meet the needs of those users, a text message following the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) GAMET format standard will be generated from the graphical data. Both the GFA and the GAMET will replace the existing WA and FA text products. The GAMET is a highly structured form of information, and compatible with automated processing. Section I of the GAMET provides the hazardous weather information, while Section II includes the remaining required information. The GFA will be kept current by being included under a meteorological watch by NWS meteorologists. A new GAMET can be produced automatically from any scheduled or unscheduled GFA issuance.

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