13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Monday, 13 May 2002: 3:30 PM
Development of Automated Aviation Weather Products for Oceanic/Remote Regions: Scientific and Practical Challenges, Research Strategies, and First Steps
Paul H. Herzegh, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. R. Williams, T. A. Lindholm, F. R. Mosher, C. Kessinger, R. Sharman, J. D. Hawkins, and D. B. Johnson
Poster PDF (161.9 kB)
From the common and recognizable occurrence of convection to the sporadic and far less visible reach of volcanic ash, meteorological phenomena impose complex challenges to the efficiency, economic viability, and safety of flight operations across the global oceans. Recognizing this, the work described in this paper seeks to frame an integrated scientific strategy that utilizes current and emerging advancements to better understand and forecast the meteorological phenomena and hazards that impact oceanic aviation. That strategy must account for the special challenges that are unique to oceanic forecasting, e.g., expansive voids in surface observations and soundings, large forecast domains, and others.

One key thrust of our research centers on the detection, nowcasting, and forecasting of active convection over the oceans. Lacking (for the most part) the radar observations common in continental regions, we define a detection/nowcast strategy built around recent results in the use of visible, IR and microwave satellite measurements, observations of lightning occurrence, finescale wind fields derived from feature-tracked satellite winds, and output fields from operational models such as the NCEP AVN. Expert system techniques steered by actual forecaster experience and objective forecast verification results will seek to blend observations-driven 0-2h nowcasts with increasingly model-driven forecasts in the 2-12h period.

Other key thrusts of our work seek to (i) improve presentation of volcanic ash hazard information for end users and integrate distribution/display of volcanic ash hazard products with related weather briefing products, and (ii) advance and incorporate emerging techniques for the definition of potential turbulence hazard areas/altitudes for eventual oceanic flight-level turbulence warning products. Initial plans for weather products target the North Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic regions. Later product domains may expand to other oceans and to remote continental regions.

This work is carried out by a newly-established Oceanic Weather product development team as part of the FAA’s Aviation Weather Research Program. Organization of the team and initial results of its work are posted at www.rap.ucar.edu/projects/owpdt/.

Supplementary URL: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/projects/owpdt/