87th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 18 January 2007: 2:30 PM
Aviation Weather Forecasting Opportunities in the Next Generation Air Transportation System
217A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Kevin L. Johnston, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and A. B. Carmichael
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) planning horizon is 2025. In order to attain the NGATS objectives by that year, significant steps in that direction must be taken in the intervening years. A major milestone along the way will be the achievement of an Initial Capability (IC) circa 2012. This paper puts forth the principal weather forecasting opportunities for 2025, as well as the forecasting opportunities for the weather IC—essentially a limited deployment for operational use.

By 2025 there will be a major transformation in the way we do aviation weather forecasting, and in the skill of the forecast product. The process itself will be much more highly automated, resulting in the production of grids that are high-resolution in time and space. The job of the forecaster will be transformed to one of providing human intelligence to the automated forecast system to help it improve the skill of the forecast grids. The grids will be the single authoritative diagnosis and forecast product for all aviation decision-making processes. Because automated Decision Support Systems (DSSs) will become the primary consumer of aviation weather information, the grids will provide a probabilistic forecast which the DSSs can use as part of a risk-based approach to decision making. When specific graphical or textual representations of the weather are required, they will be generated automatically from the grids by standard generation algorithms.

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