Thursday, 18 January 2007: 2:45 PM
The Consolidated Aviation Storm Forecast
217A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Research over the last 10 years primarily funded by the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) has led to very successful development of forecasts of both convective weather and winter weather conditions for use in aviation applications. We have now reached a point where there are several overlapping capabilities, and the smorgasbord of choices has become confusing (figure below). It is now clear that aviation-impacting winter and summer conditions can exist simultaneously – even within a single terminal area – so a consolidated forecast will have to work equally well for all storm conditions. It is also clear that advances in computing, data processing and communications permit large-scale, high resolution forecast systems that were prohibitive just 10 years ago, representing a more efficient and cost-effective architecture. Other government agencies in addition to FAA have needs for aviation-oriented forecasts, including at least Air Force and other DoD, Homeland Defense, National Weather Service, and NASA. Further efficiencies will be realized by consolidating these efforts as well. These goals are well-aligned with the goals of the Next Generation Air Transportation System's Joint Program and Development Office.
In this paper, we report on the results of the Consolidated Aviation Storm Forecast design effort undertaken in 2006. Included will be analysis of the technical content of the existing forecast systems, assessment of the needs of the various government agencies, and a plan for consolidating the existing and future capabilities into a single aviation storm forecast.