To support more efficient ATM and airline operations at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), a thunderstorm nowcasting system is being developed by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). The system is based on the Observatory's nowcasting system, viz. the SWIRLS (Short-range Warnings of Intensity Rainstorm in Localized System) for automatically tracking and predicting the future movement of radar reflectivity echoes based on Doppler weather radar information and artificial intelligent methods. The system can provide animation sequence of the present and forecast positions, at 6-minute intervals, of thunderstorms affecting HKIA and its vicinity up to one hour ahead. The arrival and departure routes and other significant ATC points, such as corner posts, holding points, etc., are also overlaid onto the forecasts to provide graphical as well as tabular depiction of when and where thunderstorms would impact on these routes/points.
This paper illustrates the concept of this thunderstorm nowcasting system which is designed to provide ATM and airline users an overall picture at a glance of the anticipated impact of thunderstorms to flight routes and significant ATC points. With future advancement in weather information uplink technology, graphical products from the thunderstorm nowcasting system could be transmitted to the cockpit in near-real-time.