Interactive Calibration of Four Dimensions (IC4D) is a new forecast system being developed by NOAA's National Weather Service. When implemented IC4D will advance aviation forecasts, which have been historically text based, to fully gridded forecasts in a matter analogous to the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) utilized by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFO). IC4D will generate aviation forecasts across the full volume of air space from the surface to jet level flight altitudes at prescribed time intervals.
Though IC4D is based on the GFE there are several unique differences. For instance the IC4D has full four dimensional display capabilities (3 in space plus time), and allows manipulation of fields in four dimensions in a meteorologically consistent manner. Additionally, algorithms are built into the system to produce derived fields from model data for icing, turbulence, ceiling and visibility, among other significant aviation fields. Tools built into IC4D allow the manipulation of model fields that in turn affect forecast output of the algorithms in cases where the models are in error. To assist in this process PIREP and ACARS observations can be displayed within IC4D. When fully deployed the forecast system will provide a collaborative mechanism that allows the exchange of aviation and surface based sensible weather grids among all Alaska Region WFOs, the AAWU, and the Alaska Pacific River Forecast Office for a seamless four dimensional forecast weather cube.
The development of IC4D is a collaborative effort among several NWS partners, and is a subset of the overarching Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Project. The JPDO NextGen Project is comprised of several public and private partners and their activities in support of the reorganization of the National Airspace System to meet projected air traffic demand, improve safety and reduce environmental impacts. IC4D is initially being tested and deployed at the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit / Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (AAWU/VAAC) in Anchorage, Alaska.
Several examples of the current IC4D functionality will be demonstrated along with case studies illustrating the application of the icing and turbulence derived fields into the forecast process.