8th Conference on Artificial Intelligence Applications to Environmental Science
20th Conference on Probability and Statistics in the Atmospheric Sciences
14th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology
Presidential Forum


Advances in the Collaborative Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA)

James O. Pinto, NCAR/RAL, Boulder, CO; and J. K. Williams, M. Steiner, D. Albo, S. Dettling, W. Dupree, D. Morse, H. Iskenderian, T. Xiaofeng, M. Wolfson, C. Reiche, S. Weygandt, S. Benjamin, and C. Alexander

Air traffic congestion in the United States (US) has become a serious national problem resulting in a critical need for timely, reliable, and high quality forecasts of precipitation and echo tops with forecast time horizons of up to 12 hours. In order to address the short-term needs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as the long-term goals of the US Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NCAR Research Applications Laboratory, and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Systems Division (GSD) are collaborating on developing a forecast system under funding from the FAA's Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP).

This new forecast system combines the latest technologies in heuristic nowcasting, extrapolation, statistical techniques, image-morphing, and numerical weather prediction to produce rapidly updating (15 min) 0-8 hour forecasts of storm locations, echo tops, and intensities. Products available as part of CoSPA include the current vertically-integrated liquid or VIL (indicative of storm intensity), echo tops, lightning, growth and decay, and forecasts of VIL and echo tops out to 8 hours. The system blends the highly skillful nowcasts with output from NOAA's High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model using phase correction and statistical weighting functions. A prototype version of CoSPA has been running since mid-summer and is currently undergoing a rigorous statistical and cost-benefit evaluation by the FAA. At present, CoSPA products are available to select users through a password protected web display and LDM data servers.

In this presentation, CoSPA forecasts products from this summer's demonstration are compared with those of the Collaborative Convective Forecast Product (CCFP) and the Localized Aviation MOS Product (LAMP). The intercomparison is done in the context of how the forecasts might be used for strategic planning of the national airspace by translating the observations and forecasts into route and/or sector blockages. In addition, recent advances in technologies used in the forecast system will be presented with a focus on techniques for generating probabilistic forecasts of weather avoidance fields required by NextGen.


This research is in response to requirements and funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the FAA.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (2.0M)

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 11, Probabilistic Forecasting for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)
Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 4:00 PM-5:45 PM, B204

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