MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NCAR Research Applications Laboratory, and NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) have collaborated to develop a high-resolution, rapidly updating 0-8 hour deterministic precipitation and echo tops forecast, known as CoSPA, to aid operational decision-makers in developing strategic plans for weather impact mitigation. In the summer of 2010, a comprehensive field study was conducted to assess potential benefits and the operational performance of CoSPA in the context of strategic ATM planning. The data were gathered by simultaneous real-time observations of 15 FAA and airline operations facilities during 15 convective weather impact days affecting the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, and East Coast regions of the NAS.
CoSPA field evaluation results will be presented to demonstrate the various ways aviation planners have utilized the increased spatial and temporal resolution of CoSPA the ability of CoSPA to resolve storm structure and refine forecasts with high update rates to make more detailed assessments of potential weather impacts and to determine the subsequent need for airspace management initiatives. Results will also be presented that highlight CoSPA enhancement needs, primarily related to forecast uncertainty, that would improve the operational effectiveness of CoSPA-derived weather impact mitigation plans. Finally, opportunities to translate CoSPA deterministic forecasts into integrated weather-ATM decision support for specific strategic planning tasks will be discussed.