Monday, 7 January 2013: 11:30 AM
Room 17A (Austin Convention Center)
Requirements for the Next Generation Air Transportation System mandate that the National Weather Service provide a weather information database which will include icing, turbulence, convection, ceiling/visibility, and observed surface weather. Several NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) are making the transition ahead of schedule in order to determine baseline methods which can be used throughout the NWS. The Atlanta, Chicago and New York City WFOs comprise the NWS's aviation Golden Triangle. The Atlanta WFO provides forecasts for the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where the runway configuration results in some unique operational requirements, especially related to wind direction and sky cover. As a result, the transition to enhanced short-term public and aviation grids (locally called Über Grids) at WFO Atlanta is more complex than at other WFOs. The Atlanta WFO and the NWS Atlanta Center Weather Service Unit have taken a deliberate, multi-tiered approach to the transition to the Über Grids, including extensive development and testing of the primary parameters: wind, weather, convection, visibility, and ceiling. Two teams were formed to focus on the development and evaluation of the grids. One team was chartered to develop software, practices, and procedures for the transition, while the other team was chartered to test each phase of the transition and recommend best practices prior to operational implementation. This presentation will discuss the process of developing, testing, and implementing each of the parameters, highlighting not only the unique operational concerns for the Hartsfield-Jackson airport, but also the enhanced services that will be provided to the entire WFO Atlanta forecast area.
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