Impact-Based Decision Support Services for Key West International Airport

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:30 AM
Georgia Ballroom 3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Rick Curtis, Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX; and F. Johnson, M. Muehlman, W. Cottrill, C. G. Herbster, and A. Devanas

Key West International Airport is a unique, island airport with two distinct seasons; a dry season running from November through April, and a rainy season running from June through September. October and May are considered transition months. Aviation weather decisions during the rainy season are very demanding for all aviation partners: airline dispatchers and crews must make decisions based on the probability of a wet runway on arrival to adjust aircraft landing weight for braking action; ground service crews and passengers are at risk from lightning strikes on an exposed tarmac; and tourist charter aircraft need precise timing of VFR conditions for local operations.

Working with aviation partners, adjustments to current aviation products, warnings and services for the terminal area have demonstrated a need for addition weather information to support decision makers. Rainy season verification statistics, specific examples and customer feedback will support additional experimentation.

Over the next three years, the staff at the National Weather Service Key West Weather Forecast Office (WFO) will investigate aviation forecasts and warnings (i.e., Terminal Airport Forecasts, Airport Weather Warnings, Aviation Weather Discussions, etc.) to improve Impact-Based Decision Support Services. This improvement project will follow the NWS Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap, providing an “increased emphasis on production, and rapid dissemination of accurate, consistent, high-quality forecast information, complemented by forecasters trained to communicate that information to our core partners.”

Experiments with non-traditional aviation decisional support graphics for the terminal area, similar to the Collaborative Convective Forecast Product, will be conducted to explore a strategic level of confidence, areal coverage, and lightning and rainfall probabilities. Core partners will be introduced to future forecast NextGen tools like Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation, plus a Common Operating Picture website will be developed to tailor decision support for core customers.

This research will parallel WFO Key West's decision support activities for marine and hurricane high impact events, and will support local forecast efforts to understand convective initiation in a pure tropical environment.