Use of the Flow Constraint Index:Combining Weather and Traffic Information to Identify Constraint

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Geary J. Layne, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory/Global Systems Division and CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and M. S. Wandishin, B. J. Etherton, and M. A. Petty

INSITE (INtegrated Support for Impacted air-Traffic Environments) is the second generation web-based application that computes and displays information on potential air traffic flow constraints from convective weather occurring over the northeast portion of the United States. INSITE delivers a timely operationally relevant remapping of convective weather forecast information from numerous sources and was specifically designed to support an early version of Operational Bridging activities established by the Collaborative Decision Making Weather Evaluation Team (CDM / WET).

Weather information is remapped utilizing FCI (Flow Constraint Index), which combines weather and air traffic information to derive constraint using an airway-based geometry. Because the geometry is based upon airways partitioned into segments, challenges arise in addressing the use of a non-uniform, irregular grid as well as oversampling due to varying traffic density. Distance between airways and relative orientation are also utilized in the comparison of forecasts and observations in the operationally-focused space, both for verification purposes and assimilation into the tool. This approach allows for the identification of operationally useful information from products with disparate characteristics and known spatial inaccuracies. The technique is applied to a variety of forecast types: probabilistic (SREF, LAMP), deterministic (HRRR, CIWS), and categorical (CCFP). The technique is designed for an on-the-fly integration with historical, current, and potential airspace traffic usage. This combination of weather and traffic is summarized in a “heat map”, a two dimensional grid that communicates relevant potential constraints to airspace. This presentation will include utilization of the airway-based geometry in the FCI technique and how some of the aforementioned challenges have been addressed, as well as approaches for inclusion of constraint information into the tool.