New COMET Training on Convection, Turbulence and Icing

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Elizabeth Mulvihill Page, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and T. Ross-Lazarov, W. R. Bua, and M. Weingroff

The COMET Program has several new educational offerings in progress to support aviation forecasting operations. Each of these lessons covers an important aviation hazard and has the goal of improving the information relayed to stakeholders as part of decision support activities. The topics being covered include convective cessation, turbulence and icing.

While much of existing convection training focuses on convective initiation and severe weather associated with these systems, forecasting the cessation of convection has not been directly addressed. This lesson will look at the importance of forecasting the timing of convective cessation and the post-storm conditions and how to best communicate these conditions to customers.

Flight level turbulence has a range of impacts including passenger injury and enroute aircraft damage. The presence of conditions leading to flight level turbulence is difficult to diagnose and forecast. We are focusing on the basic formation mechanisms of turbulence and where turbulence is likely to be found enroute. The goal is to better prepare forecasters to apply a suite of observations, remote sensing and numerical weather prediction products by using a strong conceptual understanding of how and where turbulence forms.

COMET has created a suite of modules on aircraft icing. This new lesson will focus on developing the appropriate situational awareness in forecasting enroute icing. With this awareness, forecasters can develop conceptual models and identify the likely locations of icing and conditions related to different levels of icing severity.

This group of new modules is scheduled to be available in spring of 2015.