842 Ceiling and Visibility Forecasting with the Graphical Forecast Editor at the Aviation Weather Testbed

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Austin Cross, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Aviation Weather Center, Kansas City, MO; and S. A. Lack and B. R. J. Schwedler

The 2015 Aviation Weather Testbed (AWT) Summer Experiment was held at the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, MO cooperatively with the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ over two weeks from 10 August 2015 until 21 August 2015. One of the major themes of this experiment is the creation of cloud and visibility gridded forecasts.

Cloud and visibility impacts flight operations throughout the year with aviation impacts ranging from accidents to significant National Airspace System (NAS) delays. The cloud and visibility portion of the experiment focused on assessing the ability of creating gridded cloud and visibility products by using a variety of model data using the AWIPS2 Graphical Forecast Editor. These grids, covering the conterminous US (CONUS), would potentially be used to provide a consistent starting point for local forecasts of cloud and visibility to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). Thus, these grids would result in more consistency between locally produced products such as the TAF and larger scale forecasts from AWC such as the Area Forecast (FA) and graphical AIRMETs.

Two desk concepts were run through the experiment: a lower resolution full CONUS domain desk and a higher resolution domain focused on the western third of CONUS, consistent with the coverage of the western Area Forecast. These different approaches are investigated to determine the efficiency of splitting workload geographically compared to by hazard. New tools and techniques have been developed to aid in the forecasting of discontinuous fields.

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