Monday, 11 January 2016: 12:00 AM
Room 355 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Since 2009 the network of aircraft equipped with the Water Vapor Sensing System (WVSS-II) has grown steadily and become a significant contributor of in-situ data for the U.S. Upper Air Observations Program. Over this period the WVSS-II technology has successfully transitioned from previous NOAA research into full operational use in service to the nation. At present 130 aircraft are equipped with WVSS-II providing data to the NOAA/NWS, with 25 aircraft at United Parcel Service (UPS) and 105 aircraft at Southwest Airlines (SWA). Designed specifically for the measurement of atmospheric water vapor from commercial aircraft in support of the global AMDAR program, WVSS-II has undergone numerous independent tests, intercomparisons, and operational evaluations. With the benefits to forecast operations now clearly demonstrated, there are plans for further expansion of the WVSS-II network and research into new applications using this data. This paper will provide an overview of the current status of the WVSS-II network, summarize its current contributions to operational programs at the NWS and FAA, demonstrate the effectiveness of WVSS-II in supporting operational weather forecasting, provide examples of its use in decision making for aviation operations, identify areas for future improvement of the network, and summarize areas of research into future applications using the data. Various operational case studies will be provided to highlight the benefit these new observations provide to the NWS, the FAA, airline operations, and the public.
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