Monday, 23 January 2017
The Aviation Weather Testbed (AWT) within the National Weather Service (NWS) Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, MO introduced users and core partners to the non-convective Collaborative Aviation Weather Statement (CAWS) during the 2016 Winter Experiment. For several years, users have felt that the GAIRMET products for turbulence and icing are too broad brushed to be used as a flight planning tool. The non-convective CAWS attempts to highlight enhanced threats for significant icing and turbulence on more precise temporal and spatial scales. The non-convective CAWS for turbulence and icing attempts acts as both a precursor to potential SIGMET (Significant Meteorological Information) issuances for severe icing and turbulence as well as giving enhanced detail to the Graphical Airmen’s Meteorological Information (GAIRMET) on where to expect moderate-to-severe reports or greater. The goal during this experiment was to achieve at least a 4-h lead-time to impactful icing and turbulence events across the National Airspace System (NAS) with higher spatial resolution than the GAIRMET. Several experimental and operational turbulence and icing products were evaluated in producing the finer-scale non-convective CAWS, including: the Forecast Icing Product (FIP), the Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG3) product, a multi-model multi-diagnostic turbulence severity product, and an interactive icing guidance tool provided by the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU). Similar to the convective CAWS, collaborators included: Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs), National Aviation Meteorologists (NAMs) at the FAA Command Center, and industry/airline participants so that all groups have common situational awareness to potential hazards. Participants of the Winter Aviation Weather Testbed experiment, using existing CAWS software, produced graphics and supplemental text for areas of enhanced concern for turbulence and icing potential (isolated moderate-to-severe or greater) in real time. Participants collaborated with simulated CWSU meteorologists within the AWT and with an industry desk located at the FAA Tech Center in Atlantic City, NJ. The participants at the FAA Tech Center were part of a group of meteorologists, traffic flow managers, and pilots hosted by the FAA Aviation Weather Demonstration and Evaluation (AWDE) services. Initial feedback from all participants was overwhelmingly positive with traffic planners noting value in avoiding areas of enhanced turbulence and icing especially on approach to major terminals. This presentation will include an overview of the non-convective CAWS production, including guidance used, along with user and core partner feedback obtained during the 2016 Winter Aviation Weather Testbed Experiment.
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