1.2 A Rapidly-updating LAMP System for Very Short-range Ceiling Height and Visibility Forecast Guidance

Monday, 23 January 2017: 11:15 AM
Conference Center: Skagit 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Judy E. Ghirardelli, NOAA/NWS/Meteorological Development Laboratory, Silver Spring, MD; and B. Glahn, G. Sindic-Rancic, A. D. Schnapp, and F. R. Guarriello

The National Weather Service’s (NWS) Localized Aviation MOS Program (LAMP) provides the aviation community with skillful forecast guidance of many weather elements, including ceiling height and visibility.  The Gridded LAMP (GLMP) system analyzes the LAMP ceiling height and visibility station guidance along with other inputs to produce guidance of ceiling height and visibility forecasts on the National Digital Forecast Database 2.5-km grid.  LAMP and GLMP run in NWS operations every hour and cover the short-range forecast period of the next 25 hours.  LAMP is currently being updated to include model output from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model to improve the LAMP and GLMP guidance.

With hourly updates, LAMP and GLMP provide up-to-date, statistically post-processed guidance for aviation forecasting.  There is a subset of the aviation community, however, who requires more timely guidance.  The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) community needs even more frequent guidance for making go/no-go decisions on helicopter travel to any location where medical transportation might be needed.  Gridded LAMP provides ceiling height and visibility guidance at any point, but the hourly updates are insufficient to serve this community. 

Responding to this need, the Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) is developing a rapidly-updating LAMP/GLMP system that will incorporate the most recent METAR observations, as well as SPECI observations and mesonet observations where available.  Additional observational datasets will be investigated to further improve the inputs to the system, and stations will be added to improve the gridded guidance in data sparse areas.  This rapidly-updating GLMP system will run every 15 minutes to provide more timely ceiling height and visibility forecast guidance in the very short-range period from 0 to 2 hours.  MDL and the NWS Aviation Weather Center (AWC) are partnering in the evaluation of this updated guidance for possible inclusion in the AWC HEMS Tool.

This presentation will summarize this new work, highlight the observational datasets available, and detail the upgrades to the observation processing and inclusion into LAMP.  Case studies will be shown and the quality and availability of observational datasets will be discussed.  The presentation will also show the schedule for transitioning these rapidly-updating LAMP products into NWS operations.

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