3.7 Integrating GOES-16 Satellite into Convective Porosity Determination at CWSU Houston

Monday, 8 January 2018: 3:30 PM
Room 16AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Roland Nunez, NWS/Center Weather Service Unit, Houston, TX; and E. Zappe

Convection is a key concern for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when managing air traffic over the National Airspace System (NAS). A greater concern exists for the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) when convective development becomes organized across the South Central United States where operational and international constraints need to be considered. Rapidly developing complexes have been known to impact existing FAA delay and routing strategies, forcing tactical responses to maintain air traffic flow and prevent delays that send a ripple effect across the NAS.

These convective conditions pose a challenge to the Houston Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU), an aviation service outlet of the National Weather Service (NWS) and assigned to provide full-time Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) to the Houston ARTCC. To meet the demand, the Houston CWSU utilizes the existing total observation network and the latest high-resolution modeling, such as the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model, to determine where gaps may exist for air traffic to traverse safely through convective lines and complexes.

The onset of the GOES-16 evaluation data feed in 2017 strengthened the total observation network. By integrating this increased temporal and spatial resolution data into the routine analysis and prognosis, CWSU forecasters are better able to improve on-demand services with greater accuracy and communicate more effectively to FAA decision makers where porous breaks will exist or diminish.

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