A Characterization of NWP Ceiling and Visibility Forecasts for the Terminal Airspace
This study provides a brief comparative statistical forecast accuracy assessment of the NWS Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF), NWP, and persistence forecasts tailored to address specific terminal C&V operational decision points. Ceiling and visibility forecast output from three NWP forecast models, the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC), National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) ETA model, and the fifth generation Pennsylvania State University (PSU)/ National Center for Atmospheric Research mesoscale model (MM5) were evaluated. In addition to assessments of mean and standard deviations of the categorical forecast accuracy this analysis also examined non-standard forecast accuracy associated with trends and spatial variability in the high-resolution simulations. This study concludes with recommendations for where to proceed with further accuracy assessments and suggestions for near term implementations of the NWP C&V forecasts into the automated terminal ceiling and visibility decision support tool.