1) Reduce the number of Thunderstorm-related Air Traffic Delays with in the National Airspace System (NAS) and, 2) Improve severe thunderstorm, tornado and airport thunderstorm warning accuracy and lead time.
Aviation field operations will be focused on the prime air traffic bottleneck in the NAS, the airspace bounded roughly by Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C., sometimes called the Northeast Corridor. A variety of new automated thunderstorm forecasting applications will be tested here that, when implemented into FAA-NWS operations, will allow for better tactical decision making and NAS management during thunderstorm days.
Severe thunderstorm operations will be centered on Northern Alabama. NWS meteorologists from the forecast office in Birmingham will test the utility of experimental lightning, radar, and profiler data from a mesoscale observing network being established by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. In addition, new tornado detection and thunderstorm nowcasting algorithms will be examined for their potential for improving warning accuracy. The Alabama THOR site will also serve as a test bed for new gridded, digital thunderstorm and flash flood warning products.