WEATHER FORECASTING ACCURACY FOR FAA TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT

A WORKSHOP REPORT

Committee for a Workshop on Weather Forecasting Accuracy for FAA Air Traffic Control

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
WEATHER FORECASTING ACCURACY FOR FAA TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT A WORKSHOP REPORT Committee for a Workshop on Weather Forecasting Accuracy for FAA Air Traffic Control Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

OCR for page R1
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. DTFA0101G10274 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Transportation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08731-7 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624–6242 or (202) 334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm.A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V.Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm.A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council www.national-academies.org

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
COMMITTEE FOR A WORKSHOP ON WEATHER FORECASTING ACCURACY FOR FAA AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL STEVEN F.CLIFFORD (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder RICHARD E.CARBONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado KELVIN DROEGEMEIER, University of Oklahoma, Norman JAMES E.EVANS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington J.MICHAEL FRITSCH, Pennsylvania State University, University Park JOHN MCCARTHY, Aviation Weather Associates, Inc., Costa Mesa, California CYNTHIA MUELLER, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado MICHAEL J.PRATHER, University of California, Irvine MARILYN M.WOLFSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington Staff AMANDA STAUDT, Study Director VAUGHAN C.TUREKIAN, Study Director (until 8/31/02) ROB GREENWAY, Project Assistant

OCR for page R1
BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ERIC J.BARRON (Chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park RAYMOND J.BAN, The Weather Channel, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia ROBERT C.BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts ROSINA M.BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HOWARD B.BLUESTEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman RAFAEL L.BRAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge STEVEN F.CLIFFORD, University of Colorado/CIRES, Boulder CASSANDRA G.FESEN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire GEORGE L.FREDERICK, Vaisala, Inc., Boulder, Colorado JUDITH L.LEAN, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. MARGARET A.LEMONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado MARIO J.MOLINA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MICHAEL J.PRATHER, University of California, Irvine WILLIAM J.RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado RICHARD D.ROSEN, Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts THOMAS F.TASCIONE, Sterling Software, Bellevue, Nebraska JOHN C.WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Ex Officio Members EUGENE M.RASMUSSON, University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F.WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director ELBERT W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Senior Scholar LAURIE S.GELLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Program Officer VAUGHAN C.TUREKIAN, Program Officer DIANE L.GUSTAFSON, Administrative Associate ROB GREENWAY, Project Assistant ELIZABETH A.GALINIS, Project Assistant ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Officer

OCR for page R1
Preface Increasing aircraft volume in U.S. airspace presents a critical problem for air traffic flow and management. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is continuously planning future air traffic control systems and protocols. Improved forecasting of severe convective weather is a critical part of this planning. Knowledge of the three-dimensional location and intensity of hazardous convective weather 2 to 6 hours ahead is central to selecting air traffic routes that will support the planned traffic with little or minimal weather delays or diversions. For traffic flow management to operate based on forecasts of convective weather, the entire aviation operations community needs to have a high-level of confidence in the forecasts and a common understanding of how they will affect operations. One of the key limitations in applying these forecasts for traffic flow management is the inherent uncertainty and complexity of making temporally and spatially well-resolved short-term forecasts (2 to 6 hours) of convection. To help identify the limitations of convective weather forecasting and begin a dialogue on potential steps forward, the FAA asked the National Research Council (NRC) for assistance. In response, the NRC formed the Committee for a Workshop on Weather Forecasting Accuracy for FAA Air Traffic Control, which convened a 2-day exploratory workshop on June 4–5, 2002, in Washington, D.C. (see Appendix D). The workshop was a forum to address the complex issues related to research needs for convective weather forecasting. In particular, the workshop discussions explored the present and future potential in meeting required convective forecasting accuracies and how those forecasts could have greater utility to air traffic controllers, airline dispatchers, and pilots. Further, because it was indicated that the desired forecasting accuracy may not be achieved in the near future given existing

OCR for page R1
research activities, workshop participants generated a prospectus for a study to examine what is needed to reach the FAA requirements. The first session of the workshop provided an opportunity for the operational and user communities to frame the problem. Presentations focused on identifying current activities for which improved understanding of convective weather would assist traffic flow management. The second session involved members of the research community who were assigned the task of identifying current and potential future research activities that could lead to improved 2- to 6-hour convective forecasts and more effective presentations of these forecasts. The FAA provided the following questions to help guide the presentations during the workshop’s second session: What approaches and strategies will be most effective to get an accurate 2- to 6-hour forecast of areas of convection for aviation use in the next 5 to 10 years? (Accurate means a desired false alarm rate (FAR) of =0.20, a desired probability of detection (POD) of =0.80, a maximal FAR of 0.30, and a minimal POD of 0.60.) What specific scientific enabling capabilities are needed to realize these gains and when will they be available? For example, what improvements in observations, algorithms, analyses, and numerical modeling are likely to yield the best results? What are the major gaps in the current research and development activities that need to be addressed? What is the most appropriate way to present the forecast in an operational setting? Consider the two main uses are flight planning and traffic flow management. Consider how the forecast will be developed and presented (i.e., purely probabilistic or deterministic). How will we know when we are done? What verification scheme makes the most sense from an aviation perspective? Many workshop participants opined that the goals set by the FAA for FAR and POD were overly ambitious and, in fact, ill posed. That is, improvement in skill as measured by metrics such as FAR and POD do not necessarily translate into increased value for the end user owing to numerous mitigating influences (e.g., constraints on the overall air traffic system, nonweather impacts, and industry-government politics). In addition, such metrics, which are perfectly suited for large-scale weather features, do not

OCR for page R1
apply to spatially irregular and highly intermittent convective phenomena. An alternative set of objectives was alluded to by James Washington, of the FAA, during the first session of the workshop (see Chapter 1). During the final session of the workshop, the committee and guests identified issues and focused research topics that need to be addressed in any follow-up activity or study. The three chapters of this report correspond to the three sessions of the workshop. This report was prepared by the committee and recounts the discussions that took place during the workshop; the workshop format prohibited the development of findings or recommendations. The committee thanks everyone who helped plan or who participated in the workshop, especially the invited speakers: Lance Bosart of the State University of New York at Albany; Peter Challan, James Washington, Jack Kies, and Richard Heuwinkel of the FAA; Russell Gold of the Air Transport Association; William Cranor of US Airways; Mark Phaneuf of AvMet Applications; Barbara Brown and Andrew Crook of the National Center for Atmospheric Research; Fred Foss of the Aviation Weather Center; Jack Hayes and Alexander MacDonald of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Ross Keith of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; and Joby Hilliker of Pennsylvania State University. Steven F.Clifford Chair

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Barbara G.Brown, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Andrew Crook, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado R.John Hansman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology James H.Henderson, Aviation Weather Center, Kansas City Although the reviewers listed above provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Contents 1   THE AVIATION COMMUNITY’S WEATHER FORECAST NEEDS   1     Identification of Needs and Statement of the Problem,   1     Collaborative Convective Forecast Product,   4     Current Status of Operational Forecasting,   7 2   STATUS OF AVIATION WEATHER FORECASTING RESEARCH   10     Strategies for Improving Convective Forecasts,   11     Research Gaps and Needs,   21     Presentation of Forecasts,   27     Verification Schemes,   31 3   NEXT STEPS   35     REFERENCES   40     APPENDIXES     A   STATEMENT OF TASK   42 B   ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS   43 C   BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS   44 D   WORKSHOP AGENDA   48 E   LIST OF WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS   52

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.