ESRL Global Systems Division

Verification Goes Real Time

The Real-Time Verification System (RTVS) is a tool for assessing the quality and effectiveness of weather observations, warnings, and forecasts. It was implemented at the National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center to objectively monitor and evaluate the quality of in-flight aviation weather advisories issued for icing, turbulence, and convection.

With funds provided by the Aviation Weather Research Program of the Federal Aviation Administration, the complete end-to-end RTVS (Mahoney et al. 1997) was developed by the Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL), and was recently implemented at the Aviation Weather Center. The RTVS allows forecasters and managers at the Aviation Weather Center and users within the aviation and weather community to access, via a Web-based graphical user interface, ongoing statistics for icing and turbulence AIRMETs (Airmen's Meteorological Advisories) and SIGMETs (Significant Weather Advisories).

The three components of the RTVS are 1) the real-time ingest which accesses Aviation Weather Center decoded forecasts and observations, interpolates the forecasts to the observation locations, and stores the interpolated pairs in the relational database management system (RDBMS); 2) the RDBMS which provides flexibility and speed to the users as they access the statistical results through the Web-based interface; 3) the Web-based graphical user interface (see which allows users to produce on-the-fly statistical results for the icing and turbulence AIRMETs and SIGMETs.

Aviation Division staff at FSL will continue developing new verification techniques and system features for the RTVS that will become future enhancements to the system at the Aviation Weather Center. The latest version of the RTVS can be accessed from the RTVS Web page.


I would like to acknowledge Judy Henderson (FSL), Andy Loughe (FSL), Beth Sigren (FSL), Chris Fischer (FSL), Joan Hart (FSL), and Clinton Wallace (AWC) for their hard work and contributions to the success of this project.


Mahoney, J.L., J.K. Henderson, and P.A. Miller, 1997: A Description of the Forecast Systems Laboratory's Real-Time Verification System (RTVS). Preprints, 7th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology. Long Beach, CA, American Meteorological Society, J26-J31.

Contact information
Name: Jennifer L Mahoney
Tel: 303-497-6514