ESRL Global Systems Division

NOAA Improving Weather Models with TAMDAR

NOAA is adding new aircraft observations to weather models to improve short-range weather forecasts. Tropospheric Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (TAMDAR) aircraft weather observations are a new data source, provided by AirDAT LLC through TAMDAR sensors. These sensors, developed under the NASA Aviation Safety Program as a joint government-industry activity with cosponsorship by the FAA and NOAA, will be installed on commercial aircraft from regional carriers.

By early November, TAMDAR data will be added to NOAA's short-range Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model. The RUC was developed to improve aviation and severe weather forecasts, jointly by NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

TAMDAR improves forecast accuracy, especially location and timing, for thunderstorms in the warm season, and for winter storm precipitation and snow vs. rain vs. freezing rain in the winter. TAMDAR data do this by filling in observation gaps by providing frequent weather conditions aloft, above and between medium-to-smaller sized airports served by TAMDAR-equipped aircraft.

Finally, TAMDAR also improves aviation safety by improving ceiling, icing, and storm forecasts, and also improves guidance for surface and marine transportation. When TAMDAR aircraft observations are available, forecasts made by humans and weather models both improve.

Contact information
Name: Stan Benjamin
Tel: 303-497-6387