Weather Evaluation Team Meets at ESRL in Boulder

The Weather Evaluation Team (WET) held a meeting on 4-6 December 2012 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colorado.

What is the Weather Evaluation Team (WET)?

The WET is part of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), a joint government/industry initiative aimed at improving air traffic flow management through increased information exchange among aviation community stakeholders. WET members include personnel from the FAA, industry representatives (e.g., airlines), government laboratories (e.g., MIT Lincoln Laboratory and ESRL/Global Systems Division (GSD)), NWS Aviation Weather Center, the private sector, NavCanada, and the Meteorological Services of Canada.

What issues is the WET working on?

One of the primary activities the WET recently introduced is the concept known as Operational Bridging (OB). OB is a set of focused weather forecast processes. These are predefined engagement protocols between the aviation weather forecaster and the Air Traffic Management (ATM) decision maker, as well as effective communications methods and tools. The overarching goal of OB is the accelerated transition of weather products tailored for air traffic management and planning.

Why were they meeting at NOAA/ESRL?

In order to strengthen relationships between aviation operations, weather forecast producers, and research organizations, the WET meetings float between locations investing in solutions to aviation weather problems. This particular meeting focused on improving convection predictions, extensions to the OB activities, and the future connection of the OB activities to the NextGen (Next Generation Air Traffic System) program goals. A key output of the OB process is a collaborative event-based forecast called the Aviation Weather Statement (AWS).

How is NOAA/ESRL helping achieve the activities of the WET?

The Forecast Impact and Quality Assessment Section (FIQAS) of the Aviation, Computing, and Evaluation (ACE) Branch of ESRL/GSD is working on a second generation tool known as VERIFIED (VERification of Impact-translated Forecasts for IntEgrated Decision-making). The VERIFIED application incorporates as the observation set convective forecasts planned for use in generating the AWS, including the Collaborative Convective Forecast Product (CCFP), Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA), Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) - 1-h Calibrated Thunderstorm Probability field, and the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) analysis. From these inputs, the airspace flow constraints to the National Airspace System (NAS) resulting from the convective activity are estimated for specific airways, aviation regions, and airport terminals. The application is updated hourly with the most recent forecast information and is available in near real time as initial guidance to aviation forecasters for the production of the AWS.

What were the conclusions of the meeting?

There were 3 main conclusions identified as high priority by the WET:

  1. continue planning for the OB summer 2013 activities and determine how to introduce the VERIFIED tool into the North American Mesoscale Model (NAM) forecast process;
  2. extend the OB summer activities to include support for winter weather planning at airport terminals using a tool known as the Aviation Winter Weather Dashboard application; and
  3. explore the use of an interactive weather integration tool developed by AvMet Applications known as the R4 (Real Time/Recall/Reference/Review tool).

Contact information
Name: Jennifer Mahoney
Tel: 303-497-6514
Jennifer.Mahoney@noaa.gov