2017 Aviation Weather Testbed Summer Experiment

The Aviation Weather Center hosted the 2017 Aviation Weather Testbed Summer Experiment August 7-18, 2017. The experiment focused on three main components: collaboration of national cloud and visibility forecasts between AWC and Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), experimental changes to the TFM Convective Forecast (TCF), and an evaluation of high-resolution models (including a 300-m UK Met Office model) for SFO flight operations.

The experiment kickoff is each Monday of the experiment at 7:30 am with coffee and introductions. Daily activities begin around 8:00 am and conclude between 4:00 and 4:30 pm depending on weather. Each day features a lunchtime seminar on varying topics.

Experiment Design

This year's experiment is set up with three types of experimental forecast desks that will have different areas of focus on aviation weather forecasting improvement and decision support for traffic flow management. Additionally, there will be GOES-16 imagery available that will leverage a suite of products to support the various experiment desks. More specific details and tasks related to each desk will be presented at the time of the experiment. Below is an overview of what can be expected at each of the desks.

  • Cloud (ceiling) and Visibility

    This desk will focus on continued testing of the use of the AWIPS Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) for creating cloud and visibility products on a national scale. These grids will be adapted to a common editing methodology in the field and passed to simulated Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) in the Operations Proving Ground for local scale manipultion.

  • High Resolution Cloud and Visibility

    This desk will compare cloud and visibility forecasting for the SFO terminal area using a super res UK Met Office model and other US based high res models to the RTMA/URMA.

  • TCF and Long Range Convection

    This experiment will apply lessons learned from the convective season thus far and proposed changes for the TFM Convective Forecast. Day two and beyond capability will be tested via a web page using SREF data, as well as the utility of impact heat maps in AWIPS and NMAP.

  • Probabilistic Cloud and Visibility (web)

    A testbed webpage will demonstrate multi-model probabilitic forecasts based on the HREF ensemble for human factors evaluation.

  • Cloud and Visibility Analyses Comparison (web)

    A testbed webpage will demonstrate and compare the output from hourly and 15-min analyses options that will be considered for inclusion in the HEMS tool.

The Aviation Weather Development and Evaluation (AWDE) services at the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ will be will be running a parallel testbed experiment assessing the human factors component of products issued during the summer experiment from an end-user perspective and actively participating in collaboration on products such as the TCF and the National COP for C&V.

Data Sets and Decision Support Tools

The following is a list of the experimental model and observation data sets and GOES-16 products that will be available for the experiment. 
  • Experimental Model Data: HRRRX (v3), HRRR Ensemble, RAP v4, HREF v2, Hires Window parallels (ARW, NMMB, ARW member 2), GLMP thunder and cloud and visibility
  • Observation Data: GLMP 15-min, RU-RTMA (15-min), RTMA, GLM (satellite based) lightning density, total lightning density (ground based), MRMS
  • A variety of GOES-16 and JPSS products are utilized during the experiment. Please click here to access more information.
Information Portal and Experiment Products (internal)

The link below will direct you to a portal of information applicable to the AWT Summer Experiment. You will find access to FAA status information, various verification tools, web-based testbed data sets, and satellite information and data. Please click here to access the information.
Brown Bag Seminar Topics
The following seminar topics were presented during the experiment. Please check back for details.
  • LAMP and Gridded LAMP Improvements
  • Southwest Airlines Operations Overview
  • FAA AWDE Services Overview
  • RAP/HRRR Improvements and Introduction to HRRRE
  • GOES-16 New Products from CIRA
  • Using 3-d Cloud Fraction from High-resolution Models for Aviation Applications
  • MRMS Upgrades and Improvements
  • Satellite-based Verification

Lunch, Group Dinners, and other Activities
  • Monday through Thursday during the experiment lunch there will be the option to order food since we will be doing brownbag seminars during lunch.
  • Tuesday August 8th we will be heading to the KC Royals baseball game; tickets are $29 and signups will be during the first week of experiment
  • There will be a group dinner TBD during each week of the experiment
Remote Testbed Links (restricted access)
Experiment Evaluation Forms
Experiment Blogs


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