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Experimental Aviation Grids at National Weather Service Marquette, Michigan Steven Fleegel NWS Marquette, MI Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Experimental Aviation Grids at National Weather Service Marquette, Michigan Steven Fleegel NWS Marquette, MI Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Experimental Aviation Grids at National Weather Service Marquette, Michigan Steven Fleegel NWS Marquette, MI Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshop Webinar Series May 14, 2013

2 Overview Started as a part of experimental Fire Weather grid creation in February 2012 – Creating Ceiling and Visibility grids Tools and Procedures were modified and created in Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) to use a consensus approach – Averaged the derived model ceilings and explicit model visibilities – Completely hands off for forecasters

3 Overview - cont. This proved useful to the forecasters in giving a rough idea on potential ceiling/visibilities across the County Warning Area (CWA) – Very helpful with timing Created hourly through first 12 hours and then every 3 hours after that through 72 hours – Originally created every 3 hours through 60 hours

4 What was done in GFE Added Ceiling and Visibility (Vsby) grids to the Forecast (Fcst) database – Originally, the ceiling grids were derived on the fly and calculated based off model RH Ceiling grids were converted to background processing (smartInits) with the transition to calculations based on RH with respect to Ice (March 2013) – Vsby grids were also converted to smartInits at this time This conversion allowed the consensus calculations to be enhanced – Hourly calculations in the first 12 hours Hourly model data when available and interpolated 3 or 6 hour model data. – Weights to increase emphasis on preferred models

5 Models Included Ceiling NAM12 MET Guidance GFS40 MAV Guidance (beyond 12- hours) RAP X2 RAP (Previous) WRF-ARW (local 5km) X2 RuMM1/2 (3 hourly local 3km WRF-ARW initialized off RAP) Gridded LAMP Gridded LAMP (Previous) Visibility NAM12 MET Guidance NAM 4km Nest MAV Guidance (Beyond 12-hours) WRF-ARW (local 20km and 5km) HRRR HRRR (Previous) Gridded LAMP Gridded LAMP (Previous) NCEP WRF-ARW East NCEP WRF-NMM East GFE and AWIPS data limitations exclude using GEM (NH and Regional), ECMWF, NCEP WRFs Ceiling data

6 How the Forecasters see the Data Example of a Ceiling grid in GFE Uses a color table to match Categorical Amendment Criteria (CAC) – Help forecasters quickly see areas of concern

7 What was done in AvnFPS The data is also available to the Aviation forecasters through the AvnFPS TAF Editor Forecaster feedback has been positive to this addition – Helps them with timing for TAFs Did have to make minor background adjustments due to local labeling – Will likely be transitioning towards more consistent labeling with AWIPS 2 Vsby Sky Ceiling

8 Case Study – March 11, 2013 Low pressure system moving northeast through the Great Lakes region

9 March 11, 2013 – 00Z Ceiling Visibility Surface Chart

10 March 11, 2013 – 06Z Ceiling Visibility Surface Chart

11 March 11, 2013 – 12Z Ceiling Visibility Surface Chart

12 Quick Verification Background Categorical Amendment Criteria (CAC) Flight CategoryImpact <= 3000 ft (914.4 m) and/or <= 5 sm (8.05 km) MVFR < 2000 ft (609.6 m) and/or < 3 sm (4.83 km) Must File Alternate < 1000 ft (304.8 m) and/or < 3 sm (4.83 km) IFR < 600 ft (182.88 m) and/or < 2 sm (3.22 km) Alternate Landing Minimums < 200 ft (61 m) and/or < 1/2 sm (0.8 km) Airfield Landing Minimums

13 March 11, 2013 - Verification 24hrs Out12hrs Out6hrs Out KSAW – Sawyer International Airport MVFR Must File Alternate IFR Alternate Landing Mins Airfield Landing Mins 3/10 – 06Z 3/10 – 18Z3/11 – 00Z

14 KCMX – March 19 th, 2013 Snow Low pressure system moving east out of the Northern Plains and across Lake Superior Hit alternate landing minimum visibilities within an hour or two at 30 hours out – Extremely useful for Outlook portion of TAF forecast KCMX – Houghton County Memorial Airport March 17, 2013 – 18Z Forecast

15 Shallow Moisture Case – 03/08/2013 Light winds and lingering moisture trapped below subsidence associated with high pressure over the Great Lakes

16 Shallow Moisture Case – cont. RAP Model initial conditions – March 08, 2013 00Z GFS NAM

17 Shallow Moisture – cont. With the reliance on model data, the Aviation Grids struggled – Forecasters also struggled with timing of wind becoming offshore Forecaster Aviation discussion mention timing uncertainty on clouds 00z TAF had conditions scattering out at 02Z – But at least the TAF forecast had the right idea

18 Verification In order to quantify the biases and identify areas of improvement, verification was started in February 2013 Caveats – Local NDFD Verification Only Hourly obs at the top of the hour Looks at ceiling height with no restriction by cloud cover Looked at 2 of our 3 TAF sites – Left out KIWD (Ironwood, MI) due to inconsistent observations – Stats on Demand (NWS Verification) 5min obs and calculation Has in-between obs (Specials)

19 KSAW – 0-6hr Verification

20 KCMX – 0-6hr Verification

21 KSAW – 6-24hr Verification

22 KCMX – 6-24hr Verification

23 Aviation Grids – Performance Positives – Synoptic systems As long as there is model consistency – Visibility Values and timing Model derived data versus calculated like ceilings – Recently improved ceilings in lake effect areas Due to relative humidity calculations with respect to ice

24 Aviation Grids - Shortcomings Shallow Moist Layers – Models have same issue – Plus, with GFE only having data every 25mb, it is easy for those shallow layers to be missed Timing the end of lake effect snow and clouds – Models have same issue Very low ceilings – Due to the way the consensus is averaged One model showing 20,000 foot ceilings can quickly raise the other models consensus of 500 feet – Doesn't represent lower ceilings or vertical visibility (VV) due to Blowing Snow (BLSN) or heavy snow (+SN) Potential improvement based off Forecast – Tool could use BLSN or +SN to adjust ceiling values to increase consistency with the forecast

25 CAC Category Distribution - KSAW Issue with lack of lower ceilings can be seen in frequency comparisons – Biased towards VFR conditions Misses IFR and lower – Visibility has a fairly even distribution in all categories

26 Recent Improvements Changes made at the beginning of March have improved lower ceiling errors – RH with respect to Ice – Hourly Calculations in the first 12 hours Has greatly reduced the high bias for MVFR and lower Ceilings

27 Future Work Main focus will be improving Ceiling forecasts for IFR and lower conditions Perform Summertime convection verification Incorporate some influence of the Forecast to visibility and ceiling Generate experimental TAFs like some NWS Eastern Region offices – Would help simplify verification, since it would be incorporated into Stats on Demand

28 Future Work – cont. Expand Gridded Database to web for aviation customers – Point and Click and Forecast Graphics Similar to Jackson, KY, Charleston, WV, etc.

29 Conclusion Visibility Grids – Definitely shows skill – Verification over last two months indicates that it is as good or slightly better than our TAFs Ceiling Grids – Showing improvement – But still struggles with IFR and lower values A good start – Believe that using this as a starting point and then adding forecaster intervention would create a superior product for the TAF sites and our CWA as a whole

30 Contact Information Steven Fleegel – NWS Marquette, MI

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