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Optimizing WFO Aviation Service & Forecast Performance Dan Shoemaker Aviation Curmudgeon WFO FWD.

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Presentation on theme: "Optimizing WFO Aviation Service & Forecast Performance Dan Shoemaker Aviation Curmudgeon WFO FWD."— Presentation transcript:

1 Optimizing WFO Aviation Service & Forecast Performance Dan Shoemaker Aviation Curmudgeon WFO FWD

2 Optimizing WFO Aviation Service & Forecast Performance BackgroundNWS performance. Improving Service. – My / FWDs TAF Philosophy. – False Alarm Rate. – Individual Feedback. – Aviation Statistics/Climatology.

3 NWS TAF Performance: Are we any good? Last year I put together a report card for a visit with Southwest Airlines. – Airlines have little/no access to TAF stats. 2000/3 % improvement over LAMP; 0-6 hours; for every SWA/AirTran city. – We have to be better than an automatic product. – Shows which offices are paying attention.

4 TAF Performance Western Region SWA Cities

5 Eastern Region

6 Southern Region

7 AirTran Cities

8 FWD 1000/3 Performance From Stats on Demand: … A review of previous years forecast performance showed that the percent frequency of occurrence of IFR conditions is a reasonable first estimate predictor for overall forecast performance for a given time period, or region... % Occurrence of IFR & BLO National POD/FAR Results / / / /44-46 FWD: 5 70 / 32

9 Optimizing WFO Aviation Service & Forecast Performance The Problem? Office culture can be stuck in bad habits. Forecasters dont see effects of their TAFs. – AFP must become lobbyist for Customers. – Long term advocate for improvement…there are no quick fixes. Forecasters must take ownership of their TAFs. – Individual feedback!

10 My Forecast Philosophy Optimism beats pessimism; or when in doubt, leave it out. (more later) On cautious TAFs: – If TAFs could crash airplanes, the country would be littered with aluminum (copper theft would decrease). On too much detail: – TAFs are not a portrait of the atmosphere theyre a stick figure. As long as theyre anatomically correct, theyre doing their job. – (this is PPTAF philosophy as well).

11 More Philosophy 2000/3 is the most important TAF category!! – TAF is mandated by FAA for airlines, not GA. – 1000/3 is a GA category, not an airline category. – Costs the airlines money. – Occurs more often than lower categories. This is where AFPs should place greatest emphasis. – 2000/3 focus will not degrade 1000/3 performance.

12 False Alarm Rate (FAR) (cig/vis) 4 possible outcomes for a TAF (consider 2000/3): – Hit: fuel added, good forecast. – Correct Negative: no extra fuel, plane lands at destination. – Missed event: no extra fuel, plane lands at destination anyway (vast majority of cig/vis cases). – FA: fuel always added, not needed. 100% of FAs penalize airlines – FAs always add cost – much worse than missed event.

13 Optimism beats pessimism (FAR) If you are on the fence about an occurrence, and you bet on the lower category, youre basically betting 50/50 on a low probability event. By the way, Las Vegas wants you to stop by on your way home. DFW/DAL annual % occurrence: (AVNFPS Climo tools) (SOD) – VFR 82% Above 2000/3 90% – MVFR 12% Below 2000/3 10% – IFR 5% – LIFR & Below <1% Caution/pessimism affects FAR much more than POD.

14 FWD TAF Rules: Forecast probable weather, not possible weather (use AFD for possibilities). Dont cross thresholds unless conditions will probably occur. – 2000/3 is most important category, then 600/2 (400/1), 1000/3 then others. No TEMPOs in the Outlook Period. If you have confidence, write a new line.

15 More FWD TAF Rules: No ¼ SM in the main body. Period. – Not our job to shut down operations. We forecast weather, & let airlines decide whether to fly. No PROB30s. (more later) Forecast TSRA during probable times. Use VCTS & CB for when less likely. Use the AVNFPS cig/vis trend tool. The TAF police will always find you!

16 Individual Feedback Individual feedback is key to lowering FAR & improving performance. – Many think the problem lies elsewhere. Youre going to hear excuses…facts will trump them. – Shoes 4 stages of feedback whining, crying, grumbling, & finally acceptance. Many forms of feedback choose what works best for you.

17 Individual Feedback Run individual TAF statsat least a years worth to get a good sample size. – Annotate/circle/comment/point out good & bad. – The biases are a good place to find where individual improvements can be made (pessimistic forecasters). Show collated statistics so each individual can see where they stand in the group. – Note: LAMP performance can vary considerably person by person.

18 Individual Feedback % Improvement vs LAMP 2009 Fcstr D had no clue they wrote that many TEMPOs

19 Individual FeedbackForecaster D Did not beat MOS his/her first year at FWD Issued a 24 hr TAF with 18 hours of TSRA Note how low FAR improves scores & POD actually increased. Forecaster D LAMP

20 Uh Oh! TAF KDAL Z 0900/ G24KT P6SM BKN050 FM KT P6SM BKN050 FM KT P6SM OVC025 FM KT P6SM -RA OVC015 FM G28KT 1/2SM SN OVC006 FM KT 3SM -SN OVC010 FM KT P6SM OVC025

21 PROB30 (SR) May – Apr

22 PROB30 (FWD) May – Apr

23 Warm Season Afternoon Thunderstorms Afternoon precip KDFW 4% of time (SOD). When precip occurs (AVNFPS climo distribution):

24 Thunderstorms two TAFs (warm season): TAF KDFW / KT P6SM SCT060CB TEMPO 0620/0623 3SM TSRA BKN015CB FM070100…. TAF KDFW / KT P6SM SCT060CB TEMPO 0620/0623 6SM TSRA BKN050CB FM070100…. Whats the difference? #1 takes 3 hour hit on category.

25 Warm Season Afternoon Thunderstorms Were not ignoring the flight category, were forecasting the probable category. Part of MFL problem?

26 Feedback Works FY 2011 MFL CSI 15.4 % Improvement over LAMP FY 2010 MFL CSI 18.8 % Worse than LAMP MFL LAMP

27 Miscellaneous D2D Map background All ASOS/AWOS voice lines. Get current conditions (no specials from AWOS). SVR WX wind gusts as well.

28 Summary Stress optimistic forecasting (improve FAR) & PPTAF principles. Focus on 2000/3, but dont forget other important categories. Individual feedback works. Dig into aviation climatology to find areas ripe for improvement (AVNFPS climo tools & SOD). Every office has bad forecasts…learn from them. Improvements will take sustained effort, especially in the beginning. The office culture will change, & service/scores will improve.

29 Summary Constant abrasion produces the pearl; its a disease of the oyster. Lenny Bruce Questions/Comments?


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