The National Weather Service (NWS) Aviation Weather Center (AWC) is replacing the textual products from the old area forecast product with improved graphical forecast products intended to make the information easier to interpret, improving operator safety and efficiency. Through April 11, the AWC is soliciting input on this important weather forecasting tool from the business aviation community.
“At this time they are only working to replace the FA for the continental U.S, not for Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico,” noted John Kosak, weather project manager at NBAA’s Air Traffic Services. “It is important that operators take the time to make useful comments regarding the appearance and content of information provided to allow the AWC to produce the best possible product for business and general aviation users.”
The new tool (which may be found at new.aviationweather.gov/areafcst) includes the following weather products that are available to schedulers, dispatchers, crew members and any other interested parties: observations/warnings, thunderstorms, clouds, flight category (ceiling and visibility), precipitation, icing, turbulence and winds. Data reaches six-hours into the past, so users can see the trends, while the hourly model data extends out to 15-hours in the future.
Reviews of the new product may be submitted at www.nws.noaa.gov/survey/
When reviewing the new product, users should indicate the type of platform they are using, (Apple iPad, Android tablet, smartphone, Microsoft Surface, etc.), as well as the operating system or browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) they are using.
“This is one of many instances where the NWS asks for input from the business aviation community regarding changes to information and how it is provided,” Kosak said. “If you’re interested in more opportunities like this, you can participate on the NBAA Weather Subcommittee as either a core member or a member-at-large.”
The current product will also remain available for the foreseeable future.