Convective weather avoidance modeling in low-altitude airspace
August 8, 2011
Thunderstorms are a leading cause of delay in the National Airspace System (NAS), and significant research has been conducted to predict the areas pilots will avoid during a storm. An example of such research is the Convective Weather Avoidance Model (CWAM), which provides the likelihood of pilot deviation due to convective weather in a given area. This paper extends the scope of CWAM to include low-altitude flights, which typically occur below the tops of convective weather and have slightly different operational constraints. In general, the set of low-altitude flights includes short-hop routes and low-altitude escape routes used to reduce the impact of convective weather in the terminal area. This paper will discuss the classification procedure, present the performance of low-altitude CWAM on observed and forecasted weather, analyze areas of poor performance, and suggest potential improvements to the model.