An examination of wind shear alert integration at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
August 20, 2003
The Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is one of the four demonstration system sites for the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS). One of the primary benefits of the ITWS is a suite of algorithms that utilize data from the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) to generate wind shear alerts. DFW also benefits from a Network Expansion of the Low-Level Wind Shear Advisory System (LLWAS-NE). The LLWAS-NE generated alerts are integrated with the radar-based alerts in ITWS to provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) with a comprehensive set of alert information. This study examines the integrated DFW wind shear alerts with emphasis on circumstances in which the detection performance of the TDWR-based wind shear algorithms was poor. Specific detection problems occur in the following situations: when wind shear events over the airport are aligned along a radial to the TDWR, during "non-traditional" wind shear events, when severe signal attenuation occurs during heavy precipitation over the TDWR radar site, and because of excessive TDWR clutter-residue editing over the airport. In all of the cases examined, the LLWAS-NE issued alerts to ATC that would have otherwise gone unreported.