Advanced terminal weather products demonstration in New York
October 4, 2004
Weather continues to be a significant source of delay for aircraft destined to and departing from the New York metropolitan area, with weather delays through the first half of 2004 reaching levels not seen since 2000. In Allan et al. (2001), it was shown that total arrival delays on days with low ceiling and visibility at Newark Airport (EWR) averaged 210 hours, increasing to an average of 280 hours on days with thunderstorms impacting EWR operations. An analysis of Ground Delay Programs (GDPs) due to weather in the National Airspace System was performed for 2002-20031. Low ceilings, thunderstorms, snow, and wind were all shown to be significant sources of delay (Figure 1). These same weather conditions that lead to GDPs often also lead to holding and long departure delays. In 1998, demonstration of a prototype Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) began in the New York area, helping significantly reduce terminal delays from convection, high surface winds, and vertical wind shear (Allan et al., 2001). In 2002, a new demonstration system, the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS), was introduced at New York Center (ZNY) to help mitigate convective weather delays in the enroute airspace. Substantial benefits were realized from this system and are documented in Robinson et al. (2004). While systems such as ITWS and CIWS have helped significantly with convective weather, much has been learned during the field-testing of these systems about areas where existing research and technology could be leveraged to reduce weather delay in areas that have not been addressed previously. This paper will discuss four experimental products that recently have been or will be fielded in the NY area and how they are expected to benefit the aviation system. Enhancements to the Terminal Convective Weather Forecast (TCWF) address delays in convective weather, snowstorms, and steady rain. The newly fielded Route Availability Planning Tool (RAPT) addresses departure delays in convective weather. The Ceiling and Visibility (C&V) Diagnosis and Prediction Product will address delay due to low ceiling and visibility. The Path-Based Shear Detection (PSD) tool is expected to help both to reduce delays on days with high winds and to indicate regions of potential low altitude turbulence.