A refinement of thunderstorm climatology for the terminal radar control airspace
Convective storms pose a significant threat to aviation safety, and often result in substantial fl ight delays for the commercial aviation industry. The overall impact of these storms is typically based on thunderstorm climatologies and are often one of the factors used in decisions by the US government regarding the operational benefits and allocation of its weather surveillance resources. These climatologies are based on the average number of days that a thunderstorm is observed at a particular airport. Due to the nature of the criteria used to identify a thunderstorm, the climatological statistics often do not accurately represent the number of thunderstorms that impact an airport's operations. The present study utilizes data from the Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) and the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to identify deficiencies in the climatological data as it applies to aviation applications. A spatially representative climatology is presented as a more accurate climatology for use in evaluating the impact of convection on an airport's operations. This type of climatological estimate of thunderstorm frequency significantly increases the estimated number of thunderstorms impacting an airport and their associated costs.