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Aviation Weather Research Program

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) conducts applied weather research to enhance the safety and efficiency and minimize the impact of weather on the National Airspace System (NAS).

The goal of the research is to transition new or improved weather capabilities into evolving air traffic management decision support tools and/or incorporation by the National Weather Service (NWS) to improve the delivery of FAA-required services and enhance aviation safety and efficiency.

AWRP initiatives include the following:

  • Meeting specific weather information needs by stakeholders and NAS users
  • Mitigating weather-related safety and efficiency issues with a line of sight to operations
  • Evolving weather information required today in legacy capabilities to meet emerging needs, often in collaboration with the NWS

AWRP research areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Turbulence
  • Inflight Icing
  • Convective Weather
  • Ceiling and Visibility (C&V)
  • Advanced Weather Radar Techniques
  • Weather Prediction Model Development & Enhancement

The FAA collaborates with the NWS via NOAA NWS Aviation Weather Center Web Portal to provide fast, reliable access to advanced weather products and flight planning tools, including forecast products sponsored by the AWRP. A broad community of users, including pilots, dispatchers, and Flight Service Station briefers account for more than 10 million hits per day on this web portal.

Graphical Turbulence Guidance

Graphical Turbulence Guidance tool screenshot
Graphical Turbulence Guidance produces an automated forecast of turbulence location and intensity for use in flight planning.

Forecast Icing Product

tool screenshot
Forecast Icing Product produces an automated forecast of icing intensity and probability for use in flight planning.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Tool

Helicopter Emergency Medical Services tool screenshot
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Tool: The operational HEMS page includes a C&V analysis, hourly forecasts of C&V out to 6 hours, an updated time-slider, and an updated 'Options' menu.

Offshore Precipitation Capability
The FAA's Non-Radar Weather Radar

Offshore Precipitation Capability tool screenshot
Ice accumulation on NRC Convair-580 after project flight sampling (Photo Credit: NCAR).

Winter in the United States can produce some of the most dangerous weather for the aviation industry, including freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet. In winter of 2019, FAA sponsored and led a field campaign, In-Cloud Icing and Large-drop Experiment (ICICLE), to collect extensive data in hazardous aircraft environments to support FAA icing research. In collaboration with scientists and engineers from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the National Research Council of Canada, the ICICLE campaign targeted weather in Illinois and neighboring states. The data from the ICICLE campaign will help develop and validate icing weather tools for the identification of icing conditions an aviation user may encounter, both in the terminal and en route environments, to enable safe operations in the NAS.

Offshore Precipitation Capability tool screenshot
Ice accumulation on NRC Convair-580 after project flight sampling (Photo Credit: NCAR).

Supplemental AWRP Materials

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