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NextGen Weather Processor (NWP)

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Example of NWP improvement in Echo Tops mosaics, an important product for determining enroute airspace availability. The mosaics represent a map of the storm tops (the top of the radar echoes) and are colored in 5000 foot increments. The 'Current' (top) mosaic is range limited, leading to poor high-altitude coverage directly over the center radar and curved artifacts from the other radars. The NWP Echo Tops mosaic (bottom) provides a realistic, artifact-free image that does not exaggerate echo tops values at long range.

The fully-automated NextGen Weather Processor (NWP) identifies terminal and enroute safety hazards, and provides translated weather information needed to predict route blockage and airspace capacity constraints up to eight hours in advance.

NWP combines information from weather radars, environmental satellites, lightning, meteorological observations (from surface stations and aircraft), and NOAA numerical forecast model output to generate improved products for all FAA users and National Airspace System (NAS) stakeholders, while maintaining today's stellar terminal aviation safety products.

NWP's new state-of-the-art translation products allow air traffic managers to collaboratively achieve more efficient strategic and tactical use of the airspace and significantly reduce weather-related air traffic delay.

NWP also includes an Aviation Weather Display (AWD), providing consistent weather information "at a glance" for enroute and terminal users.

Improvements with NWP

  • Provides a consistent weather picture, with timely analyses and short-term predictive elements tailored to specific aviation requirements
  • Translates weather picture into reliable airspace constraints for integration into air traffic decision-making
  • Enables safe, timely, and efficient operation of the National Airspace System (NAS) in all kinds of weather and seasons.
  • Consolidates multiple FAA weather programs with overlapping capabilities into a single NextGen Weather System
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One of the challenges in winter is knowing when snow and ice will impact airports. Aircraft icing (left) can severely affect winter aviation operations. NWP provides up to 8-hour look ahead of the rain-snow boundary relative to the major airports. NWP precipitation (right) can be displayed to indicate areas of snow (blue), rain (green), and snow-ice-rain mix (pink).

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