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FAA Glossaries

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Aviation Weather Services – Supplementary Products

[The Aviation Weather Services book includes a section on Supplementary Products. These are not likely to be of interest to general aviation pilots, but are included here for completness.]


Collaborative Convective Forecast Product (CCFP)

The Collaborative Convective Forecast Product (CCFP) is a graphical representation of forecast convective occurrence verifying at 2-, 4 -, and 6-hours after issuance time. Convection, for the purposes of the CCFP forecast, is defined as a polygon of at least 3,000 square miles containing all of the following threshold criteria:

  • • A coverage of at least 25 percent of echoes with at least 40 dBZ composite reflectivity,
  • • A coverage of at least 25 percent of echoes with echo tops of FL250 or greater, and
  • • A forecaster confidence of at least 25 percent.

All three threshold criteria must be met for any area of convection 3,000 square miles or greater to be included in a CCFP forecast. This is defined as the minimum CCFP criteria. Any area of convection, which is forecasted to NOT meet all three of these criteria, is NOT included in a CCFP forecast.

The CCFP is intended to be used as a strategic planning tool for air traffic flow management. It aids in the reduction of air traffic delays, reroutes and cancellations due to significant convection. It is not intended to be used for tactical air traffic flow decisions, in the airport terminal environment, or for pilot weather briefing purposes. The graphical representation is subject to annual revision.

Issuance

The CCFP is issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) from March through October for the 48-contiguous states. Canadian forecasts are included on the product are available for southern Ontario and Quebec between April through September. This area is roughly from north of Wisconsin extending eastward to north of Maine. The CCFP is issued every two hours, eleven times per day.

Use

The CCFP is to be used as a strategic planning tool for air traffic flow management in the 2- to 6-hour forecast period. The product is not intended to be used as a pilot weather briefing tool.


National Convective Weather Forecast (NCWF)

The National Convective Weather Forecast (NCWF) is a near real-time, high resolution display of current and one-hour extrapolated forecasts of selected hazardous convective conditions for the conterminous United States. The NCWF is a supplement to, but does not substitute for, the report and forecast information contained within Convective SIGMETs. The NCWF is intended for use by general aviation, airline dispatchers, and Traffic Management Units.

Issuance

The NCWF is issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) and is updated every five minutes. The product is available on the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) web page at: http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov/convection/java/ and the AWC web site.

Uses

The purpose of the National Convective Weather Forecast (NCWF) is to produce a convective hazard field diagnostic and forecast product based on radar data, echo top mosaics, and lightning data. The target audience includes the FAA and other government agencies, pilots, airline dispatchers, aviation meteorologists, and other interested aviation users in the general public. The NCWF is a supplement to, but does not substitute for, the report and forecast information contained in Convective SIGMETs.


Current Icing Product (CIP)

The Current Icing Product (CIP) product combines sensor and numerical data to provide a hourly three-dimensional diagnosis of the icing environment. This information is displayed on a suite of twelve graphics which are available for the 48 contiguous United States, much of Canada and Mexico, and their respective coastal waters.

The CIP product suite is automatically produced with no human modifications. Information on the graphics is determined from observational data including WSR-88D radar, satellite, pilot weather reports, surface weather reports, lightning and computer model output.

FAA policy states the CIP is a supplementary weather product for enhanced situational awareness only and must be used with one or more primary products such as an AIRMET or SIGMET (see AIM 7-1-3).

Issuance

The CIP product suite is issued hourly 15 minutes after the hour by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC). The products are available through the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) web site.

Uses

The CIP Icing Probability product can be used to identify the current three-dimensional probability of icing. The CIP Icing Severity product can be used to determine the intensity of icing. The CIP Icing Severity – Probability > 25% or Probability > 50% depicts the probability of a given intensity of icing occurring. Finally the Icing Severity plus SLD product can help in determining the threat of SLD which is particularly hazardous to some aircraft.

Icing PIREPs are plotted on single altitude graphics if the PIREP is within 1,000 feet of the graphic’s altitude and has been observed within 75 minutes of the chart’s valid time. On CIP Max product, PIREPs for all altitudes (i.e. 1,000 feet MSL to FL300) are displayed. However, negative reports of icing are not plotted on the CIP Max product in an effort to reduce clutter. The PIREP legend is located on the bottom of each graphic.

Forecast Icing Potential (FIP)

The Forecast Icing Potential (FIP) provides a three-dimensional forecast of icing potential (or likelihood) using numerical weather prediction model output (Figure 9-17). The FIP product suite is automatically generated with no human modifications. It may be used as a higher resolution supplement to AIRMETs and SIGMETs but is not a substitute for them. It is authorized for operational use only by meteorologists and dispatchers. The forecast area covers the 48-contiguous states, much of Canada and Mexico and their respective coastal waters.

Issuance

The FIP is issued every hour and generates hourly forecast for 3 hours into the future. For example, forecasts issued at 1300Z would be valid for 1400Z, 1500Z and 1600Z. Six-, 9-, and 12-hour forecasts are issued every three hours beginning at 00Z. For example, a forecast suite issued at 0300Z would have valid times at 0900Z, 1200Z and 1500Z respectively. The product is issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) and is available through the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) web site at: http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov/icing/icing_nav.php.

Use The FIP is primarily used to help determine the likelihood of icing at the specified forecast valid times.

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