EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Scientific Enhancements to the World Area Forecast System (WAFS).

Piers Buchanan1, Jacob Cheung1, Katie Bennett1, Graeme Anderson1, Claire Bartholomew1, Debi Turp1, Mark Canning1, Teil Howard1, Andre Lanyon1, Edward Steele1, Brian Pettegrew2, and Matt Strahan3
Piers Buchanan et al.
  • 1Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom (
  • 2CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Kansas City, MO, USA (
  • 3Aviation Weather Center, Kansas City, MO, USA (

Global aviation industry needs are evolving, with increased volumes of traffic, increased capacity demands and the need to limit the environmental impacts of travel. Therefore, the provision of accurate/detailed meteorological information is becoming even more essential for the safe and efficient management of airline and airport operations.  Underpinning much of this is the World Area Forecast System (WAFS), provided by the London and Washington centres, whose capabilities are currently undergoing significant upgrades that promises improved prediction of en-route hazards. These upgrades, focused on atmospheric turbulence, cumulonimbus cloud, and in-flight icing will see the transition of services to a fully probabilistic offering, as well as the provision of a new high-resolution (0.25 degree) deterministic severity-based forecasts of turbulence and icing (replacing the previously used ‘potential’ metric). With the delivery of the deterministic products due by 2020, and the probabilistic products due by 2024, we will report on these key developments – providing both an overview of the new operational diagnostics and their validation, presenting preliminary results from initial trials involving the ensemble data – enabling users to avoid en-route hazards more safely and efficiently in the future.

How to cite: Buchanan, P., Cheung, J., Bennett, K., Anderson, G., Bartholomew, C., Turp, D., Canning, M., Howard, T., Lanyon, A., Steele, E., Pettegrew, B., and Strahan, M.: Scientific Enhancements to the World Area Forecast System (WAFS)., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21913,, 2020


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