Expansion of the aircraft fleet contributing meteorological reports is the most important observational need for improving aviation weather forecasts. One of the major efforts in this direction has been the TAMDAR (Tropospheric AMDAR) sponsored by the NASA Aviation Safety Program (Daniels et al. 2006, Moninger et al. 2006), and the NASA-sponsored development of a TAMDAR sensor by AirDat LLC. As part of the NASA- and FAA-sponsored Great Lakes Fleet Experiment (GLFE, Mamrosh et al. 2006a,b) with experimental TAMDAR observations, NOAA/FSL (NOAA/ESRL/GSD since October 2005) has conducted real-time parallel experiments with hourly Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) runs to test the impact of these data. These experiments started in March 2005 and results through the first six months are described here. The potential value of any observations toward improving numerical weather forecasts must be measured as value added to pre-existing observations. The RUC is well-suited for regional observation impact experiments due to its complete use of hourly observations and diverse observation types. The current TAMDAR observations cover a regional area (Fig. 1), covering the flight structure of the 63 equipped aircraft operated by Mesaba Airlines, operating as Northwest Airlink (Moninger et al. 2006).
This publication was presented at the following: