Weather data from 63 commuter aircraft were used by National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists to make improved forecasts and warnings during an experiment called the TAMDAR Great Lakes Fleet Experiment. TAMDAR (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Report) is an instrument package and communications system designed by AirDat, LLC as part of NASA and FAA aviation safety initiatives. Real-time weather data was collected during ascent, descent and cruise by an instrument with temperature, humidity, icing, and pressure sensors. Wind and turbulence data were calculated. TAMDAR data were transmitted via satellite to an AirDat ground station, and then relayed to NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) where they were made available to certain government, university and airline meteorologists via an interactive web page and as data files. Data were also made available to the public via an AirDat maintained internet site. Further information about TAMDAR may be found in Daniels et al. (2006). Meteorologists at many NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) in the central and eastern United States found TAMDAR data to be valuable in their forecasts and warnings. In addition, these data were also used by the NWS Storm Prediction Center in their severe thunderstorm monitoring and forecasting. Several examples are presented to demonstrate how TAMDAR was used by NWS WFOs in aviation, marine, and public weather forecasts.
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