Global Aviation Turbulence Technique and Research

CIRA Director's C.R. 135
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 10:00
NWS Aviation Weather Center, Kansas City, Missouri Affiliated with CSU/CIRA
Presenter: 
Dr. Jung-Hoon Kim
Hosted By: 
Chris Kummerow/Sher Schranz

From operational NWP model output, global turbulence forecasts are used to compute a set of diagnostics that identify regions of strong spatial gradients, and using an empirical mapping technique, convert these indicators into an equivalent energy dissipation rate to the 1/3 power. This atmospheric turbulence metric is the ICAO standard for aircraft reporting and thus provides a convenient basis for verification. Implicit in the process is the assumption of a downscale cascade of energy from the large scales resolved by operational NWP models to the smaller scales aircraft feel as turbulence (~hundreds of m). Deterministic forecasts are provided using the weighted ensemble mean of the many individual turbulence diagnostics. This is the basis for the current CONUS Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG) algorithm. Probabilities are developed both from the diagnostic ensemble and from the NWP initial ensemble. In this way Clear-Air Turbulence (CAT) and Mountain Wave Turbulence (MWT) sources are captured, although convective sources are more problematic. This system is currently being evaluated for use by the World Area Forecast Centers in Washington, US and London, UK. 

Related research topics like “Combined wind and turbulence prediction for automated Air-Traffic Management (ATM)", “Impact of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on transatlantic flight routes, and CAT potential”, and “Update of MWT by reducing unphysical topography” will be presented as well.

Dr. Kim has professional experience in aviation weather forecasting while at the Republic of Korean Air Force (ROKAF) from 2004-2006. He received a PhD degree in Atmospheric Science from Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea (2006-2011). He focused on "a study on aviation turbulence on Korea and East Asia", including the high resolution WRF model simulations on several severe turbulence cases, climatology of observed upper-level turbulence over Korea, and development of Korean Turbulence Guidance (KTG) system. As a post-doc researcher in 2011-2013, he also had a professional R2O experience on implementing the KTG to Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA). After that, he was a recipient of NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) fellow at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA for two years (2013-2015). At NASA, he developed the combined wind and turbulence forecasts for automated Air-Traffic Management (ATM) system. He joined CIRA/CSU affiliated with the NOAA/Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, MO in 2015 as a research scientist. Dr. Kim is developing the next-generation of World Area Forecast System (WAFS) for en-route weather hazards like turbulence, icing, and convection using a global ensemble of NWP models. His areas of research interest include synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, ensemble weather forecasting, numerical weather prediction, model evaluation using statistical methodologies, optimization of flight trajectory modeling and guidance, and climate impact to aviation operation.