The Canadian Airport Nowcasting System (CAN-Now)
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 Crown in the right of Canada. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
How to Cite
Isaac, G. A., Bailey, M., Boudala, F. S., Burrows, W. R., Cober, S. G., Crawford, R. W., Donaldson, N., Gultepe, I., Hansen, B., Heckman, I., Huang, L. X., Ling, A., Mailhot, J., Milbrandt, J. A., Reid, J. and Fournier, M. (2012), The Canadian Airport Nowcasting System (CAN-Now). Met. Apps. doi: 10.1002/met.1342
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 14 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 AUG 2011
- weather forecasting;
- airport weather
The Canadian Airport Nowcasting Project (CAN-Now) has developed an advanced prototype all-season weather forecasting and nowcasting system that can be used at major airports. This system uses numerical model data, pilot reports, ground in situ sensor observations (precipitation, icing, ceiling, visibility, winds), on-site remote sensing (such as vertically pointing radar and microwave radiometer) and off-site remote sensing (satellite and radar) information to provide detailed nowcasts out to approximately 6 h. The nowcasts, or short term weather forecasts, should allow decision makers such as pilots, dispatchers, de-icing crews, ground personnel or air traffic controllers to make plans with increased margins of safety and improved efficiency. The system has been developed and tested at Toronto Pearson International Airport (CYYZ) and Vancouver International Airport (CYVR). A Situation Chart has been developed to allow users to have a high glance value product which identifies significant weather related problems at the airport. New products combining observations and numerical model output into nowcasts have been tested. Some statistical verifications of forecast products, with comparisons to persistence, covering both a winter (2009/2010) and summer (2010) period have been made. Problems with the prediction of relative humidity and wind direction are outlined. The ability to forecast categorical variables such as ceiling, visibility, as well as precipitation rate and type accurately are discussed. Overall, for most variables, the nowcast systems can outperform persistence after the first 1 or 2 h, and provide more accurate forecasts than individual Numerical Weather Prediction models out to 6 h. Copyright © 2012 Crown in the right of Canada. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.