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Keywords:

  • aviation;
  • gravity waves;
  • instability;
  • turbulence

Turbulence in the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere (8–14 kilometers in altitude) is a well-known aviation hazard; it is the major cause of injuries and occasional fatalities to passengers and crew members on commercial aircraft. Jet streams, thunderstorms, flow over mountains, and even the passage of other aircraft cause turbulence. However, the lack of precise observational data (which is still mainly from pilots reporting turbulence) and a clear understanding of the processes that cause turbulence make it difficult to accurately forecast aviation-scale turbulence. Hence, upper troposphere and lower stratosphere turbulence forecasting is an area of active research.