Forecasting for Flight

It is a safe bet that if you love weather or are a weather geek, you are familiar with the National Hurricane Center or the Storm Prediction Center. These are two of the national centers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responsible for critical information related to tropical or severe weather information. I am willing to guess than many of you have less familiarity with another NOAA center that affects your life routinely if you fly regularly. The NOAA Aviation Weather Center (AWC) is located in Kansas City. If you are a business traveler or fly anywhere for a vacation, then AWC is vital to you. They are your friends.

The Aviation Weather Center is a member of a family of centers that NOAA is responsible for that have less public visibility. Others include the Weather Prediction Center, Space Weather Prediction Center, and the National Centers for Environmental Information. The Aviation Weather Center supports the Federal Aviation Administration and forecasts for general aviation. They also work closely with major airlines.

Millions of people will be taking flight this holiday season so we thought it would be a good idea to sit down with Debra Blondin from the Aviation Weather Center. She is the Domestic Operations Branch Chief for NOAA’s Aviation Weather Center. The discussion veers into the details of making aviation forecasts that are used by thousands of pilots each day. The conversation also breaks down the biggest challenges and discusses how to forecast turbulence. The “Geek Out” segment on the “hows and whys” of altering flight paths to avoid bad weather is a must see. Trust me.

Join us for an all-new episode of Weather Geeks this weekend.The show always airs Sunday at Noon ET (11 am CT, 10 am MT, 9 am PT) on The Weather Channel.

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