Distance Learning Aviation Courses - DLAC 2: Producing Customer-Focused TAFs

DLAC 2 Distance Learning Course
    • Enrollment Information:

Description

Excessive use of conditional language, overly long TAFs, and TAFs that are not amended in a timely manner are some of the things that hamper the end user's ability to understand the forecast and make correct decisions, often resulting in substantial negative economic impact. DLAC 2 addresses these problems by focusing on issues such as:

  • How TAFs impact aviation forecast customers
  • The importance of effective communication between the forecaster and customers
  • The need for collaboration and coordination with other offices issuing aviation forecasts, and
  • How to create TAFs that maximize the usefulness of NWS forecasts to the customer

Most modules listed in the Course Outline are associated with a WES case. Please see the "Additional Resources" tab for information on these cases.

Goals and Objectives

Course Objectives
  1. Describe how TAFs impact customers
  2. Write clear and concise TAFs that customers understand
  3. Produce relevant and timely TAFs by being aware of customer needs and expected weather
  4. Express TAF logic and uncertainty via aviation forecast discussions
  5. Collaborate with others to produce the most consistent TAFs possible
  6. Routinely produce the best TAFs by using aviation "best practices"

Overview

The Distance Learning Aviation Courses (DLAC) are a series of lessons, units, and cases designed to help aviation forecasters improve both their ability to forecast aviation hazards and to write terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs) that convey these hazards to aviation forecast customers.

Objectives

The overall objectives for the DLAC courses are to:

  • Develop an increased awareness of the various users of aviation forecasts and how forecasts of aviation hazards impact (both positively and negatively) aviation operations within each user group
  • Explain the significant physical mechanisms and weather patterns responsible for aviation hazards
  • Give forecasters an understanding of observations, forecast tools, and model data that can help improve the forecasting of aviation hazards
  • Provide practice in writing a TAF that is user-friendly

Courses and Resources

Courses currently available are:

  • DLAC 1: Forecasting Fog/Low Stratus for Aviation Operations: Provides a comprehensive understanding of the physical mechanisms, synoptic patterns, and mesoscale features involved in fog/stratus generation and dissipation, as well as the latest forecast tools used to predict these challenging events. Introduces the Practically Perfect TAF (PP TAF) method for conveying ceiling and visibility information in a TAF.
  • DLAC 2: Producing Customer-Focused TAFs: Emphasizes understanding how aviation customers use TAFs, how weather hazards conveyed in TAFs affect their decisions, and what constitutes a "good" or "poor" TAF from the customer's viewpoint. Also reviews the PP TAF technique introduced in DLAC 1 and provides additional practice in writing PP TAFs for various weather conditions.

Course Outline

Additional Resources

Links to many useful online resources for aviation forecasting are available in the "Additional Resources" tab of the DLAC 1 course.

 

Each module listed in the Course Outline is associated with a WES case. Information on these cases is listed here.

Unit 2 WES Convective Case: Consists of 2 DVDs, a CD, and the simulation guide sent to each FO, CWSU, and each region's headquarters. The case has 4 simulations, each of which takes 30-60 minutes to complete. It is not necessary to complete all simulations in a single sitting. AVNFPS, WESSL, and D2D are all available during each simulation. If you have questions, go to the WES 8.1 webpage http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/tools/wes/wes81.htm or email Mark Sessing (Mark.L.Sessing@noaa.gov).

Unit 3 WES Winds Case: Consists of 1 DVD, a CD, and the simulation guide sent to each FO, CWSU, and each region's headquarters. This case has 3 simulations, each of which takes 20-40 minutes to complete. It is not necessary to complete all simulations in a single sitting. AVNFPS, WESSL, Bufkit, and D2D are all available during each simulation. If you have questions, go to the WES 8.3 webpage: http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/tools/wes/wes83.htm or email Mark Sessing (Mark.L.Sessing@noaa.gov).

Unit 4 WES Winter Weather Cases: Consists of 5 DVDs sent to each FO, CWSU, and each region's headquarters - 2 DVDs for the Las Vegas case, 1 DVD for the St. Louis case, and 2 DVDs for the New York case. The simulation guides for each case are available at http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/courses/dlac/index.htm. Each case has 2 simulations, each of which takes 20-40 minutes to complete. It is not necessary to complete all simulations in a single sitting. AVNFPS, WESSL, Bufkit, and D2D are all available during each simulation. If you have questions, go to the WES 9.0 webpage: http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/tools/wes/wes90.htm, the DLAC page listed above, or email Mark Sessing (Mark.L.Sessing@noaa.gov)

Unit 5 WES Ceilings and Visibility Case: Consists of 1 DVD sent to each FO, CWSU, and each region's headquarters. The simulation guide is available at http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/courses/dlac/index.htm. This case has 2 simulations, each of which takes 20-40 minutes to complete. It is not necessary to complete all simulations in a single sitting. AVNFPS, WESSL, Bufkit, and D2D are all available during each simulation. If you have questions, go to the WES 9.2 webpage: http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/tools/wes/wes92.htm, the DLAC page listed above, or email Mark Sessing (Mark.L.Sessing@noaa.gov)

Course Outline