Forecasting Mountain Wave Turbulence for Aviation

Forecasting Mountain Wave Turbulence for Aviation

After completing the lesson, you should be able to do the following:

  • Describe the conditions that lead to mountain wave turbulence both aloft and at low levels
  • Describe the different conditions that lead to a vertically propagating wave and trapped lee waves
  • Describe conditions that lead to strong up- and downdrafts, low-level wind shear, and rotors at lower levels
  • Recall the relationship between the intensity of turbulence and changes to aircraft indicated airspeed and/or net altitude
  • List the NWP forecast products required to forecast mountain wave turbulence for both enroute and low-level conditions.
  • Using the aforementioned forecast products, do the following:
    • Identify regions of mountain wave turbulence, both horizontally and vertically (i.e., flight level)
    • Estimate the intensity of the resulting turbulence.
  • Identify regions of likely mountain wave turbulence on satellite imagery
    • Recognize clouds that indicate mountain wave activity
    • List and describe satellite observations that reveal mountain wave activity in the absence of orographic clouds (e.g., water vapor imagery)
  • List in situ observations (e.g., Soundings, PIREPS, AMDAR, etc) applicable to forecasting mountain waves.
    • Apply in situ observations when forecasting mountain wave turbulence.
  • Describe the importance of communication and coordination to ensure consistency across forecast products for decision support.