New “Convective Outlook” graphic planned for Alaska

In their ongoing efforts to improve the weather forecasts for the aviation community, the National Weather Service’s Alaska Aviation Weather Unit is upgrading the seasonal “convective outlook” forecast.  These graphics are only produced during the summer convective season, and as of May 1st, the format will change.  Below is a sample showing some of the changes which include:

  • Color coding for the coverage (isolated, scatted or widespread)
  • New this year, Towering Cumulus (TCU) will be added to the product
  • The forecast bases and tops will be annotated.

sample convective outlookLink to sample product.

In addition, NWS is looking to increase temporal resolution, but in a more dynamic way. They will have the ability to produce up to eight outlook charts covering a 24 hour period, but will only generate as many as needed for the expected changes.  On very dynamic days, a user might scroll through a series of charts to see conditions develop. Under more stable conditions, fewer charts will be used to tell the story.  Check out this example  to get a better idea of what a sequence could look like.

As always, NWS would like feedback from pilots on their aviation products.  The email link at the bottom left corner of the AAWU page will let you send them an email.  Please take the time to share your thoughts—how you use them, what you like, what might be confusing.

As the snow continues to fall over parts of Alaska in April, it is nice to at least be able to anticipate summer!