Advanced Weather Decision Support Systems for Diverse Economic Sectors
The primary goal of the Weather Systems and Assessment Program (WSAP) is to identify, explore, develop, and implement advanced weather decision support systems for new and emerging user sectors, and develop advanced user-oriented measures of performance and impact.

NCARs mission includes research and development activities designed to improve our understanding of the behavior of the global atmosphere and to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology to society. These objectives coupled with estimates that one-third of the U.S. economy is sensitive to weather, and that life and property could be spared and economic performance improved if weather information was utilized more effectively provide a significant motivation for developing advanced weather decision support systems for a broad range of user communities and getting them into the hands of decision makers.

The specificity and quality of weather information needed by advanced weather system end users requires a rigorous verification and validation process, and often new verification approaches and methods are needed to measure success.

These end-user-driven requirements for improved weather information and performance metrics provide the motivation needed for RAL to conduct its work of engaging stakeholders in various economic sectors, many of which are not currently well served by the meteorological community, and improving their use of weather information.

WSAP research areas currently include surface transportation weather, renewable energy, wild land fire prediction, soil condition prediction for precision agriculture, international aviation weather technologies, societal impacts and economic assessments, and verification research.

Benefits and Impacts

Read how we have met meteorological challenges with creative, practical solutions, and measurable benefits.

This technology has been adopted by private sector firms and State DOTs saving states millions of dollars annually in anti-icing materials and staff time. A USDOT benefits study indicated that the… more
Saving money, power and time with this LES modeling method. A viable tool for microscale operational, educational, and more comprehensive research applications.
This technology has become a core prediction capability of several commercial weather companies including The Weather Channel, WSI, Schneider Electric, and Global Weather Corporation generating 10s… more
The JAWS allows aircraft to operate into and out of Juneau Airport in a safe and efficient manner. JAWS-like systems could be used at airports around the United States experiencing similar terrain–… more
The finished system will be made available to the solar power industry to lower costs and enable more solar power penetration. Significant savings to electrical utility rate payers is anticipated.
The AI model is currently designed to update existing fuel maps, and it can do so in a matter of minutes. But the success of the project also holds promise of using an AI system to produce and update… more
The AnEn outperform a power prediction based on the European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) ensemble wind predictions, a leading in operational forecasting at a fraction of the… more
The Pikalert® system has been adopted by a number of organizations to push road hazard alerts to drivers in private and commercial vehicles, increasing safety on our roads and interstate… more
LOGICast™ is being used as a core forecasting technology by commercial weather companies. Leveraging this system, other applications now include road temperature forecasts along an entire roadway,… more
This wind energy forecasting system has saved Xcel Energy ratepayers approximately $10M per year since 2009. The benefits are described in a report of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
From very local short-term decisions about whether or not to pour concrete to broader decisions of when to plant or harvest a field, this report demonstrates how weather can have positive or negative… more
Savings in lives and property is estimated at $1B
We develop tools that predict the behavior of wildfires to help firefighters, local authorities, and resource managers direct their efforts more effectively. Tactically placing firefighting personnel… more