National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Air Force 1 flying over mountainsThe Center Weather Service Units monitor and provide weather forecasts and advisories to the nation's 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC). The nation's 21 CWSUs concentrate fully on aviation weather for the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), producing specialized tailored forecasts and advisories of thunderstorms, turbulence, icing, and precipitation affecting the National Air Space system.

Co-located with air traffic controllers, these face-to-face on-the-spot briefings convey a variety of weather information to air traffic controllers and are vital in helping FAA personnel safely and efficiently route traffic.

The meteorologists at the CWSU are very knowledgeable of the differing weather regimes within the large forecast domain of an ARTCC which, due to its size, can range from mountainous or desert to tropical.

The catalyst that placed weather personnel in each ARTCC was the 1978 crash of Southern Airways flight number 242, which flew into a thunderstorm and crashed en-route to Atlanta. Both engines flamed out due to hail ingestion.

The ensuing investigation suggested that Air Traffic Controllers needed a better way to receive timely weather information, hence the CWSU program was born.

Below is a map of the Center Weather Service Units and their areas of responsibility. Click on the image below to go to any office website.

 

map showing center Weather service units with links to local offices.