National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Blizzard Conditions Over the Sierra Nevada Mountains; Critical Fire Weather in the High Plains

A strong winter storm across the west is currently producing heavy mountain snow, strong/high winds, and heavy low elevation rain to parts of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, California and the northern/central Rockies. Impacts are expected to continue through Sunday. Across the High Plains, strong winds and dry air will support Critical to Elevated fire weather conditions through the weekend. Read More >

 
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  Center Weather Service Unit ( )

Mission:

  Center Weather Service Unit Center Weather Service meteorologists provide weather support and consultation to FAA air traffic managers and controllers. Rerouting of aircraft around hazardous weather is based largely on forecasts provided by the CWSU meteorologist. National products issued by the CWSU meteorologist include Center Weather Advisories (CWA) and Meteorological Impact Statements (MIS). The CWA is a short term advisory valid for two hours or less describing areas of hazardous weather in progress or forecast to develop. The MIS is a forecast product valid up to 12 hours describing areas of weather that may impact air traffic operations.

 

Operations:

  CWSU meteorologists provide formal weather briefings to FAA supervisors within the   Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) for the day and evening shifts. Verbal briefings are given to individual controllers at the ARTCC and tower control facilities around the   airspace, as well as to equipment technicians when weather conditions dictate. Two types of written products are also provided by the CWSU meteorologists. The Meteorological Impact Statement (MIS) is a 4 to 12 hour planning forecast of weather conditions expected to impact the   air traffic. The Center Weather Advisory (CWA) is a short-term warning of hazardous weather conditions provided to all aviation interests, including private pilots, towers, flight service stations, and commercial airlines. Thus, a CWA is similar to but more localized than Airmets and Sigmets issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, Missouri.