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Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services

NWS Aviation Weather Services Program

The goal of the NWS Aviation Weather Program is to couple the art and science of meteorology to enhance the safe and efficient use of the National Airspace System.

Air Commerce Act of 1926 set federal regulations and resulted in traffic control system. Early plane shown.NWS prepares and provides approximately 4 million forecasts a year for the aviation community. These forecasts assist pilots, dispatchers, air traffic controllers and their operational teams in planning into, out of, and across the country. The forecasts are a result of a unique blend of programs developed over many years with input from the aviation community.

The aviation community, since First Flight has expanded service within the United States to more than 85,000 flights a day spanning the globe. As a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United States plays an active role in laying the ground work for international air travel safety and efficiency.

A principle activity of ICAO is standardization of international practices and procedures in the technical fields of aviation. In following ICAO standardization, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in partnership with the NWS, develops and monitors aviation weather services and products.

Wright Brothers First flight 1902 gliderNWS employs approximately 1,000 meteorologists to meet the growing demand for products and services. As a member-state of The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), these NWS meteorologist take part in a global project called the World Area Forecast System (WAFS). WAFS is a meteorological and communications project coordinating global preparation and distribution of meteorological flight planning data for use by international carriers.

There are two WAFS centers: One in the United States, The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and another in the United Kingdom: Meteorological Office of the United Kingdom. These two offices prepare global forecasts for upper winds and air temperatures, jet stream movements, and tropopause heights, using worldwide standard Gridded Binary (GRIB) data code. These offices and other regional centers also prepare significant weather forecasts crossing international boundaries.

Keeping Our National Airspace System Safe

The NWS provides the National Airspace System with 122 Weather Forecast Offices, 21 Center Weather Services Units, 6 Regional Offices, and 2 aviation weather units. These offices work together, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, disseminating and transmitting approximately 4 million forecasts a year that keep the United States and parts of the world's aviation community up to date.

Learn more: Click on a link below for a brief description of each service.

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**For more information or questions or comments, please email us at **

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Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Last Updated: September 12, 2007