allstarflyer
Posts: 3264
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:32 am

US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast

Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:53 am

Can anyone with USAirways explain to me why the US RAMTAF is considered a superior forecast to that of the NWS? This applies directly to me and the work I do with USAirways, and sometimes it's a circus act juggling both of them - if the US RAMTAF shows no need for an alternate, but the NWS forecast does, you bet your cookies I'm slappin' an alternate on that flight. But I have to dispatch under the RAMTAF - and sometimes (in certain stations - and none in particular, they all do it), the RAMTAF is HOURS older than the NWS forecast.

With the NWS usually being a fine forecasting product, can somebody explain to me the necessity of the RAMTAF at US Airways?

-R
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fxra
Posts: 600
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 1999 1:03 am

RE: US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast

Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:16 am

I can't explain the reasoning at US AIrways per se, but my carrier only orders a RAMTAF when the destination airport is illegal according to the NWS forecast. Sometimes the RAMTAF will come out better for us, sometimes it won't. The best i can say is watch the last few observations and see if the trends better match the RAMTAF or the NWS.

I have found that RAMTAF's we get are about 50/50 better than the NWS forecasts (or the local government agency). Then again we had 3 diversions a couple weeks ago at the same central Asian airport by basing the dispatch on the RAMTAF. However, said airports forecasting agent has about an 20% accuracy i think.

I believe that the RAMTAF is still valid over a more recent NWS forecast due to it being issued from a different authority. But, I would imagine that's a question for you ASI/D and for flight ops management.

Of course, there's always the option of ordering a new RAMTAF. DOes US have their own met department?
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lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast

Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:21 am

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
can somebody explain to me the necessity of the RAMTAF at US Airways?

If one of the airports on your flight plan is not covered by a TAF, you can order a RAMTAF so you have weather data. The NWS does not issue TAFs for all airports.
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allstarflyer
Posts: 3264
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:32 am

RE: US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast

Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:53 am

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 2):
you can order a RAMTAF so you have weather data. The NWS does not issue TAFs for all airports.

 thumbsup  Good call, but I haven't had need for the RAMTAF, exclusively (I don't believe), for that situtation.

Quoting FXRA (Reply 1):
DOes US have their own met department?

Not sure, but I think they do.

-R
Living the American Dream
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: US Ramtaf Vs. NWS Forecast

Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting FXRA (Reply 1):
I can't explain the reasoning at US AIrways per se, but my carrier only orders a RAMTAF when the destination airport is illegal according to the NWS forecast. Sometimes the RAMTAF will come out better for us, sometimes it won't. The best i can say is watch the last few observations and see if the trends better match the RAMTAF or the NWS.

Ahhh, the 'SCAM'-TAF. If only the flying public had any idea that we can pay the right price and get the weather we need to be legal for launch.     

Seriously, sometimes a RAMTAF is what it takes to keep the operation running when the NWS TAF for a destination is overly restrictive (i.e. - 1/4sm in the main body for 6 hours when the fog is obviously lifting rapidly).

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
Can anyone with USAirways explain to me why the US RAMTAF is considered a superior forecast to that of the NWS?

I don't think the RAMTAF is considered "superior". It is just a matter of which forcast will allow you to dispatch the flight and which one will not. If your company's OpSpecs allow you to get a second observation...and that second observation is less restrictive...go with the less restrictive one (unless, of course, you don't feel comfortable with dispatching the flight based on the RAMTAF).

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
if the US RAMTAF shows no need for an alternate, but the NWS forecast does, you bet your cookies I'm slappin' an alternate on that flight

I would agree with this wholeheartedly. Our job is safety of flight...in this instance, I would definitely go conservative.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter):
But I have to dispatch under the RAMTAF - and sometimes (in certain stations - and none in particular, they all do it), the RAMTAF is HOURS older than the NWS forecast.

Why are you required to dispatch based on the RAMTAF when there is a perfectly good and legal NWS TAF available? Shouldn't you be dispatching based on the most current available weather reports and forecasts?

[Edited 2007-02-07 00:44:42]
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