The Extended Convective Forecast Product (ECFP) Planning Tool is a graphical representation of the forecast probability of thunderstorms. The product identifies graphically where in the US thunderstorms are likely over the next 72 hours. It is intended to enhance the TFM Collaborative Forecast (TCF). The TCF is only valid out to 8 hours. This graphical product will use TCF-style graphics, to facilitate ease of interpretation and use by those already familiar with the TCF. The product is not a TCF forecast (it is not forecasting the exact TCF criteria), but intended to support the long range planning for TCF type of constraints in the National Airspace System.
The ECFP planning tool has been developed in response to FAA and Industry needs in planning for weather hazards, specifically convection, one to two days in advance. To meet these planning needs, and to support TCF planning beyond 8 hours, the ECFP is intended to provide traffic planners and collaborators a quick-look forecast of the greatest probability of convection/thunderstorms. By utilizing TCF-style graphics, users familiar with TCF can easily determine where traffic constraints are most likely to be realized over the next 3 days.
The ECFP is intended for FAA Traffic Managers at Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC), FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC), airline and aviation industry dispatch and flight planners, and private weather vendors supporting airline/FAA.
This automated graphical forecast is created from the Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) Calibrated Thunderstorm guidance. Probability of Thunderstorm contours are depicted at 40, 60, and 80% probabilities, using TCF-like shading. Hashed areas represent 40-59% probability, solid lined areas represent 60-79% probability, and solid blue filled areas represent greater than 80% probability.
The ECFP will be available 24/7. It will be updated around 01:00, 07:00, 13:00, and 19:00 UTC each day.