Today presentation of the preliminary results at the vEGU21

Laura Esbrì presented the Impact of severe weather in air traffic management, Preliminary results on radar study cases.

Motivation of the study

  • Improve safety and cost-efficiency (fuel consumption and delays) of aircraft operations and Air Traffic Control (ATC).
  • Decrease either pilot and controller workload derived from convective situations, using route optimization based on weather forecast information, reducing the communication demand between pilots and ATC.


  • Achievement better understanding of complex weather interaction with ATM.
  • Identification of differences and similarities between cases.
  • Determine the most interesting radar information when forecasting severe weather episodes.

Data sources

  • Radar products (GeoTIFF) from Italian Radar Mosaic (managed by Italian Civil Protection): Echo Tops Maximum of 20 dBZ (ETM) and Vertical integrated liquid (VIL)
  • VIL: Vertical integrated liquid column→ Total amount of water available. Pretty high values indicate either big hail or high intensity of hailstorm fall.
  • ETM: Echo Top Maximum → maximum height at which there is still a minimum reflectivity of 20 dBZ. Indicator of the top of the storm clouds.
  • VIL density (DVIL) → it incorporates ETM information to VIL, becoming a good severe weather indicator with less dependency on seasonality.

Next steps

  • Extended analysis of more cases to better understand DVIL variability along year.
  • Test systematic depurations to remove non precipitating echoes form radar products associated with interferences.
  • Define different hazard thresholds leading to useful information for Air Traffic Controllers.