More Than Just Aviation Support during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season (220)

Roland Nunez, NWS Center Weather Service Unit - Houston, Houston, Texas



During the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season, the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) airspace was directly and indirectly affected by eight tropical systems. Houston Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) forecasters provided full-time Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) to ensure air traffic traveled safely and efficiently around these tropical systems.

In the case of Hurricane Harvey, the IDSS profile took on a new life at the Houston CWSU as the demand for weather and water information increased significantly. Technical support decision-makers, who support FAA personnel, facilities and equipment across the south central United States, relied on the CWSU's information for the protection of life and property. Forecasters delivered a consistent and accurate message from the entire weather service enterprise as the FAA prepared for what would become a catastrophic storm to their airspace, land resources and, more importantly, the FAA family.

This presentation captures Houston CWSU's multi-faceted role in meeting the challenges during Hurricane Harvey and the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season. In addition, this presentation will explain how this expanded IDSS strengthened the NWS's role as a trusted partner in the FAA's overall mission.