Weather Radar Goes High Speed, HiDef Center controllers are getting Clearer, up-to-date weather thanks to a significant upgrade in technology

The Weather and Radar Processor used by center controllers, known as WARP, is now better than ever -- after a recent upgrade provided higher resolution and faster processing speeds to keep weather more up to date.

Controllers at every center had it running on their scopes by Nov. 4. Now they can better route high-altitude aircraft around severe weather in the NAS.

A scope showing weather depicted via the latest WARP upgrade

The enhancement, which has been under development and testing for the past six years, is a component of the FAA’s Take a Stand for Safety campaign, aimed at helping controllers and pilots share weather information often, effectively and efficiently.

“When Hurricane Matthew was going up the coast, controllers were able to get some really good feedback on WARP. Everyone really likes the accuracy level of it.” -- Matthew Tucker, NATCA Weather Article 48 rep

And it’s only getting better. The second phase of WARP will deploy next year to omit interferences, while also accounting for terrain blockage.

“It’s about fine-tuning the boundary of what is real and what is not, keeping real weather on display and removing what we call false returns. We’re now finding more holes in the weather we can route traffic through and ultimately increase the safety and efficiency of the NAS.” -- Ryan Low, FAA meteorologist

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