The production of TAFs is a time consuming business and is partly based on routine. Especially during critical situations when the pressure on the forecaster is very high, it would be desirable to speed up the routine based part by using an automatic procedure that can increase the efficiency of production and at the same time gain in accuracy of the final product. At KNMI there has been a lot of activity to come to a semi-automation of the TAF production. Recent developments have led to the implementation of the "First Guess TAF" system. The question during the development of this system has never been whether TAFs should be automated, but about the degree of automation in the TAF production. We implemented a system where TAFs can be produced fully automatic. The system is based on a numerical TAF-guidance containing all the necessary information on weather changes that are significant for aviation. The system is supplemented with an automatic encoding module that produces the AUTOTAFs. In any situation, however, the forecaster has the final decision on the code. For this, a graphical user interface with an integrated code editior has been developed as a fundamental part of the production system.
A probabilistic forecast for visibility in the TAF-guidance. The classes are related to threshold levels for visibility established as international standards by ICAO. The presented code in the figure is based on the guidance and produced fully automatic.
Jacobs, A.J.M., First Guess TAF - FGTAF
KNMI publication: TR-212, ISBN 90-369-2149-X, 8/1998.