NOAA - Aviation ceiling/visibility forecast accuracy Instrument Flight Rules

performance.commerce.gov | Last Updated 6 Feb 2020

Visibility and cloud ceiling forecasts are critical for aircraft safety and efficient operations. When visibility or cloud ceilings are low, pilots rely on instruments to navigate instead of visual reconnaissance. The Federal Aviation Administration establishes Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) thresholds—visibility less than three statute miles and/or cloud ceilings at, or below, 1000 feet—for safety. NWS assesses the quality of IFR threshold forecasts in response to these requirements. Fundamental statistical metrics, specifically Probability of Detection (POD) and False Alarm Ratio (FAR), are used to track IFR forecast performance. Probability of Detection (POD), also known as Accuracy, is a ratio that describes the number of times IFR is correctly forecasted compared to the total number of IFR occurrences. FAR is a ratio that describes the number of IFR forecasts when IFR was not observed compared to the total number of forecast attempts. These two metrics must always be used in conjunction, as one can be improved at the expense of the other. Greater accuracy and a minimized FAR result in safer flights and fewer flight delays; conversely, poorer accuracy and an increased FAR result in a greater incidence of unnecessary flight delays.

This dataset has the following 5 columns:

Column NameAPI Column NameData TypeSample Values
Performance Indicatorperformance_indicatortext
Fiscal Yearfiscal_yearcalendar_date
Actualactualnumber
Targettargetnumber
Statusstatustext