Workshop Meteorological Panel

16 - 18 September 2005
Istanbul, Turkey


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This years annual meeting of the Meteorological Panel took place in Istanbul, was jointly organized by four academic institutions and the Turkish Aeronautic Association and hosted by the Anadolu Bil Professional School of Higher Education. Thirteen representatives from Austria (2), Germany (2), Sweden (2), Switzerland (2), Turkey (4) and USA (1) took part (for a list of institutions and participants see App. A).


Friday Presentations
 Opening ceremony, Welcome Address  
 Flying in TurkeyHakan Bakir (TUR)PDF (4.6 Mbyte)
Session 1Meteorological Support for Gliding 
 PC-Met, Met Service for pilots from DWDErland Lorenzen (GER) 
 Met forecast products for glider pilots in SwedenBernt Olofson (SWE)PDF (0.5 Mbyte)
 High resolution thermal forecastEsbjörn Olson (SWE)PDF (0.7 Mbyte)
 Verification of Toptherm for Sweden Viking GlideOlivier Liechti (SWI)PDF (0.6 Mbyte)
 Merging RAMS and TopTaskEdward Hindman (USA)PDF (0.1 Mbyte)
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 Hezarfen Webpage and Met Support F.Ipek and B.Sirin (TUR)PDF (3.9 Mbyte)
Session 2Convection 
 Convection Potential over EuropeSedef Cakir (TUR)PDF (3.6 Mbyte)
 A case study of thunderstorm activity over TurkeyCeyhan Kahya (TUR)PDF (0.4 Mbyte)
 Thermic potential analysis by using flight dataA. Tokgözlu, Z. Aslan (TUR)PDF (1.1 Mbyte)
 Discussion: Microlift  
 Workshop: TopTask for competition  
Session 3Miscellaneous 
 Meteorological training for airline pilotsThomas Seiler (GER)PDF (0.5 Mbyte)
PDF (0.4 Mbyte)
 Reports on:
- Boundary Layer Information Prediction (BLIP) Maps
- Meteorology of soaring and flapping birds
- Perlan Project
- Exploration of Atmospheric Rotors
Edward Hindman (USA)  
PDF (0.5 Mbyte)
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PDF (1.2 Mbyte)
 Workshop: Update WMO Tech. Note 158  
 City Tour  


After the Welcome Address by Dr. Mustafa Aydin and opening remarks by chairman Hermann Trimmel, Hakan Bakir introduced us to the history and development of "Flying in Turkey". He started with the early efforts in 1935, when Russian flying instructors taught the first courses in gliding at Ankara/Ergazi, described the transition to cross country flight around 1964 and ended with an outline of the present operations at Inönü Training Center.

Session 1: Meteorological Support for Gliding

In the first presentation of this session Erland Lorenzen gave an update of the latest version of the well known PC-Met selfbriefing software package. He commented on features like animated display of humidity at FL 100, a very useful tool to assess frontal activity, true color satellite pictures with a 15min update rate and improved resolution, as well as on a Radar based precipitation monitor and on lightning data.

Bernt Olofson reported on the attempt to use the Swedish HIRLAM model for thermal forecasting. Bernt has been active in forecasting for gliding competitions since 1975 and presently acts as captain for the Swedish Team. Using the experience gained during the June '05 Viking Glide contest in Eskilstuna he explained the characteristics of the model and discussed the empirical formulae for the excess temperature necessary to trigger thermals and the mean rate of climb. His colleague Esbjörn Olsson presented first results coming from a test version of HIRLAM with 5.5km horizontal resolution and 60 vertical layers.

Viking Glide was again in the center of our attention, when Olivier Liechti talked about his TopTherm forecast. To optimize his forecasting tools for the given contest area he had to carefully select appropriate RegTherm regions. Not surprisingly, surface characteristics turned out to be more important than the rather inconspicuous topographical features.Since the availability of data from radio sondes in the area was marginal, TopTherm was initialized with atmospheric profiles calculated by forecasting models using the few and widely spaced sondes - a technique which proved successful and allows the use of TopTherm in regions lacking radio sonde coverage. He also addressed the question of forecast verification. Comparing the flight simulated by TopTask given a certain TopTherm forecast with the GPS data from a flight conducted in the forecast area and period gives a meaningful feedback for quality assessment of the model forecast.

Oliviers TopTask was put in an intercontinental context when Ward Hindman talked about efforts to merge the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) with TopTask to improve prediction and analysis of soaring flights in the USA. Comparing an actual flight trace with satellite images and a RAMS calculated airflow at 850mb he emphasized the surprising agreement in exhibited features. Areas of climb (flight trace) matched very well with calculated vertical air motion (RAMS) which in turn was consistent with the cloud pattern (as observed by satellite). He outlined briefly the concepts behind RAMS, explained the Cotton Soaring Index and continued to explore the potential of integrating RAMS and TopTask.

In the last lecture of this sesson Faruk Ipek introduced the Hezarfen website, the first and only Turkish internet portal to provide meteorological content for aviation. He explained layout, functionality and user interface by taking us on a tour through the site.

Session 2: Convection

started with an analysis of the 'Convection Potential over Europe' by Sedef Cakir. Radiosonde data over a period of 6 years were used to create temporal distributions of parameters relevant to convection (eg. potential temp., mixing ratio,..). Plotted for different pressure levels the results were interpreted in the context of convective instability.

Ceyshan Kahya presented a statistical study of thunderstorm occurence over Turkey. Instability indices calculated from radiosonde data were used to identify severe events. Data from a 25 year time span histogrammed over 12 months exhibit a bimodal distribution with peaks in May and October, with a spatial development influenced by topographical and thermodynamic features (elevation, sea-land temperature differences,...)

The session was concluded by Zafer Aslan, who described the application of two mathematical tools (Artificial Neural Networks and Wavelet analysis) to the analysis of thermal soaring conditions. Values for static dry energy as an indicator for thermal soaring potential were calculated with the above tools using (inflight) measurements of surface temperature, pressure, humidity and air temperature.

The following Discussion on microlift was triggered by a proposal to the IGC to define a new class of gliders, the socalled microlift gliders. After a lively exchange of ideas, personal views and assessments concerning a scientifically tenable description of microlift, we came to the conclusion that the present state of research on this topic suggests that it is simply the initial state of the thermals we know. As such, microlift would manifest distinct characteristics only at very low altitudes (typically much less than 300m agl). Therefore more in depth studies with well instrumented model gliders are necessary to possibly isolate new features which could identify microlift as a new and 'different' source of lift.

Session 3: Miscellaneous

Thomas Seiler tould us about the meteorological training for students at the Lufthansa Flight School. He covered the objectives of the curriculum and pointed out its importance in the syllabus of pilot training.

Finally, Ward Hindman reported on a variety of interesting activities in the realm of meteorology of flight:

"The Perlan Project", an ambitious undertaking to take a glider to an altitude of 100 000 ft. using wave lift. The first stage, attempting to use a conventional glider for a climb to 60 000ft, is presently under way, its main proponent Steve Fossett waiting for favorable weather in the Andes region of southern Argentina. [Dr. Elizabeth Austin]

"BLIP Maps", an US website providing comprehensive soaring specific data, plots and forecasting maps. Its goal is to promote cross country flying and to create a stronger interest for meteorology in the soaring community.

"Meteorology of soaring and flapping birds" describes the 'flight following' of a peregrine falcon on his amazing trip across the Gulf of Mexico. The bird covered the enormous distance over water apparently using most favorable weather conditions, tailwinds and frontal lift along a stationary front. [Young and McGrady,]

"Exploration of Atmospheric Rotors" , a new investigation of waves and rotors in the lee of the Sierra Nevada, the location of the classic "Sierra Wave Project" of the early fifties. It uses modern measuring equipment, ground based and airborne, in conjunction with state of the art numerical modeling to study the structure and dynamics of the rotor coupled system. Phase I was conducted in 2004 using ground based instruments only, Phase II (gorund and airborne) is scheduled for the spring of 2006.


Two workshops were conducted during the meeting:

In "TopTask for competition" Olivier was kind enough to set up TopTask on several PC's and laptops so that everybody interested could get a hands-on impression of its potential as flight planning and verification tool.

"Update Technical Note 158" was devoted to discuss the rejuvenation of the venerable "Handbook of Meteorological Forecasting for Soaring Flight". Revision of TN158 or a new Technical Note was the question. Olivier proposed a new table of contents, which was used to define the work necessary for a revised edition. In the end five participants put up their hands to volunteer their time to implement the modifications in a new edition of TN158.

Next meeting

One of the last topics on the agenda of every panel meeting is : date and location of next meeting.
In addition to the
28.OSTIV-Congress in Schweden/Eskilstuna, 8.-15. June 2006
there were three proposals for the 2006 annual meeting of the Met. Panel:
1. Ward Hindman proposed The Explorer's Club in New York as the location and a date in the fall of 2006
2. Our Turkish friends are interested in hosting the meeting again
3. Ghislaine Facon proposed the last week of September 2006 in St. Auban, France

To allow for sufficient lead time, a decision should probably be taken in the spring of 2006.

Social Program

There isn't much time for a social program during a long weekend. This time, however, one more day and the hospitality and enthusiasm of our Turkish hosts made a big difference. Starting with a welcome dinner on Thursday evening after everybody had been picked up at the airport, Zafer Aslan and her colleagues did not miss one single opportunity to give us a chance to socialize. Even the traffic in this megalopolis of 11 (?) Million was instrumentalized to promote extensive discussions in a very 'sociable' environment. Then there were luncheons with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Director of the Anadolu Bil Professional School, who also invited us to his office for tea, the wonderful banquet at the Borsa Restaurant and the city tour with visits to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

While recieving his commemorative gift during a short ceremony at the banquet, Markus Stracke summed up our impressions convincingly: " Istanbul - wonderful !"

List of Institutions:
Anadolu Bil Professional School of Higher Education
Istanbul Commerce University
Istanbul Technical University
Suleyman Demirel University
Turkish Aeronautic Association

List of Participants:
Zafer Aslan, Wolf-Dietrich Herold, Edward Hindman, Faruk Ipek, Olivier Liechti, Erland Lorenzen, Bernt Olofson, Esbjörn Olson, Ahmet Tokgözlü, Thomas Seiler, Bülent Sirin, Markus Stracke, Hermann Trimmel, Hakan Bakir, Sedef Cakir, Mikdat Kadioglu, Ceyhan Kahya, Lütfiye Kusak, Sibel Mentes, Ahmet Öztopol, Ahmet Duran Sahin, Sema Topcu, Hüseyin Toros, Adil Yükselen