The world’s richest and most consumable weather API now includes turbulence parameters, to help the aviation industry safely operate and realize operational efficiencies.

The detection of erratic air currents in clear skies – so-called Clear-air turbulence (CAT) – is essential for the safety of aircraft. Typically this kind of turbulence occurs in altitudes between 6,000 and 15,000 m. The Meteomatics API now offers three new parameters for detecting and assessing atmospheric turbulence:

The Richardson Number is a dimensionless number that gives the ratio between buoyancy and flow shear. It allows the detection of expected turbulence. Typical values of the Richardson Number are within the range of 0.1 to 10, where values smaller than 1 indicate high risks for turbulence. Find further details on the Richardson Number in our documentation.

Another available parameter is the Ellrod Index that is also designed to detect areas of Clear-air turbulence. This index incorporates the horizontal deformation of air parcels and the vertical wind shear. With this index, it is possible to detect turbulence near the jet stream, where large wind speed gradients favor the occurrence of turbulence. Also, areas of turbulence induced by upper-level troughs and ridges can be identified. The values of the index give an indication of the intensity of the turbulence. Learn more about the Ellrod Index in our API documentation.

The Turbulence CAPE Index is a parameter that includes information about the Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) in order to assess the presence of atmospheric turbulence. The index provides values in the range from 0 (no turbulence) to 1 (turbulence expected). More details on the Turbulence CAPE Index can be found in our technical documentation.

 

Ellrod index and geopotential height at 500 hPa (approximate). altitude of 5,500 m. Regions of strong turbulence occur near the jet stream

Left: Ellrod index and geopotential height at 500 hPa (approximate). altitude of 5,500 m. Regions of strong turbulence occur near the jet stream. Right: Richardson number and geopotential at 500 hPa.