3 years ago

Analysis and numerical simulation of an aircraft icing episode near Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport

Aircraft icing is one of the most dangerous weather phenomena in aviation security. Therefore, avoiding areas with high probability of icing episodes along arrival and departure routes to airports is strongly recommended. Although such icing is common, forecasting and observation are far from perfect. This paper presents an analysis of an aircraft icing and turbulence event including a commercial flight near the Guadarrama Mountains, during the aircraft approach to the airport. No reference to icing or turbulence was made in the pre-flight meteorological information provided to the pilot, highlighting the need for additional tools to predict such risks. For this reason, the icing episode is simulated by means of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and analyzed using images from the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite, with the aim of providing tools for the detection of icing and turbulence in the airport vicinity. The WRF simulation shows alternating updrafts and downdrafts (>2ms1) on the lee side of the mountain barrier. This is consonant with moderate to strong turbulence experienced by the aircraft on its approach path to the airport and suggests clear air turbulence above the mountain wave cloud top. At the aircraft icing altitude, supercooled liquid water associated with orographic clouds and mountain waves is simulated. Daytime and nighttime MSG images corroborated the simulated mountain waves and associated supercooled liquid water. The results encourage the use of mesoscale models and MSG nowcasting information to minimize aviation risks associated with such meteorological phenomena.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0169809517307676

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