Center Weather Service Units
The nations 21 CWSUs concentrate fully on aviation weather for the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) producing specialized tailored forecasts and advisories of thunderstorms, turbulence, icing and precipitation affecting the National Air Space system.
Co-located with air traffic controllers, these face-to-face on the spot briefings convey a variety of weather information to air traffic controllers and is vital in helping FAA personnel safely and efficiently route traffic.
The meteorologists at the CWSU are very familiar with the differing weather regimes, which due to the size of an ARTCC, can range from mountainous or desert to tropical.
The catalyst that placed weather personnel in each ARTCC was the 1978 crash of Southern Airways flight number 242, which flew into a thunderstorm and crashed en-route to Atlanta. Both engines flamed out due to hail ingestion.
The ensuing investigation suggested that Air Traffic Controllers needed a better way to receive timely weather information, hence the CWSU program was born.
Below is a map of the Center Weather Service Units and their areas of responsibility. Click or select on image below or use drop down menu to go to any office webiste.