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Fog Detection Software Helps Airlines Keep Travelers Safe

February 7, 2022
In 2021, the GOES-R Fog and Low Stratus satellite product became operational in National Weather Service offices across the country.

Fog and low stratus clouds over airports can create dangerous travel conditions that result in costly delays and disrupted travel plans.

The U.S. National Weather Service offices monitor and issue warnings when conditions are favorable for the formation of fog and low-level clouds. These warnings are used by the airlines to anticipate conditions, avoid delays and reroute flights if necessary.

Now, the NWS uses a new fog detection software developed by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies and NOAA to assist with those warnings.

The software (known as a satellite product), is a result of more than 10 years of collaboration between CIMSS and NOAA.  It uses machine learning techniques with near real-time data from weather satellites like NOAA’s GOES-East and -West to monitor conditions 24/7 and issue potential fog warnings.