Wind Products for Aviation (GEO v2018)

HRW (High Resolution Winds: observations of horizontal wind and wind trajectories throughout all levels of the troposphere)

HRW provides detailed observations of horizontal wind and wind trajectories, considering the displacement of cloud and moisture features in consecutive images of satellites MSG-1/4, Himawari-8/9 or GOES-13/16.
HRW data can be provided globally and regularly every 10-15 minutes, at all pressure/flight levels between the ground and 100 hPa (~FL530). 
The density of observations has a maximum at 300hPa (~FL300), a secondary maximum at 800hPa (~FL60), and progressive reductions away from these levels.


Applications related to Aviation

• Monitoring of the general atmospheric flow, of small scale circulation and of wind singularities at the different pressure/flight levels.

• Monitoring of the wind convergence/divergence (related to the development/dissolution of meteorological systems).

• Watch and warning of dangerous wind situations.

HRW wind/trajectory observations can be very useful for aviation operations and management, at a global scale or considering the activities and needs of a specific airport.

HRW product is useful by itself, but also through the comparison of its wind observations with the wind forecast. It is especially suitable over ocean and remote areas, where other sources of wind data are scarce.



• The variability with time of the HRW observations, with the possibility that sometimes there are no wind/trajectory observations in a given location. This is caused by the possible lack of cloud/moisture features in the satellite images in that location for the calculations.

• The vertical limitation in the number of HRW observations in a given location (with a current limit of two/three levels of wind/trajectories per location).

• The impossibility to obtain observations of vertical wind with this method.


More Information

To know more: HRW description or the tab "Science" at 

Real time displays of HRW product with MSG satellites over Europe and the Mediterranean Sea are available at:
HRW winds
HRW trajectories