You are here


Click on the image to watch the video of this 
Success Story.

NCEI, as the official repository of Next Generation Radar Data, or NEXRAD allows airlines and public agencies to undertake investigations to understand the weather and non-weather related causes of an airplane incident or accident. Weather factors can include an encounter with a storm, while non-weather factors can include birds flying into the engine, or an airplane malfunction. Public agencies that lead such investigations include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). 


Image of user of data for AviationAviation Inforgrphic“I have five aviation accidents that landed on my desk this week and I plan to use the NEXRAD archive from [NCEI’s] Weather and Climate Toolkit to analyze all of them."

 – Paul Suffern, Senior Meteorologist Investigator, National Transportation Safety Board  

NCEI’s archived NEXRAD data plays an important role for the continued safety of air travel. It helps investigators understand what went wrong in an accident and offer recommendations to airlines on how to avoid such problems in the future. This not only improves airlines safety but helps to protect the economy’s bottom line from the economic impacts of liability and disruption associated with airplane accidents.


image of Radar graph

NEXRAD data visualized in a Google Earth Viewer: this data allows for the analysis of
weather conditions in specific locations and can detect the presence of servere Convective
sstorms (hail, rain, lightening, etc.).