I know the pilots are required to report turbulence experienced in the aircraft via PIREPs. The data for turbulence with lat,long,alt and the severity is available. I am wondering if the PIREPs are somehow used to modify operations? Or do pilots of other aircraft that will fly through the same region in the future just look out for it without any rerouting?
Also, are there any heuristics on how long the turbulence reported is likely to linger?
Yes, pilots will often modify operations in response to turbulence PIREPs:
Turn on fasten seatbelt sign
Ask flight attendants to be seated
Request a higher or lower altitude where there is less turbulence
Reduce speed to turbulence penetration airspeed (aircraft dependent)
Are turbulence PIREPS used by other pilots?
Especially in Class A airspace, pilots and controllers often exchange information on turbulence in the area. When a pilot reports it to ATC, it becomes a PIREP. The controller then uses those PIREPs to advise other aircraft.
How long does the turbulence last?
Turbulence associated with the jet stream can stick around for hours, while turbulence associate with a small thunderstorm may disipate within a few minutes. It depends on what phenomenon it is associated with. Generally pilots and controllers only look at PIREPS from the last 60 minutes.
Some time spent monitoring ARTCC communications will make it clear that aircraft are frequently asking for and receiving ameded clearances altering their altitude and sometimes route in response to PIREPs regarding turbulence. Listen for the words "ride report", "any smoother up higher?". Center controllers often broker these PIREPS, whether or not they are published as UA/UUA's