Poster Session P1.5 What's New in NWP Training at COMET?

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
William R. Bua, UCAR, College Park, MD; and S. D. Jascourt and D. A. Wesley

Handout (476.8 kB)

Operational forecaster-oriented online training materials about NWP models have been posted on the Cooperative Program for Meteorological Education and Training (COMET) web site for years. COMET has been updating the information content and providing new training modules as the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) model suite has evolved. This poster will highlight the recent additions to the NWP training collection. All of the training is freely available at (Some of what will be shown at the conference is not live online yet but will be well before the conference.) It should be noted that registration (free to all users) is now required to access training information on the MetEd site. Mandatory registration facilitates tracking of usage and training results for both COMET administration and for supervisors making use of the training for their meteorologists.

The MetEd Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) topic can be reached through the pulldown menu near the top of the MetEd page. Once there, a list of items of special interest can be found on the left. On the right can be found links to featured materials, the NWP distance learning course, and a series of modules describing various aspects of NWP and its potential uses (and limitations) in forecasting weather phenomena.

Additions since Summer 2005:

Since our last report in 2005, work has mostly concentrated on the new NCEP North American Mesoscale (NAM) WRF-NMM model and general and NCEP-specific information on ensemble prediction systems. A module called “Ensemble Forecasting Explained” was developed to introduce forecasters to the concepts and applications of Ensemble Prediction Systems. Additionally, a shorter, simpler webcast, “Introduction to Ensemble Prediction” was also completed. Matrix pages describing the construction of the NCEP short- and medium-range ensemble forecast (SREF and MREF, respectively) systems, and the marine wave models were made available in 2006.

Teletraining has been archived at the VISITView web site on the new 5-km National Digital Guidance Data base (NGDG), also known as Gridded MOS. It can be found at

For the NAM WRF-NMM, two webcasts were issued describing the model and comparing it to the NAM-Eta, which it was replacing. The delivery of these webcasts corresponded to the initial operational implementation of the model. Subsequently, live teletraining was developed and delivered during spring 2007, focusing on case examples and the forecast impacts of the model switch, as well as discussing the two sets of model changes to NAM-WRF. A new column was added to the Operational Models Matrix to describe the dynamics and physics of the WRF-NMM as well.

The Operational Models Matrix page has been maintained to keep it current as a one-stop shop for finding information on NWP model physics and dynamics. From this matrix page, users can also reach the new NWP Discussion Forum, which replaced the old GFS and NAM-Eta Newsgroups in March 2006. The forum works like a discussion group, with discussion threads on topics including the GFS and global models (along with ensembles and the WaveWatch III), the NAM/mesoscale models, including the WRF-NMM and any other mesoscale models in use at NCEP. A topic for the Gridded MOS has been added as well. Forecast and observational graphics can be added to any thread, which makes using the forum more useful to discuss model performance. We invite National Weather Service and other meteorologists to share information, questions, and comments on this new by posting to the forum.

A webcast about the Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA) is under development and should appear on the COMET web site later this spring. The RTMA is a 2-dimensional gridded analysis on the 5-km National Digital Forecast Database grid of the sensible weather elements predicted by National Weather Service forecasters on that same grid. The RTMA also includes an esimate of the magnitude of likely analysis error or “uncertainty” for winds and temperatures.

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