P4M.5 MetEd: a rich resource for mesoscale-focused multimedia education and training on the web

Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Alvarado F and Atria (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Wendy Schreiber-Abshire, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO

The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET) is an established leader in providing multimedia education materials with an emphasis on mesoscale processes and phenomena. The rapid evolution of delivery technology for distance learning materials has enabled the COMET Program, under a multi-agency cooperative agreement, to develop cutting edge training in such a way that it not only serves our core sponsors, but also is freely available to both the academic and private sectors via the MetEd Website (http://www.meted.ucar.edu/). MetEd currently has over 300 hours of Web-based training in its continually expanding multimedia library and it averages 15,000 visitors a month from visitors around the world.

COMET staff produces a variety of distance-learning training options that include Web-based interactive modules with high-end graphics and animations, Webcasts (captured expert audio lectures from our classroom), teletraining offerings, and online courses that use a “blended” distance-learning approach. Web-based materials are readily available on numerous topics covering new satellite applications, hydrometeorology, numerical weather prediction, climate variability, and a large variety of mesoscale phenomenon. Other Web-based modules on MetEd include many other specialized topics on subjects like dispersion models, the physics of the aurora, and an AMS award winning highly interactive hurricane preparedness module for middle school students.

Although mesoscale topics ranging from an expert lecture on The Use and Misuse of CSI by Dr. David Shultz to an explanation of the geostrophic adjustment process are threaded throughout the MetEd site, two specific sections are especially noteworthy. The first area that focuses on mesoscale topics is the Mesoscale Meteorology Primer (http://meted.ucar.edu/mesoprim/index.htm). It has both shorter overview foundation modules and longer interactive modules on convection processes, coastal processes and phenomena, complex terrain issues, and events that contribute to visibility restrictions. The Mesoscale Primer effort has been created in partnership with the U.S. Navy and Air Force to enhance their forecasters' knowledge of the mesoscale. Throughout all the modules in the Primer there is a focus on making informed use of mesoscale NWP models in addressing weather forecast challenges. The other section of MetEd with special focus on mesoscale phenomena is the NorLat Website (http://meted.ucar.edu/norlat.php). An outcome of our partnership with the Meteorological Service of Canada, it is largely focused on the mesoscale aspects of winter weather. Like the Primer, the modules and cases study tutorials in NorLat cover a broad range from blowing snow and precipitation microphysics, to inverted-troughs and polar lows. Modules from both these efforts are available for use 24/7 by anyone in need of mesoscale training as either direct links on the MetEd site sorted by topic or through their own site pages embedded within MetEd.

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