Topics of particular interest to the National Weather Service's aviation program are those of volcanic ash and space weather. Both of these hazards pose a threat to aviation operations. Recent volcanic eruptions have illustrated the profound impacts that can occur. In response, COMET published four learning modules that cover the topics of volcanism, threats posed by volcanic ash, societal impacts, and tools used to analyze and forecast the presence of volcanic ash and the evolution of the ash cloud. These modules provide comprehensive coverage of the hazards posed by the presence of volcanic ash to prepare forecasters to deal with this natural hazard.
Another topic of increased interest is space weather. COMET's activities have included updating the Space Weather Basics module to represent the current state of the NWS space weather program and to focus more on human impacts. A more detailed module has been proposed on the three primary areas of impacts: global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), radiation environment and power grid stability.
COMET is also continuing an activity in cooperation with the WMO and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) to develop Review of Aeronautical Meteorology Distance Learning Course - an online aviation course that addresses the needs of international aviation meteorologists in the Caribbean region. This course makes use of and adapts current COMET aviation related modules. New information is also being developed that will address most or all WMO secondary level competencies for aeronautical forecasters.
The current modules are being developed for specific target audiences, however, they appeal to a broad audience and will help support educational activities on a variety of levels. All of the training modules described can be accessed through the MetEd website (www.meted.ucar.edu).
This abstract was funded by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under cooperative agreement award #NA06NWS4670013 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.