Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:30 PM
A Case in Experiential Learning: The 2011 AWOC Severe Forecast Contest
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
The Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB) of the National Weather Service (NWS) is tasked with training NWS meteorologists in several topics pertinent to the issuance of severe weather warnings. This is accomplished through the Advanced Warning Operations Course (AWOC). As a way to help students hone their situational awareness and improve their ability to identify the pre-cursors to severe weather, WDTB developed a forecast contest as an optional supplement to the FY11 AWOC course's Severe Weather Track. The contest served as a supplement to online modules, instructor-led training and simulations. The concept was to use experiential learning to help students learn by having them analyze the environment, make a decision, and communicate why they made that decision. The following day, the student is given a score based on SPC reports, providing immediate feedback. In addition to issuing forecasts, a weekly GoToMeeting was scheduled where students could call in and discuss their forecasts, get expert opinions from WDTB staff and get immediate feedback and advice on forecasting severe weather events. The results of the contest, as well as lessons learned, will be discussed in this presentation.