187 CMO Aeronautical Continuing Professional Development Program

Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Kathy-Ann Caesar, Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Bridgetown, Barbados

The establishment of competency based standards for operational aeronautical forecasters by WMO has initiated the need for meteorological services to seek immediate and effective training for their forecasters. Implementation of this critical training for the National Meteorological Services of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) will necessitate online and virtual training methods as their small staff numbers precludes extensive residence training. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the regional meteorological (and hydrological) training centre (RMTC), in collaboration with the UCAR/COMET® Program has formulated an online Aeronautical Continuing Professional Development (AeroCPD) course specifically for the CMO Member States National Weather Services. The course immediately addresses the competency issues and enhances continuing on-the-job-training in new technologies critical to operational forecasting. The approach has been to build an extensive online course led by CIMH instructors. Course content consisted of existing training material from MetEd and similar sites, as well as new material especially designed for the region. The main areas to be covered will be: Review of Tropical Meteorology Fundamentals; Satellite Interpretation in the tropics; Radar Interpretation in the Tropics; Interpretation and use of NWP Mesoscale Models; and Operational Aeronautical Meteorology. These readily address most of the WMO first and second level competencies. The six month course began in September 2011 and extended to April 2012 with 10 participants from across the Caribbean. Despite, a few dropouts, the course was successful. The successful participants did gain from the experience and proved that online training can serve as one of the means of ensuring that the AMPs continue to meet their goal of efficient and well trained staff. The final objective is to build the competencies in operational aeronautical forecasters for the Caribbean region; the long term goal is to develop a model that could be modified to serve various WMO Regional Training Centers. Already the Costa Rica Regional Meteorological Center is developing their online course and another is being planned for Africa based on AeroCPD. The course will eventually be available for self-paced, unsupervised learning, and can continually be updated to ensure that the aeronautical services are able to maintain compliance to the given WMO competencies.
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