7.3 A New Generation of NWS Warning-Decision Training: WDTD's Warning Operation Course and Seasonal Readiness

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 9:00 AM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Gregory M. Schoor, NWS/AFSO/FSD, Norman, OK; and E. Mahoney

For more than a decade, the Advanced Warning Operations Course (AWOC) has served as the next-level training for National Weather Service (NWS) operational meteorologists. The Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD, formerly WDTB) developed and facilitated this extensive and multi-faceted course for students who had recently completed WDTD’s introductory NWS training course, the Distance Learning Operations Course (DLOC) and veteran NWS meteorologists who volunteered for the self-paced supplementary learning. AWOC was divided into four main course tracks: Core, Severe, Winter, and Flash Flood. The course grew with each yearly iteration, due to the absorption of new science, technological advancements, and evolved warning-decision techniques into a required 150 work hours stretched out over multiple months. As the duties of the NWS workforce have evolved, WDTD recognized the need to produce and deliver more concise, interactive, and targeted training for advanced level hazardous weather warning decision-making, following the aphorism from the sporting world to “train how you play”.

The evolution from AWOC to WOC is much more than just the elimination of “Advanced” from the name, the course maintains the four core tracks but delivers the content in more engaging formats, in addition to the online modules. More interactive and immersive learning elements and shorter simulated events have allowed WDTD to combine multiple lessons and infuse new and emerging technologies, like satellite and Multi-Radar, Multi-Sensor (MRMS) products. Seasonal-Readiness training will become a major addition to each core track, adding a more personalized component for individual Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) and the flexibility for local training officers to customize seasonal training plans for their operational staff. The WOC lessons will continue to evolve with time but the interactive and aesthetically engaging web-based learning elements will serve as the enticement for NWS meteorologists to train for hazardous weather events and enhance their warning decision-making capacities, which supports the NWS mission to protect life and property.

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