18th Conference on Weather and Forecasting, 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, and Ninth Conference on Mesoscale Processes

Wednesday, 1 August 2001
An Extensive Set of NWP Training Materials on the Web
Richard E. Cianflone, NOAA/NWS, Boulder, CO; and W. Schreiber-Abshire, W. Bua, and S. Jascourt
During the past several years, the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET‚), in coordination with the National Weather Service (NWS), has developed an extensive set of training materials on numerical weather prediction (NWP) models for delivery over the Internet. This effort is a response to the NWS priority requirement for forecasters to have a better understanding of numerical forecast models and to make the best possible use of model guidance. The training materials address individual components of NWP models, the characteristics and rapidly changing nature of the current operational model suite, and provide information on how to intelligently apply model guidance output during the forecast process. These materials are freely available to the entire community.

The training materials, first made available to field forecasters at the end of 1999, contain training on theoretical and conceptual issues relating to NWP systems and include the current characteristics of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) operational Eta, Aviation/Medium Range Forecast model (AVN/MRF), and the NCEP/Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) Rapid Update Cycle (RUC-2) model. The individual units that comprise these materials can be accessed via a Web-based matrix, located on the NWS sponsored MetEd Web page http://www.meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu2. The use of the Web as a delivery medium allows for easy updates as changes are made to these operational models.

During 2000 and as of February 2001, materials addressing generic issues of model handling of precipitation and clouds, model physics, data assimilation, use of verification statistics, statistical products, and post-processing issues have been published. The same topics specific to the Eta, AVN/MRF, RUC-2, and NOGAPS are expected to be published in March 2001.

Additional training materials will be completed by spring 2001. These include several teletraining sessions addressing common misconceptions about NWP and development of a course using the NWP Web matrix materials that is comprised of a specified path through the modules and includes testing. Some regions within the NWS intend to use this course as the basis for their NWP forecaster training.

For the remainder of 2001, development will continue on Web-based short case study discussions that provide a post analysis of NCEP NWP model performance during recent meteorological events. These case studies are designed to raise awareness of model performance issues occurring during real forecast situations and to provide practice in assessing the validity and potential problems in the model analyses and forecasts. The Web matrix will also be updated, to keep up with ongoing model changes. Finally, an active mail server/list will be developed to archive and answer in quasi-real time, frequently asked questions on the AVN/MRF and Eta models.

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