2A.3 The Meteorological Service of Canada/COMET partnership….an international success story

Monday, 1 August 2005: 11:00 AM
Empire Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Peter Lewis, MSC, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and G. Toth, B. Muller, and D. Wesley

During the mid 1990's the Meteorological Service of Canada was subject to severe budget cuts. One of the outcomes of these cuts was the loss of their central training facility in Toronto.

Early in 2000 the need for ongoing professional training and development was recognised. Rather than attempt to rebuild a complete training division, it was decided to utilize the internationally recognised expertise and state of the art facilities of the COMET Program to partially fulfill the MSC's professional training needs. Following the successful completion of a two-week resident winter weather course in February 2001, the MSC became the first full-time international partner in the COMET Program.

Ongoing success stories of the partnership include-

• The sixth annual edition of the MSC/COMET Winter Weather Course will be held in Boulder in December 2005. This course has become recognised internationally as one of the leading residential courses for operational meteorologists involved in forecasting severe winter weather. One of the course highlights is the networking that takes place between meteorologists from several organisations. In addition to MSC students, meteorologists from the US National Weather Service, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the US Air Force Weather Agency and private sector meteorologists have attended the two week course.

• The development of a series of distance learning modules and Webcasts on aspects of Winter Weather Forecasting. Several of these modules use a case-based approach to learning. The students are posed a forecast challenge as in a real-time situation. More data is revealed as the case progresses. Access to more traditional learning material/supporting documents is linked throughout the challenge for the less experienced forecaster. For ease of access, these modules and Webcasts have been compiled in the Northern Latitude Meteorology website, a subset of COMET's expansive MetEd website.

• The establishment of the Northern Latitude Case Study Library. This library invites submissions of case studies and research notes on all aspects of forecasting in the northern latitudes. The library is searchable by several different topics.

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