The Focal Point course consists of three main goals; the functionality of the three main components, the configuration of the components and suggestions on how to implement/use IFPS in the forecast process at their offices. The three main components of IFPS are the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) where the digital database is initialized and edited, Sliders where the numerical model and Model Output Statistics (MOS) guidance are evaluated and the Digital Forecast matrices (DFMs) where the weather elements comprising the forecast text can be adjusted.
Students are shown how they can tailor the various IFPS components to fit their unique requirements at their forecast office. For example, specific words in the forecast text can be configured as wildcards or local effects; knowledge about local biases in MOS guidance can be used in the mapping of MOS station values to IFPS grid points; and end-user products can be defined and formatted.
Instruction techniques consisted of a series of lecture presentations and functionality demonstrations followed by student hands-on exercises. Each IFPS component is summarized by a case scenario using canned datasets. In addition, two case scenarios at the end of the course lead the students through the entire IFPS forecast process from numerical guidance evaluation to editing and interpretation to the suite of end products.
This presentation discusses issues regarding unique classroom workstation configuration, preparation of course materials, incorporating information and software changes, and support from the developers. In addition, course strengths and weaknesses will be addressed.