2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 2:15 PM
MeteoForum: A Pilot Project for Advanced International Meteorological Training Centers (Invited Presentation)
Arlene G. Laing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; and L. I. Miller, T. C. Spangler, and D. Fulker
MeteoForum is a pilot program developed jointly by the COMET and Unidata programs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The concept embodies an international network of Regional Meteorological Training Centers (RMTC) working collaboratively with universities to enhance their roles of training and education through information technologies and multilingual collections of resources. This pilot program is designed to help Regional Centers improve their service in the areas of hydrometeorology, agriculture and disaster management. By developing additional skills and knowledge of atmospheric data and models, the RMTCs will be better equipped to deal with regional phenomena by addressing local needs and mitigating the devastation typically caused by local disasters.

Modern techniques in analysis and forecasting, coupled with improved dissemination can have a significant impact on a nation's agriculture, aviation, trade, power supply, recreation, health and overall climate planning. By accessing a rich, internationally developed collection of training materials, software, real-time data, and historical data, the RMTCs can enrich the education they offer to hydro-meteorological professionals in their region. Equally important, MeteoForum will build a stronger sense of "community" among the RMTCs through Internet-based interactions and through the process of sharing educational concepts, educational materials, and hydro-meteorological data with one another and with universities.

Leveraging on work done at UCAR's COMET and Unidata programs, the RMTc will be better connected with universities and with one another, and they will improve the training they offer their constituents. Specifically, this training will improve the capabilities of their constituent meteorological services to:

- advise decision-makers, utilizing data from climate models

- analyze the local economic impacts of weather

- enrich economic viability, and achieve social benefits such as improved health

The MeteoForum concept, endorsed by the WMO Symposium on Education and Training in 1999, will be tested and demonstrated in areas of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regions III and IV. Initial funding for the pilot project has been provided by UCAR's Office of Programs. Additional funding will be sought for extending the pilot program and expanding it to other nationals, upon successful implementation and demonstration of the underlying MeteoForum concept.

Supplementary URL: