SR SSD 2000-30

Technical Attachment

Trip Report: International Aeronautical Training

Shawn Bennett
SOO, WFO Brownsville, Texas

As one of a two-member United States delegation, I participated as a lecturer in the UN/WMO sponsored "Regional Training Seminar on Aeronautical Meteorology with Emphasis on the Processing, Manipulation and Display of World Area Forecast System (WAFS) Data and Products" in Mexico City, Mexico, on October 17-20, 2000. Mr. Mike Davison, Chief, NCEP International Desk, and I developed the training curriculum and program agenda for the meeting. The seminar was coordinated on behalf of the WMO and ICAO by Dr. N. Tata Diallo, Chief, WMO Aeronautical Meteorology in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. Anibal Saraiva, ICAO Regional Aeronautical Meteorology Specialist in Mexico City and Lic. Oliva Parada Hernandez of the Mexican National Weather Service. The seminar was hosted and directed by the Director, SMN (Servicio Meteorologico Nacional or Mexican National Weather Service), representatives from the Mexican National Water Commission and the WMO Permanent Representative of Mexico. They did a superb job in setting up the conference room and arranging for the personal computers and audio/visual support we required to conduct the training seminar.

Participants came from Argentina, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Netherland Antilles- Curacao, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. In all there were over 30 participants. Lectures were conducted entirely in Spanish without translation. In addition, I acted as translator for Dr. Diallo during his formal address to the group on behalf of Professor Obasi, Secretary General, WMO and when he made comments during group discussions.

The training was divided into six topical sessions:

1) heavy rainfall forecasting in both tropical and non-tropical weather systems,

2) operational application of mesoscale modeling and the benefit from local forecast studies,

3) aircraft turbulence diagnosis and forecasts,

4) tropical cyclone development and the hurricane forecast process,

5) PCGRIDDS installation and operational application, and

6) operational application of WAFS/STAR4 and GEMPAK.

Each country representative participated in a roundtable discussion which covered the following themes:

a) hurricane impacts,

b) ENSO impacts,

c) disaster preparedness and interaction with civil defense,

d) how threats are communicated with the public,

e) local outreach efforts, and

f) the operational status and use of WAFS/STAR4.

I gave the lectures on heavy rainfall, hurricane diagnostics and forecasting, mesoscale modeling, and moderated the roundtable discussion while Mr. Davison handled the lectures and laboratory sessions on PCGRIDDS, WAFS/STAR4 and aircraft turbulence. A copy of the newest version of PCGRIDDS, and a Microsoft Powerpoint version of the lectures (in Spanish) were made available to each country representative. I instructed the group on how to order the latest COMET modules in Spanish. We also provided cyber tours of the NOAA, NWS, NSSL Pan American Climate Studies Sounding Network (PACS - SONET), NCEP/HPC, FSL, NWS Southern Region and WFO Brownsville Web pages.

In summary, I believe that this training seminar was an unparalleled success. Indications are this WAFS Seminar has been among the best ones yet sponsored by the WMO. The participants were well prepared and very receptive to the training received. They asked relevant and insightful questions that demonstrated a mastery and interest in the subject matter. All of them were engaged in the seminar and provided thoughtful responses in the context of the roundtable discussion. Thus, I am confident that this WAFS seminar was a valuable learning experience that will be translated into improved operations and training in each of the participating countries meteorological services. I would like to thank my colleague and friend Mike Davison whose hard work and dedication to international training was indispensable to the success of this seminar, and I would also like to praise the tremendous effort and hard work that our friends and colleagues at SMN, Mexico City provided to prepare for and host this seminar.

I was honored to participate as a lecturer and represent the United States, DOC, NOAA, and the National Weather Service. I believe our participation has furthered the goal of exercising global leadership as stated in Vision 2005: the NWS Strategic Plan by promoting the open exchange of data and information worldwide, increasing U.S. participation in international activities, and by supporting international education efforts and technology transfer. I look forward to future opportunities to be of service.