SR SSD 2001-26

Technical Attachment

Numerical Weather Prediction Distance Learning Course

With the cool season all but here, NWS offices preparing for winter training activities should keep in mind the recently completed COMET online training course which covers the basic understanding of NWP models and their processes. The distance learning course can be found at

Forecasters can improve their products by making the best use of model output as guidance. Numerical models change frequently as their developers at NCEP incorporate new physics packages, improve resolution, and add a variety of new features. It is important that forecasters keep up with such model developments and understand how they impact model performance - particularly in the local forecast area. To help with that, COMET has organized a series of training modules on NWP fundamentals into a structured self-study course. The main goal of the course is to provide forecasters with a better understanding of numerical model fundamentals.

The NWP DL course is structured so that it can be completed in its entirety, which is recommended for interns or others unfamiliar with NWP, or forecasters can choose to go through the minimum path required for each module, which is the core material experienced forecasters will find most beneficial in refreshing their understanding of NWP. The core sections and pages are highlighted within each of the modules.

Upon completing the course, students will be asked to take a short on-line exam based on the

example questions in the modules. Successful participants (those who achieve at least a 75% score) will be issued a certificate and an email will be sent to the local office (SOO or MIC).

Each module builds upon information presented in the previous modules. It is recommend students complete the modules in as short a time period as convenient, preferably 2-4 weeks, for maximum retention of information from module to module. The modules are demanding, however, so no one should try to complete more than one module per day. The total time to complete the course is estimated to be between 10 and 16 hours.

This on-line NWP course is recommended for all forecasters as part of their professional

development and training activities, including WFO meteorologists, CWSU staff, and RFC HAS forecasters.

Related to the NWP DL course is the on-line "Operational Models Matrix," an information resource on current model configurations, which can be found at: In addition, teletraining sessions on the topic "The Top Ten Misconceptions of NWP" are available from the VISIT training group. More information on this training opportunity can be found on the VISITView home page at: