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"Development of COMET web-based professional development training on numerical weather prediction for NWS field forecasters": Stephen Jascourt, COMET Postdoctoral Fellow (National Centers for Environmental Prediction)

Final Report

As Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) modeling systems become increasingly sophisticated and accurate, forecaster reliance upon them is increasing. However, changes in model physical parameterizations, data assimilation, resolution improvement, and local model use are producing more intricate and complex error characteristics for forecasters to grapple with. Also, forecasters are faced with model output depicting increasingly realistic-looking structures, which may verify well under some conditions and poorly under other conditions.

Training programs are needed to provide forecasters with an understanding of how NWP modeling systems work and the capabilities and limitations of the current operational model suite, updating this information as the models are changed. This training has the goal of improving forecasters' ability to wisely utilize NWP models in the variety of particular weather scenarios they face each day. COMET is serving this training need through development of an internet-based Professional Development Series (PDS) containing Professional Competency Units (PCU) on operationally significant aspects of how NWP models work in general ("PCU1"), operationally significant details of specific models ("PCU2"), and application of this knowledge in assessing model initial conditions and using model output ("PCU3/4"). Further details can be found at

The NWP PDS project is a collaborative effort involving COMET meteorologists, COMET instructional, graphics, and computer staff, help and input from NCEP, and so on. Instead of reports and journal articles, PCU1 and PCU2 products are the Web training modules, which can be found on the PDS matrix page Note that the left column has links to PCU1 modules while the table entries form PCU2. In addition, a teletraining session has been developed based on the PCU1 material, with further details at and a path through the PCU1 material has been arranged into an online course at PCU3/4 consist of online case studies pointing out specific points of how certain aspects of the models affected a particular forecast. The first of these can be found at

My role in the NWP PDS team has included


Ongoing and Future Work (as COMET Project Scientist)