COMET̉ Basic Hydrologic Sciences Course: What happens to the rain and snow?

 

Wendy Schreiber-Abshire, Matt Kelsch, and Lon Goldstein,

UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO

 

 

The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET̉) has provided training in hydrometeorological topics for almost 15 years.  Located at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, COMET delivered many classroom-based courses in the 1990s that focused on Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF), Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE), river forecasting, and flash flood forecasting. More recently Web-based training in hydrometeorology has taken the form of webcasts, teletraining, and interactive Web-based modules. Newly-developed and richly illustrated Web-based training materials have been crafted into an online Basic Hydrologic Sciences course that is freely available courtesy of our sponsors.

 

The Basic Hydrologic Sciences distance learning course covers the hydrologic responses to rainfall and snowmelt caused by basin characteristics and soil conditions and how these processes contribute to flooding on all scales. It is intended mainly for forecasters in hydrologic positions who do not have formal hydrology training. It consists of eight foundation topics in hydrology, and two full case studies that provide a situational context for the information provided within the foundation topics. The foundation topics are 1) the hydrologic cycle, 2) runoff processes, 3) unit hydrograph theory, 4) snowmelt processes, 5) streamflow routing, 6) flood frequency, 7) flash flood processes, and 8) river ice.  The case studies address flood events for a long-term flood event on a main stem river, and for a rapid-onset flash flood on a small creek.

 

The course is self-paced and contains quiz questions that enable the learner to determine her/his progress with the stated learning objectives. Each module is self-contained. Thus, the course can be taken in full, or the learner can concentrate on just specific hydrologic topics. These and other training materials are available via the MetEd Website at http://www.meted.ucar.edu.