A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce   
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Warning Decision Training Branch (Click Here to return to WDTB Home.)
blank  
  blank

Advanced Warning Operations Course

Course Descriptions, Online Presentations, and Resources

[Core Track | Severe Track | Flash Flood Track | Student Guide]

Course Description

***Important Note: The FY14 version of the AWOC Core and Severe Tracks is an accellerated release version containing minimal content updates. There may be some references to FY13 in the presentations, documents, etc., even though the material is for the current version.

Overall Course Description: The Advanced Warning Operations Course (AWOC) initially consisted of two tracks – Core Track and Severe Weather Track. The course requires an on-site facilitator (SOO, DOH, or locally appointed training officer) to guide the student through the course. The AWOC includes a combination of distance learning technologies including teletraining, web-based training, computer-based training on CD-ROM, Weather Event Simulator (WES) simulations, and printed material. The course is designed to allow every NWS Forecaster (Meteorologist and Hydrologist) to participate. Each instructional component as described below includes a separate evaluation component that is tracked by the AWOC on-site facilitator using the NOAA Learning Management System. Pre-test options are available for many of the instructional components.

Note to NWS Staff:

To receive credit for completing this training, you must take the training modules through the NWS Learning Center! The links below are for reference only.


Core Track

For a detailed description of each IC, click on the name of the IC. Once the panel is open, you can access the training materials in one of two ways:

  1. Clicking on the link associated with the name of each lesson or
  2. Click on the download icon to save a ZIP file with the training materials to your local hard drive.
AWOC Orientation

Brief Description: AWOC Orientation is a live webinar for students and their facilitators on what AWOC is all about. We go over information about the course rationale, content, delivery mechanisms, schedule, recent course design changes, and Forecast Challenge rules. SOOs who will be facilitating students going through the course are required to attend. 

Delivery Methods: Teletraining and printed materials

Approximate Completion Time: 60 minutes

Orientation Documents:

IC Core 1: Optimizing Learning

Brief Description: In order for learning to be effective, both trainer and trainee have roles and responsibilities to bring to the task. Learning is not a one-way street from trainer to trainee, but a partnership which depends on the interaction of both. This module will present learning strategies which will be employed during the Advanced Warning Operations Course. This will include a discussion of learning styles, the need for evaluation, and the methodology for simulations which will be presented in the course. Lastly a brief discussion of the Learning Management System used in AWOC will be presented.

Delivery Methods: Web module, printed materials, and support materials
Approximate Completion Time: 45 minutes

Lesson 1: Optimizing LearningDownload AWOC Core 1, Lesson 1

IC Core 2: Situation Awareness and Decision Making in a Warning Environment

Brief Description: IC Core 2 will focus on various aspects of decision making in the context of the operational warning environment. The topics will include definitions and examples of the three levels of situation awareness (SA) and how they are integrated into the decision making process. Failures of the three levels of SA will be presented with examples, as well as elements that contribute to the SA failure. Finally, roadblocks to good SA ("SA demons"), and their impact on operations will be discussed.

Delivery Methods: Web Module , printed materials, and web support materials

Approximate Completion Time: 2 hours

Lesson 1: The Warning Process and the Role of IntuitionDownload AWOC Core 2, Lesson 1
Lesson 2: Individual SADownload AWOC Core 2, Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Team SADownload AWOC Core 2, Lesson 3
Lesson 4: SA Demons: The Enemies of Situation Awareness Download AWOC Core 2, Lesson 4
Lesson 5: Maintaining Situation Awareness by Managing the UnexpectedDownload AWOC Core 2, Lesson 5

IC Core 3: Expertise and Effective Office Warning Strategies

Brief Description: The content will focus on putting together strategies which will allow the decision maker to make the best use of their skills and those of the warning team. This will include a discussion on the value of expertise, the ways in which expertise can be developed, and what expertise looks like among NWS warning forecasters. One of the primary ways in which expertise can be developed is via post event evaluations. Ways in which these evaluations can be effectively and efficiently accomplished will be presented. Examples of the uses and applications of expert strategies during significant events will be presented.

Delivery Methods: Web module (2.5 hours), Teletraining (1.5 hours), printed materials, and web support materials

Approximate Completion Time: 4 hours

Lesson 1: ExpertiseDownload AWOC Core 3, Lesson 1
Lesson 2: Cognitive Task Analysis of Expert Warning ForecastersDownload AWOC Core 3, Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Learning from Post-Mortems (Teletraining Session Using GotoMeeting)

IC Core 4: Conveying Warnings and Public Response

Brief Description: This topic contains a variety of lessons that discuss how information flows between the general public and NWS WFOs, including how NWS WFOs can identify erroneous information they receive from the public, the place of weather warnings in a societal context, and the elements of an effective warning.

Delivery Methods: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

IC Core 4 Precursor: Radar Sampling IssuesDownload AWOC Core 4 Precursor
Lesson 1: Mitigating Potential Errors in Spotter ReportsDownload AWOC Core 4, Lesson 1
Lesson 2: The Warning Response ProcessDownload AWOC Core 4, Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Effective WarningsDownload AWOC Core 4, Lesson 3
Lesson 4: Social Science Aspects of Post MortemsDownload AWOC Core 4, Lesson 4

AWOC Core Track Crisis Communications Module 1: Crisis Communication Cycle & Stories of Decision Support

Brief Description:This course describes phases of the crisis communication lifecycle model, emphasizing how the model is applied in the context of weather risk communications between the NWS and our main partners in charge of large venues at risk due to exposures. Module 1 provides four stories of NWS decision support including two that resulted in incident response actions.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 1 hour

Lesson: Crisis Communication Cycle & Stories of Decision Support
Story 1: Beale St. Music Festival
Story 2: Busch Stadium
Story 3: Deepwater Horizon
Story 4: Enbridge Oil Spill Story (4 separate videos in MP4 format)

AWOC Core Track Crisis Communications Module 2: Tools for Improving Risk Management Support to Stakeholders

Brief Description: Module 2 describes tools for improving risk management including needs assessment, pre-and post-mortems, focus groups and CRC cards. Supporting templates of the tools are provided. There is an office assignment for this module which requires how to demonstrate the use of one of the tools.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson: Introduction
Tool 1: Needs Assessment
Tool 2: Pre-Mortem
Tool 3: Post-Mortem
Tool 4: Focus Groups & CRC Cards


Severe Track

For a detailed description of each IC, click on the name of the IC. Once the panel is open, you can access the training materials in one of two ways:

  1. Clicking on the link associated with the name of each lesson or
  2. Click on the download icon (when available) to save a ZIP file with the training materials to your local hard drive.
IC Severe 1: Conceptual Models for Origins and Evolutions of Convective Storms and Systems

Brief Description: This instructional component describes conceptual models of convective storms. The emphasis is on physical processes associated with these specific storm type hazards: supercell tornadoes, hail storms, and flash flooding.

Delivery Methods: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

Lesson 1: Supercell Tornadic StormsDownload AWOC Severe 1, Lesson 1
Lesson 2: Hail StormsDownload AWOC Severe 1, Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Flash FloodingDownload AWOC Severe 1, Lesson 3

IC Severe 2: Threat Assessment

Brief Description: This instructional component describes the forecast process for threat assessment severe weather threats (tornadoes, hail, and damaging wind). Emphasis will be on assessing mesoscale lifting mechanisms and evaluation of kinematic and thermodynamic parameters for assessing convective storm type and evolution.

Delivery Method: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson 1: Lifting Mechanisms Download AWOC Severe 2, Lesson 1
Lesson 2: Outlook and Short-Term AssessmentDownload AWOC Severe 2, Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Threat Assessment of Quasi-Linear Convective SystemsDownload AWOC Severe 2, Lesson 3

IC Severe 3: Storm Interrogation

Brief Description:This collection of modules demonstrates proper storm interrogation strategies for locating and assessing storm updraft severity and specific hazard assessment of tornadic storms by WSR-88D.

Delivery Method: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

Section 1: Locating Updrafts

Section 2: Updraft Strength

Section 3: Tornadogenesis

IC Severe 4: Non-Tornadic Wind Event Detection

Brief Description:This lesson describes a special class of severe convective storms that produce extremely damaging wind. These types of events can occur with both non-supercell, QLCS and supercell structures.

Delivery Method: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 30 minutes

Lesson 1: Extreme Non-Tornadic Wind Damage EventsDownload AWOC Severe 3 lesson Extreme Non-Tornadic Wind Damage Events

IC Severe 5: Quasi-Linear Convective Systems

Brief Description:These modules describe the convective storm structure and evolution of Quasi-Linear Convective Systems (QLCS) with emphasis on development of mesovortex structures, shear/cold pool interactions leading to RIJ balanced systems, and implications to storm-based warning decisions.

Delivery Method: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 1.3 hours

Lesson 1: QLCS Storm-Scale Interrogation and Warning ConsiderationsDownload AWOC Severe 5 lesson Storm Interrogation Strategies of QLCS Mesovorticies
Lesson 2: Warning Decision Making Issues with Derecho-Producing QLCS Events Download AWOC Severe 5 lesson Warning Decision Making Issues with Derecho-Producing QLCS Events

IC Severe 6: Tornado Warning Guidance (TWG) 2013

Brief Description:This module takes a comprehensive analysis of various evidence that have changed the landscape of tornado warning guidance and associated decision making since 2002. The recent advances includes the SPC development of a massive, near-storm environment database with storm mode considerations, super-resolution radar data, dual-polarization radar data, and associated guidance on estimating tornado intensity. The instructional component is broken up into 3 lessons to address the guidance pieces individually including near storm environment, pre-tornadic signatures, and nowcasting tornado intensity. A single case study unifies the lessons together.

Delivery Method: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 2 hours

 
Forecast Challenge Debriefs (Requirement: Attend 1)

Brief Description: These webinars provide an instructor-led  debrief for the AWOC Severe Forecast Challenge. The session will review the severe forecast process and student forecasts issued for that day and the current week using archived WDTB data such as model data and SPC mesoanalysis. Each student in AWOC Severe is required to attend one of these sessions and have issued one of the their forecasts that day as part of their six forecast challenge minimum requirement. There are six sessions scheduled from April 29 to June 12.

Delivery Methods: Teletraining

Approximate Completion Time: 1 hour

Supporting Links: AWOC Forecast Challenge Page

AWOC Severe Warning Case Instructor-Led Training (ILT) Sessions

Brief Description: This is a instructor-led training session reviewing AWOC severe weather warning methodology with emphasis on storm-based warning decisions. The learning context involves student-based warning decisions using recent severe weather challenging events. There are six sessions scheduled from June 24 to August 21.

Delivery Methods: Teletraining

Approximate Completion Time: 1 hour

AWOC Severe WES Simulations (Requirement: Complete 1)

Brief Description: Students will apply AWOC Severe concepts operational context in a warning decision making environment. Simulations will include simulated GOES-R products and related algorithms for application and evaluation in an operational environment. Further details regarding the AWOC Severe WES Simulations will be coming soon.

Delivery Methods: Weather Event Simulator (WES) data with supporting simulation guide

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

WES Simulation: AWOC Severe Simulation Guide
Simulation Pre-Brief: Presentation

 


Flash Flood Track

For a detailed description of each IC, click on the name of the IC. Once the panel is open, you can access the training materials in one of two ways:

  1. Clicking on the link associated with the name of each lesson or
  2. Click on the download icon to save a ZIP file with the training materials to your local hard drive.
AWOC Flash Flood Pre-Requisite Courses

Brief Description: These pre-requisite materials from DLOC address learning objectives dealing with the identification of the characteristics, limitations and applications of several dual-pol (QPE) and legacy (PPS) rainfall products. In addition, instruction is provided on mesoscale and storm-scale objectives meteorological variables related to precipitation rate and duration that contribute to flash flood process. Finally, there is a pre-requisite lesson on the hydrologic characteristics that impact flash flood potential and flash flood guidance.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

DLOC Topic 3: Principles of Meteorological Doppler Radar

DLOC Topic 5: Base and Derived Prodcuts

DLOC Topic 7: Convective Storm Structure and Evolution

COMET: Flash Flood Processes

AWOC Flash Flood Course Material

Brief Description: Course materials address synoptic-scale patterns that enhance heavy rainfall and flash flood potential as well as meteorological ingredients that enhance heavy rainfall and flash flood potential. In addition, modules address how to effectively use FFMP to diagnose flash flooding potential at the basin level. Best practices are provided for issuing basin-based flash flood warnings, including criteria for issuing flash flood emergency.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 hours

Flash Flood Track: Training Implementation Information Briefing Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on Flash Flood Conceptual Models
Flash Flood Conceptual Models (AWOC Severe IC 1, Lesson 3) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on Flash Flood Conceptual Models
On the Value of Anomalies (High Impact Hydro Events, Part 1) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson On the Value of Anomalies
Ensembles and Anomalies (High Impact Hydro Events, Part 2) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on Ensembles and Anomalies
FFMP and Issuing Basin-Based Flash Flood Warnings (Flash Flood Warning Best Practices, Part 1) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on FFMP and Issuing Basin-Based Flash Flood Warnings
How and When to Use "Flash Flood Emergency" (Flash Flood Warning Best Practices, Part 2) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on How and When to Use "Flash Flood Emergency"
The Meteorology Behind Extreme Rain Events (Flash Flood Warning Best Practices, Part 3) Download AWOC Flash Flood Track lesson on The Meteorology Behind Extreme Rain Events

AWOC Flash Flood WES Simulations

Brief Description:Students will apply AWOC Flash Flood concepts in an operational context in a two part simulation of the 19-20 June 2012 event from NWS WFO-Duluth. The first simulation application focuses on application of meteorological conceptual models and ingredients for a short-term forecast. The associated job-sheet covers material from synoptic-scale conceptual models to standardized anomalies and antecedent conditions. The second simulation application focuses on the warning decision making process regarding the use of enhanced wording and the "Flash Flood Emergency" statement in a displaced real-time (DRT) environment. The simulation guide contains support materials that illustrate how simulations can be created to support the AWOC performance objectives.

Delivery Methods: Weather Event Simulator (WES) data with supporting simulation guide and job-sheet.

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

WES Simulation: Flash Flood Event Simulation Guide
Simulation Application #1 Job Sheet: Student Job Sheet
Simulation Application #2 Job Sheet: Student Job Sheet


Documentation

AWOC FY 14 Student Guides:

Core Track: Severe Track: Flash Flood Track:
Other Documentation:

Last Updated: October 17, 2014

WDTB Home!

Department of Commerce
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
Web site owner:
Warning Decision Training Branch
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73072
Page Author: WDTB Webmaster
Page last modified: October 17, 2014 10:24

Disclaimer
Credits
Glossary
FOIA
Privacy Policy
Information Quality

About NWS
Career Opportunities
Strategic Plan
NWS Mission Statement