PROJECT TITLE: In support of NOAA's commitment to the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites: enhancing the International Virtual Laboratory PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Bernadette Connell
RESEARCH TEAM: Luciane Veeck
NOAA TECHNICAL CONTACT: Ingrid Guch (NESDIS/STAR) and Philip Hoffman (NOAA/OAR)
NOAA RESEARCH TEAM: Anthony Mostek NOAA/ NWS/OCWWS Training Division
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Virtual Laboratory for Education and Training in Satellite Meteorology (VLab) is a collaborative effort joining major operational satellite operators across the globe with WMO regional training centers of excellence in satellite meteorology. Those regional training centers serve as the satellite-focused training resource for WMO Members. Through its cooperative institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University (CSU), NOAA/NESDIS sponsors Regional Training Centers of Excellence (CoE) in Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
The top-level objectives of the VLab are:
1-- To provide high quality and up-to-date training and supporting resources on current and future meteorological and other environmental satellite systems, data, products and applications;
2-- To enable the regional training centers to facilitate and foster research and the development of socio-economic applications at the local level through the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.
This project provides a Technical Support Officer (TSO) dedicated to support VLab activities, to address the training needs of its evolving audience and to provide strong project coordination and management. This project directly supports NOAA commitments to WMO’s Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) and it supports NOAA’s goals of Weather and Water, Commerce and Transportation, and Climate. The international activities proposed in this project also directly address the NOAA Engagement Enterprise Objective for “Full and effective use of international partnerships and policy leadership to achieve NOAA’s mission objectives”.
Enhanced training and coordination of training accomplished under this project will prepare forecasters and managers on how to utilize imagery and products to provide services in these areas.
PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Past Fiscal Year by Objective:
1--Provide partial support for organizing and conducting sessions and then processing the recordings of the monthly international virtual Regional Focus Group. ‘
The WMO Virtual Laboratory Regional Focus Group of the Americas and Caribbean conducted 12 monthly bilingual (English/Spanish) weather briefings. The briefings made use of VISITview software to present GOES and POES satellite imagery from CIRA and GoToWebinar for voice communication over the Internet. Over the year, the participants from the U.S. included: CIRA, the NWS International Desk at NCEP, NWS/OCWWS Training Division, the UCAR/NWS International Activities Office, and UCAR/COMET. Twenty-nine countries outside the US participated: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Niger, Panamá, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. M. Davison at the NCEP International Desk led the discussion. Participants offered comments for their regions and tended to also bring interesting questions to the discussion. The number of countries participating each month ranged between 8 and 13 (average 10); and the number of participants each month ranged between 16 and 51 (average 31).
The sessions were recorded (except for August 2013 which experienced technical problems) and can be found here: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/training/rmtc/fg_recording.asp
-- We primarily view satellite imagery and products for real-time applications and climatological outlooks. This gives us an opportunity to showcase JPSS products. For example, during the November 2013 session, we highlighted a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) in Peru with high resolution Infrared I-band imagery along with the day-night band for a case on 17 November.
Figure 1. (above left) Number of countries participating each month in the online virtual discussion sessions over the past 10 years.
Figure 2. (above right) Number of participants joining in each month in the online virtual discussion sessions over the past 10 years.
February 2014 is a milestone month for the group leading 10 years of monthly virtual sessions. Up to February 2014, out of a total of 120 possible monthly sessions, we have only missed 5 months: 4 due to leaders not being available and one because of technical problems. That is pretty darn good!
Figure 1 shows the number of countries participating each month over the past 10 years and Figure 2 shows the number of participants joining in each month over the past 10 years.
2-- In 2013, 7 training video clips from the monthly Focus Group Sessions were disseminated through GEONETCast February through July and September.
-- In support of GEONETCast activities, this project also provided partial support for a Train the Trainers GEONETCast workshop in April and a virtual GEONTECast training event in December.
--B. Connell attended the NOAA/WMO Train the Trainers workshop on 6 and 7 April at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland prior to the NOAA Satellite Conference. She gave a presentation on “GEONETCast Americas Training Channel: VLab Training”. The workshop focused on all aspects of GEONETCast broadcast including the capability to send training materials..Figure 3 shows the participants at the Train the Trainer Workshop.
--As a follow-up to the WMO NOAA Train the Trainer Workshop on GEONETCast in April 2013, and in response to WMO user surveys CIRA, NOAA, WMO, and the WMO Centers of Excellence in Costa Rica, Barbados, Brazil, and Argentina hosted a virtual training on GEONETCast. It consisted of 3 sessions on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of December 2013. Regions III and IV have a large percentage of Spanish speaking countries and we wanted to reach both English and Spanish users, so the sessions were presented in both languages (for a total of 6 sessions). The goals of the training were: to make countries more aware of what is available; to expand the use of GEONETCast-Americas; and to start thinking about GOES-R. The topics included an introduction to the capabilities of GEONETCast, disaster mitigation products, and software to view products. The sessions drew a lot of interest as people from 29 countries participated. There were 111 individuals, which included speakers, organizers, and participants. Presentations and session recordings are posted on the web pages http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/training/rmtc/geonetcast_event_en.asp
As the GEONETCast Americas web page points out: “This user-driven, user-friendly and low-cost information dissemination service aims to provide global information as a basis for sound decision-making in a number of critical areas, including public health, energy, agriculture, weather, water, climate, natural disasters and eco-systems. Accessing and sharing such a range of vital data will yield societal benefits through improved human health and well-being, environment management and economic growth.” We plan to continue to incorporate this theme in our future training events.
Figure 3. Participants of the NOAA/WMO Train the Trainer Workshop in College Park Maryland in April 2013.
3-- The following coordination activities of Luciane Veeck, VLab Technical Support Officer, were partially supported under this project:
-- Direct Readout events – VLab is organizing a series of online events about the direct readout capabilities of polar orbiting systems. To start the series, two sessions about the EPS/Metop were offered (7 and 8 May 2013). Sessions were organized by the TSO using the Saba conferencing system. A Moodle area was set up to create automatic certificates of participation for those attending the live sessions and a post-event survey set up for evaluation of the event. A page was created in the VLab website to make the webcast and slides available after the session.
-- Two new Regional Focus Groups (RFG) started in July 2013: Russian RFG and RFG Morocco. The CoE Morocco and CoE South Africa also had sessions in December 2013.
-- Support to Aviation Virtual Round Table Event– Action 12 from VLMG-6 states that VLab should host a set of online events in various languages covering the information on the new WMO regulations and other matters related to aviation. Presentations were done in Spanish (8 May), French (15 May), Russian (5 June), and Portuguese (2 October). Additionally, two follow-up presentations were organized in English (24 September) and in French (25 September).
-- Maintenance of the VLab central website the VLab calendar of events http://vlab.wmo.int
-- Two VLab Newsletters were published: August and December 2013.
-- VLab Report to ET-SUP-7 – A report of the VLab activities was drafted by the TSO and approved by the co-chairs to be submitted to the “Expert Team on Satellite Utilization and Products seventh session” (ET-SUP-7), which took place in Geneva (27-30 May 2013). Slides were also prepared by the TSO and presented at the meeting by Volker Gärtner (VLab co-chair). The full report can be downloaded from the VLab website under Publications/Other reports.
-- VLab Report to CGMS-41 - Based on information collected from CoEs and activities registered in the VLab calendar, the TSO prepared the VLab annual report to CGMS covering September 2012 to June 2013. This report was presented by Volker Gärtner and Kathy-Ann Caesar, VLab co-chairs, at the CGMS-41 Annual Meeting, 8-12 July 2013 in Tsukuba, Japan. The full report can be downloaded from the VLab website under Publications/Other reports.
4-- Virtual Laboratory Management Group web Meetings – CIRA participated in the virtual VLMG meeting on 13 June and 9 October 2013, and 25 March 2014. The meetings were organized by the TSO and the meeting reports can be found in the WMO VLab site http://www.wmo-sat.info/vlab/meeting-reports/
5-- 10th International Conference on Creating Activities for Learning Meteorology (CALMet)– A poster about VLab activities was prepared and presented by the TSO at the CALMet Conference in Toulouse, France (26-30 August). B. Connell (CIRA) prepared and virtually delivered a talk: “Adding the personal touch. A renewed look at presentation, complicated information, and the audience”. The TSO also collaborated in this effort and assisted greatly with the on-site preparations.
In support of NOAA's commitment to the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites: enhancing the International Virtual Laboratory Connell, B., D. Bikos, E. Szoke, S. Bachmeier, S. Lindstrom, A. Mostek, B. Motta, T. Schmit, M. Davison, K. Caesar, V. Castro, L. Veeck, 2014: Satellite Training Activities: VISIT, SHyMet, and WMO VLab. 10th Annual Symposium on New Generation Operational Environmental Satellite Systems at the 94th AMS Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 2-6 February, 2014. Poster.
Connell, B., 2013: GEONETCast Americas Training Channel: VLab Training. WMO Train the Trainer GEONETCast Workshop, College Park, Maryland, 6-7 April, 2013. Presentation.
Connell, B., D. Bikos, E. Szoke, S. Bachmeier, S. Lindstrom, T. Mostek, M. Davison, K.-A. Caesar, V. Castro, and L. Veeck, 2013: Satellite Training Activities: What’s new and what’s ongoing? 2013 NOAA Satellite Conference, College Park, Maryland, 8-12 April, 2013. Poster
Connell, B., P. Seymour, K.-A. Caesar, and L. Veeck, 2013: Training Videos Through GEONETCast? What will they think of next! 2013 NOAA Satellite Conference, College Park, Maryland, 8-12 April, 2013. Poster
Connell, B., Veeck, L., and Caesar, K-A, 2013: Adding the personal touch. A renewed look at presentation, complicated information, and the audience. 10th International Conference on Creating Activities for Learning Meteorology (CALMet), Toulouse, France, 26-30 August 2013. Virtual presentation.
Veeck, L., 2013: Opening Doors to Education and Training in Satellite Meteorology. 10th International Conference on Creating Activities for Learning Meteorology (CALMet), Toulouse, France, 26-30 August 2013. Poster.