Use of NWP Developer-User Liaisons in Forecaster Professional Development Training

William R. Bua

UCAR/COMET, Camp Springs

Stephen D. Jascourt

UCAR/COMET, Silver Spring

Operational forecasters in the NWS and other services heavily rely on interpretation and use of output from these NWP modeling systems. Additionally, NWS forecasters must now distribute their forecasts on 5-km grids using the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS).

In order to meet the many training requirements for NWP noted above, the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET) stationed key members of its NWP training team at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to serve as liaisons between the model developers and the National Weather Service (NWS) weather forecast offices (WFOs). This is in contrast to other approaches, such as training teams stationed at remote training facilities or technical subject matter experts providing lectures.

The staff liaison approach has proven mutually beneficial to NWS WFOs and NCEP. Examples of these benefits will be provided. The limitations of the "staff liaison approach" will also be discussed. These mostly relate to working a long distance from the training outfit's home base.