National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Operational Climate Services Course


For more information, head to the Operational Climate Services Course Webpage.

The three-day Operational Climate Services course is oriented toward NWS Climate Focal Points with the objective to develop operational skills in three main areas:

  1. Climate customer services: delivery of national and local climate products, services, and information;
  2. Climate observing system stewardship;
  3. NWS office staff education on local climate variability, products and services.

This residence training is expected to equip NWS Climate Focal Points with the necessary information, resources, and tools to perform climate services duties. Prior to attending the residence portion of the operational training, attendees are expected to complete important prerequisites via online exercises and teletraining. The residence course topics will include: (1) NOAA and NOAA partners' climate services with an emphasis on application of major climate variability processes (ENSO, MJO, drought, etc.) and how to access national climate products and forecasts; (2) Assessment of the local impacts of these current climate variability states; (3) Strategies to assess local climatology; (4) Development and delivery of local climate products based on downscaling and compositing analysis, including verification techniques; (5) Best Practices for climate observing system stewardship; and (6) Training tools for the Climate Focal Point to educate the local office staff.


Climate Variability and Change Course


For more information, head to the Climate Variability Course Webpage.  

The Climate Variability and Change course is a training component of the Climate Services Professional Development Series. The course is designed for NWS WFO and RFC Climate Focal Points, Science and Operations Officers, Warning Coordination Meteorologists, Service Coordination Hydrologists and all climate services staff. The course goal is raising NOAA NWS staff level of understanding of various climate variability and change topics. The course will provide more extensive background training in the following areas:

  1. The difference between climate and weather
  2. Statistical techniques used in climate studies, including analyses of local climatology
  3. Dynamics, physical mechanisms, and impacts of climate variability phenomena including El Nino / La Nina, Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), tropical forcing, and teleconnections
  4. The science behind and limitations of Climate Prediction Center (CPC) climate prediction products
  5. The physical and feedback mechanisms involved in global climate change

The objective of this training is to equip the NWS climate staff with additional scientific knowledge needed for effective local climate services. This course is complimentary to the Operational Climate Services course that targets developing operational skills. Prior to attending the formal portion of the Climate Variability and Change course, attendees are expected to complete important prerequisites, including recommended completion of the Operational Climate Services course.


Advanced Climate Variability and Change Course


For more information, head to the Advanced Climate Variability Course Webpage.  

The three-day Advanced Climate Variability and Change Course (ACVCC) is oriented toward dedicated NWS climate services staff who are on track to become future climate science leaders in local offices. Participants can include Science and Operations Officers and Development and Operations Hydrologists from NWS local offices and RFCs; Climate Services Program Managers (CSPMs) and Science Services Division staff from the NWS Regional Headquarters; and exemplary Climate Services Focal Points. The course objectives include developing advanced climate science understanding and skills in three main areas:

  1. Climate variability and change modeling at various time and space scales;
  2. Approaches to regional and local climate studies based on existing climate analysis methods;
  3. Weather and water linkages to climate variability and change.

This residence training course is expected to equip dedicated NWS climate services staff with an advanced understanding of climate variability and change, climate modeling and downscaling, as well as impacts, mitigation, and adaptation related to local and global changes. Upon completing the course, the attendees should be prepared to participate as competent players in NOAA-wide scientific initiatives and contribute unique local climate expertise.

The residence course topics will include information related to: (1) Climate modeling, (2) Regional downscaling, (3) IPCC scenarios, (4) Attribution of extreme meteorological and hydrological events to climate variability and change, (5) Approaches to both mitigation and adaptation, and (6) Local Climate Studies.


Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) IDSS


For more information, head to the Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) IDSS Course Webpage

The five-day course is a trainee-participatory course with heavy emphasis on exercises, labs, and discussions and practice sessions providing working knowledge and skills needed for Impact-based Decision Support Services at Sub-seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) time scales. The course prerequisites are distance learning modules that must be taken prior to the course. The residence course topics will include:

  1. Fundamentals of climate data, observations, forecast, and application products reviewed through Q&A with course instructors, drawing on materials covered in the prerequisites
  2. Fundamentals of S2S communication
  3. Fundamentals of S2S IDSS
  4. Guided applications of climate products in realistic scenarios
  5. Independent completion of  scenario exercises that become progressively more complex, with instructor feedback