Below are several MetEd courses that can be completed online. These classes are a great supplement to the in person training conducted annually by the National Weather Service. However, please note that these classes do NOT replace NWS Skywarn Training seminars conducted by NWS Cleveland. In order to become registered as a Skywarn Spotter, you must still attend an in person training session.
Some of these courses are very technical in nature. The full catalog of courses can be found at the MetEd website.
Skywarn Spotter Training Supplemental Training
This course covers the basics of being a Skywarn Spotter. The goal of the course is to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple modules covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and spotter report criteria) and safety considerations for all hazards.
Role of the Skywarn Spotter
The goal of the “Role of the Skywarn Spotter” module is to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple scenarios covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and storm report criteria), safety considerations for all hazards, and an overview of the national program and its history.
Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics
The “Skywarn Spotter Convective Basics” module will guide users to a basic understanding of convective storms. Through three different scenarios, you will cover reporting and proper communication of local storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS), personal safety during these events, and field identification of convective storm hazards. After completing the scenarios, you will be given the opportunity to practice identifying storm features from a spectrum of photos.
Anticipating Hazardous Weather and Community Risk
Anticipating Hazardous Weather and Community Risk, 2nd Edition provides emergency managers and other decision makers with background information about weather, natural hazards, and preparedness. Additional topics include risk communication, human behavior, and effective warning partnerships, as well as a desktop exercise allowing the learner to practice the types of decisions required as hazardous situations unfold. This module offers web-based content designed to address topics covered in the multi-day Hazardous Weather and Flood Preparedness course offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS). The module also complements other onsite courses by those agencies and provides useful information for evaluating and preparing for threats from a range of weather and natural hazards.
Principles of Convection I: Bouyancy and Cape
This module provides a brief overview of Buoyancy and CAPE. Topics covered include the origin of atmospheric buoyancy, estimating buoyancy using the CAPE and Lifted Index, factors that affect buoyancy including entrainment of mid-level air, water loading, convective inhibition, and the origin of convective downdrafts. This module delivers instruction with audio narration, rich graphics, and a companion print version.
Severe Convection II: Mesoscale Convective Systems
Mesoscale convective systems occur worldwide and year-round and are accompanied by the potential for severe weather and flooding. This module describes typical system evolution by examining squall line, bow echo, and MCC characteristics throughout their life cycles. This module has less emphasis on the physical processes controlling MCS structure and evolution than our previously released module, Mesoscale Convective Systems: Squall Lines and Bow Echoes. Instead, this newly updated module includes more material on tropical squall lines, MCC’s, and on NWP’s ability to predict convective systems. The module starts with a forecast scenario and concludes with a final exam. Rich graphics, audio narration, and frequent interactions enhance the learning experience.
Principles of Convection III: Shear and Convective Storms
This module discusses the role of wind shear in the structure and evolution of convective storms. Using the concept of horizontal vorticity, the module demonstrates how shear enhances uplift, leading to longer-lived supercell and multicell storms. The module also explores the role of shear in the development of mesoscale convective systems, including bow echoes and squall lines. Most of the material in this module previously appeared in the COMET modules developed with Dr. Morris Weisman. This version includes a concise summary for quick reference and a final exam to test your knowledge. The module comes with audio narration, rich graphics, and a companion print version.
Mesoscale Convective Systems: Squall Lines and Bow Echoes
This module presents current conceptual models of several MCS types and provides explanations for the structures and behavior of MCSs based on the physical processes underlying their evolution. An understanding of the physical processes and conceptual models of MCSs will help forecasters to predict the most likely locations of severe weather within existing systems and to forecast the longevity, areal extent, and path of the system. Accompanied by conceptual animations, numerical simulations, and case studies, Mesoscale Convective Systems: Squall Lines and Bow Echoes presents strategies with which the forecaster can identify the potential for long-lived MCSs and attendant severe weather.
Weather Radar Fundamentals
This 2-hour module presents the fundamental principles of Doppler weather radar operation and how to interpret common weather phenomena using radar imagery. This is accomplished via conceptual animations and many interactive radar examples in which the user can practice interpreting both radar reflectivity and radar velocity imagery. Although intended as an accelerated introduction to understanding and using basic Doppler weather radar products, the module can also serve as an excellent refresher for more experienced users.
Radar Signatures for Severe Convective Weather
This resource is intended for use as a job aid by operational weather forecasters in live warning situations and as a reference tool to better understand some aspects of severe thunderstorm warning events. Thumbnail images show typical representatives for sixteen radar reflectivity and velocity signatures as well as three primary severe storm types. Each signature links to content describing detection techniques and conceptual and diagnostic information to help determine storm severity. The majority of the examples shown are southern hemisphere storms in Australia; examples from the northern hemisphere are noted.