Motta, Bikos, Zajac, Weaver, Zehr

J. Weaver, R. Zehr, B. Motta, B. Zajac, and D. Bikos were honored with the NOAA/NESDIS/Office of Research and Applications Trainer of the Year Award for outstanding efforts in the development and implementation of distance learning through the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) Program.

J. Weaver and B. Motta led two training sessions with NWS forecasters on Using GOES RSO (Rapid Scan Operations) imagery for various applications.

The “Using AWIPS to Evaluate Model Initializations” training session was instructed five times.  This training covers the use of satellite and model data together to validate initial model analyses/forecasts. Participants included NOAA/NESDIS/ORA/ARAD.

B. Motta participated in two reviews/beta tests of the “Top 10 Numerical Weather Prediction Misconceptions” teletraining being developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction for the NWP Professional Development Series.

B. Motta participated in a beta-test of a teletraining session developed for the System for Convective Analysis and Nowcasting by the National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Branch.  New AWIPS displays and capabilities to be deployed soon with Build 5 software were explained.

Bard Zajac and John Weaver are developers of a two-part teletraining session on lightning meteorology.  Part One examines thunderstorm electrification and lightning activity in isolated storms and mesoscale convective systems.  The session was first presented to NWS offices on 17 January and has been offered ten times through 23 March.  It has been taken by 45 offices and attended by 259 individuals (see Figure 1). A second, more advanced, session is in development and is scheduled for release in May or June 2001. This material will examine advanced electrification and anomalous lightning behaviors in tropical, severe, and winter storms.  Click on images to enlarge

Figure 1

Figure 1:   Nationwide participation in Lightning Meteorology I between 17 Jan 2001 through 23 Mar 2001.

Dan Bikos and John Weaver are working on a new VISIT teletraining session “Advanced usage of GOES Rapid Scan Operations.”  This session will rely heavily on results from the GOES-11 science test SRSO case of July 24, 2000 recently submitted paper to Bulletin of the AMS by Weaver et. al., and include other new cases as well.

During this quarter, 80 VISIT sessions were given in which 501 offices participated. 2079 students completed this training.
Evaluations were conducted.  Figure 2 shows the results of ranking the following questions:

1. The session was easy to follow, and the objectives were met.
2. The content of the session was appropriate.
3. Teletraining was an appropriate method for presenting the session.
4. The graphics contributed well to my understanding.
5. The instructor provided sufficient interactivity to keep me involved and test my learning.
6. The instructor explained the material clearly.
7. My knowledge and/or skills increased as a result of this session.
8. The knowledge and/or skills gained through this session are directly applicable to my job.
9. Overall, the session was a good learning experience.

5 (yellow) indicates strongly agree
4  (blue) indicates agree
3  (beige) indicates neutral
2  (green) indicates disagree
1  (red) indicates strongly disagree

Figure 2
Figure 2:   Bar chart showing respondents ranking of the above topics.  To summarize this chart, 84% of respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed to question 9 - overall, the session was a good learning experience.

The recent trend has shown a dramatic increase in the number of certificates issued (Figure 3) associated with an increasingly large number of sessions being offered, and a trend toward having more offices per session.  Because of this increase, D. Bikos is now supervising an hourly student (Asha McClurg) to work solely on certificate production and mailing.

Figure 3:   Cumulative number of IST/VISIT certificates of completions awarded to students who complete VISIT teletraining sessions.  Certificate issuance began in April 1999. 
Figure 3

Web versions of certain VISIT sessions may be visited at the following addresses:

Boundary Detection:

CONUS Cloud to Ground Lightning Climatology:

Convective Initiation by Low-Level Boundaries:

Detecting Boundaries:

Elevated Mesoscale Ascent:

GOES enhancements/color tables in AWIPS:

Lake-effect snow (student guide, web based session link temporarily on this page):

Mesoscale Analyses and Techniques:


Rapid Scan Operations:

Tropical Satellite Imagery and Products:


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