NOAA/National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training BranchUnited States Department of Commerce

FY17 WOC Core Track Coming in January

The FY17 version of the WOC Core Track will be available January 9, 2017. The content of this page will be updated from time to time between now and then. Please check back from time to time to find the latest information.

Looking for training? Click here to access our current training schedule
Confused by winter weather watches, warnings and advisories? Click here to help simplify our 		products.

Warning Decision Training Division

Office of Chief Learning Officer

Warning Operations Course (WOC): Core Track

Course Description

The Warning Operations Course (WOC) Core Track is a course that consists of approximately 9 hours of training material on topics that are relevant to warning decision-making, but not tied to a specific weather or warning type. There are 4 different instructional components in the Core Track covering topics including situation awareness, office strategies, and public response.

The WOC Core Track modules include a combination of learning technologies including teletraining, web-based training, assignments, and printed material. The course is designed to allow every NWS Forecaster (Meteorologist and Hydrologist) to participate with the assistance of an on-site facilitator (SOO, DOH, or locally appointed training officer). Each instructional component for NWS employees are tracked by the WOC on-site facilitator using the NWS Learning Center.

The WOC Core Track is designed to improve the performance of NOAA’s NWS offices in issuing a variety of watches, warnings, and advisories.

Course Outline

Click on the panels below to access the content for each topic of the course. For most lessons, there will be two ways to access the training materials:

  • Web Version - Lesson streams from the WDTD web server & doesn't require login; or
  • LMS Version - Links to NWS Learning Center (aka: LMS) so NWS employees can get completion credit, but login is required to access.

The lesson content is the same for each link. NWS employees enrolled in the WOC Core Track should already have all of the WOC course content provided on their personal transcript. However, you can also use the LMS Version link to access the content and ensure you receive completion credit.

WOC Orientation

Brief Description: The WOC Orientation is a live webinar for students and their facilitators on what WOC Core and Severe is all about. We go over information about the course rationale, content, delivery mechanisms, schedule, recent course design changes, and Forecast Challenge rules. SOOs who will be facilitating students going through the course are required to attend. 

Delivery Methods: Teletraining and printed materials

Approximate Completion Time: 60 minutes

Orientation Documents:

Situation Awareness and Decision Making in a Warning Environment

Brief Description: This topic will focus on various aspects of decision making in the context of the operational warning environment. The topics will include definitions and examples of the three levels of situation awareness (SA) and how they are integrated into the decision making process. Failures of the three levels of SA will be presented with examples, as well as elements that contribute to the SA failure.

Delivery Methods: Web Module , printed materials, and web support materials

Approximate Completion Time: 2 hours


Expertise and Post Mortems

Brief Description: This topic focuses on putting together strategies that allow the decision maker to best use their skills and those of the warning team. These lesson will include a discussion on the value of expertise, the ways in which expertise can be developed, and what expertise looks like among NWS warning forecasters. One of the primary ways in which expertise can be developed is via post event evaluations. Ways in which these evaluations can be effectively and efficiently accomplished will be presented. Examples of the uses and applications of expert strategies during significant events will be presented.

Delivery Methods: Web modules, Teletraining, printed materials, and web support materials

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours


Conveying Warnings and Public Response

Brief Description: This topic contains a variety of lessons that discuss how information flows between the general public and NWS WFOs, including how NWS WFOs can identify erroneous information they receive from the public and the elements of an effective warning.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 1 hour


Crisis Communications and Social Media

Brief Description:This instructional component discusses crisis communication and the use of Social Media in the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) operational environment.

Delivery Methods: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours


Other Documentation