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Climate Services Professional Development Series

PCU 3: Understand the Basis and Methodologies of CPC Products Producer: Mike Halpert, NWS Climate Prediction Center, and Stephen Baxter, AFS Climate Services Training need: NWS field staff must understand, interpret, and deliver CPC products and services at the local level. This information is needed to maximize the effectiveness of customer outreach in providing climate-based decision support services. NWS local office staff needs to be able to connect weather events with climate variability and trends.

Training objective: NWS field staff will be able to correctly locate and interpret the CPC product suite, including outlooks and monitoring products. They will also need to explain the basis of the CPC forecast techniques and communicate the performance characteristics of the tools and forecasts.

Specific Job Task Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Understand format and proper interpretation of CPC product suite:
    1. Forecast products:
      • Long lead outlooks: Week 3-4, One-Month, and Three-Month
      • Extended Range Outlooks: 6- to 10-Day and 8- to 14-Day
      • U.S. Probabilistic Hazards and Global Tropics Hazards Benefits Outlook
      • ENSO forecasts
      • Excessive heat and cold
      • Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Outlooks
      • Monthly and 3-Month Drought Outlooks
    2. Monitoring / Diagnostic Products:
      • ENSO advisories
      • Drought monitor
      • Other derived monitoring and diagnostic products
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of how products are produced:
    • Scientific Basis
    • Statistical and Dynamical Forecasting Tools
    • Forecast and monitoring Process, as appropriate
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with CPC operational production schedule.
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with performance characteristics of forecast tools and products:
    • Hindcast verification statistics of tools (skill mask)
    • Real-time verification of forecasts and tools
    • Use of Verification Web Tool (VWT)
  5. Recognize and integrate climatic drivers into the NWS decision support services

PCU 3 Instructional Components:
Please note, updated modules for each instructional component are in development.
Links will be added as they become available.
Instructional Component 3.1: CPC Extended-Range Outlooks (6- to 10-Day and 8- to 14-Day) Instructional Component 3.2: CPC Long-Range Outlooks (Weeks 3-4, One-Month, and Three-Month)

  • CPC Three-Month and One-Month Outlook Products and Interpretation
  • Training Module (Web Version | LMS Version)
  • CPC Weeks 3-4 Outlook Products and Interpretation
Instructional Component 3.3: CPC Hazards Outlooks Instructional Component 3.4: CPC Drought Outlooks and US Drought Monitor

  • Understanding and Interpreting CPC Drought Outlooks
  • U.S. Drought Monitor Fundamentals: Input, Output, and How to Contribute
Instructional Component 3.5: Climate Variability Products

  • Teleconnections (NAO, etc.)
  • El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Fundamentals
  • El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Monitoring and Outlooks
  • Training Module (Web Version | LMS Version)
  • The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) Monitoring, Prediction, and Applications
Instructional Component 3.6: Philosophy and Science Basis for CPC Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks

  • Philosophy and application of 3-category, probabilistic forecasts
  • Forecast tools
  • Forecast verification