NOAA/National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training BranchUnited States Department of Commerce
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FY23 WOC Flash Flood Now Available

The FY23 version of the WOC Flash Flood Track was released in December 2022. For NWS employees who are interested, you can use the registration form link below as well. Note: You should coordinate with your local training facilitators (e.g., SOOs) before enrolling in the course.

Training Events Planning Calendar
Residence/Virtual Courses
Web-Based Training Release Dates

Warning Decision Training Division

Office of Chief Learning Officer


How to Register?

The FY23 version of the WOC Flash Flood Track is available through the end of the fiscal year. If you are a NWS employee who wants to sign up, please use this registration form. Note: You should coordinate with your local training facilitators (e.g., SOOs) before enrolling in the course.

Course Description

The Warning Operations Course (WOC) Flash Flood Track is a course that consists of approximately 8 hours of training material (up to 15 hours with optional material) on topics that are relevant to flash flood warning decision-making. The Flash Flood Track consists of:

  • 27 on-line, recorded lessons (plus 6 optional lessons),
  • 2 online, interactive exercises, and
  • 2 applied WES simulation exercises (optional).

Topics covered by the online lessons include conceptual models of flash flood events, how to use a variety of flash flood tools, and best practices related to flash flood warning decision making. There are also 6 prerequisite lessons (all of which are from the Radar & Application Course) that students should complete prior to attempting the WOC Flash Flood Track.

The course is designed to allow every NWS Forecaster (Meteorologist and Hydrologist) to participate independently and at their own pace throughout the fiscal year. Assistance from an on-site facilitator (SOO, DOH, or locally appointed training officer) is recommended, especially during the WES simulations.

The WOC Flash Flood Track is designed to improve the performance of NOAA’s NWS offices in issuing Flash Flood Warnings. For more information on the WOC Flash Flood Track implementation, please e-mail e-mail address for the WOC Flash Flood Help List.

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 Flash Flood Track should use the LMS Version to ensure they receive completion credit.


WOC Flash Flood Pre-Requisite Courses

Brief Description: These pre-requisite materials (from the RAC) address learning objectives dealing with the identification of the characteristics, limitations and applications of the dual-pol products (QPE). In addition, instruction is provided on mesoscale and storm-scale objectives, meteorological variables related to precipitation rate and duration that contribute to the flash flood process, and hydrological conditions that can impact flash flooding.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 hours

Part 1: Conceptual Models of Flash Flood Events

Brief Description: These lessons will discuss various conceptual models related to flash flood events. The conceptual models are discussed in subtopics that focus on general mechanisms that can trigger flash floods, severe-driven mechanisms, and those that are specific to the Western U.S.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 2-3 hours


Part 2: Flash Flood Tools

Brief Description:These lessons discuss various flash flood tools that may be useful to forecasters. The lessons are organized based on whether they relate to WPC tools and services, are useful for forecasting flash flooding, or are applicable during warning operations. A fourth subtopic dives into tools that are for more advanced users and/or hydro focal points.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3-4 hours


Part 3: Flash Flood Warning Best Practices

Brief Description: These lessons discuss some basic best practices for performing flash flood operations. Topics include how to best identify the flash flood threat in real-time, best practices for issuing Flash Flood Warnings, other flash flood-related products available to forecasters, and post-event damage surveying.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3-4 hours


WOC Flash Flood WES-2 Simulation Applications

Brief Description: Forecasters will apply WOC Flash Flood concepts in an operational context in a two-part simulation. The first application focuses on applying meteorological conceptual models and ingredients for a short-term forecast. The second application focuses on the warning decision-making process and conveying the threat in Flash Flood Warning products in a displaced real-time (DRT) environment. Forecasters will use a variety of tools and products to perform the tasks, including GFE, WarnGen, FFMP, MRMS, and FLASH. To request this simulation, please contact the WDTD WOC Flash Flood Team.

Delivery Methods: Weather Event Simulator - 2 (WES-2) simulations

Approximate Completion Time: 4 hours


  • Flash Flood Simulation Application #1: Complete at WES workstation
  • Flash Flood Simulation Application #2: Complete at WES workstation
  • Background Case Information: Open PDF

Additional Documentation

Below are other resources related to NWS flash flood products, services, and training:

WPC Webinar Collaborations

Below is a list of webinars that WDTD has facilitated with the Weather Prediction Center (WPC):

  • 2023 WPC Rainfall Program Overview and Updates (2023, recorded webinar): Web Version | LMS Version
  • WPC QPF Program (2016, recorded webinar): Web Version
  • WPC MetWatch Desk (2016, recorded webinar):Web Version
  • WPC Extreme Precipitation Forecasting Table (2016, recorded webinar):Web Version

List of Collaborators

Below are collaborators who assisted WDTD in developing the scope of the course, creating lessons in the course, and/or providing valuable insight into relevant topics:

  • Steve Martinaitis (CIWRO/NSSL)
  • Russ Schumacher (CSU)
  • Mike Fowle & Cory Martin (WFO Des Moines)
  • Brad Workman (former CIWRO/WDTD)
  • Marc Chenard & Alex Lamers (WPC)
  • And thank you to countless reviewers and SMEs - both within NOAA and the NWS, as well as in the academic community!