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

FY19 WOC Flash Flood Track Is Available

The FY19 version of the WOC Flash Flood Track was released December15, 2018.

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

Warning Decision Training Division

Office of Chief Learning Officer


Course Description

The Warning Operations Course (WOC) Flash Flood Track is a course that consists of approximately 13 hours of training material on topics that are relevant to flash flood warning decision-making. The Flash Flood Track consists of:

  • 24 on-line lessons,
  • 6 on-line exercises, and
  • 2 WOC Flash Flood WES simulation exercises.

Topics covered by the on-line lessons include conceptual models of flash flood events, how to use a variety of flash flood forecasting tools, and best practices related to flash flood warning decision making, FFW text and polygonology, and enhanced wording for Flash Flood Emergencies. There are also 9 prerequisite lessons (all of which are from the Radar & Application Course) that students should complete prior to attempting the WOC Flash Flood Track.

The WOC Flash Flood Track includes a combination of learning technologies including web-based training, Weather Event Simulator - 2 (WES-2) simulations, 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). The Flash Flood Track content for NWS employees are tracked by the WOC on-site facilitator using the Commerce Learning Center (aka: the LMS).

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 several rainfall products, including the dual-pol products (QPE), legacy products (PPS), and the High-Resolution Precipitation Estimator (HPE). In addition, instruction is provided on mesoscale and storm-scale objectives, and meteorological variables related to precipitation rate and duration that contribute to the flash flood process.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 hours

IC Flash Flood 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 the framework of synoptic-scale patterns, ingredients-based methodology, and other physical mechanisms that can trigger flash floods.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 hours


IC Flash Flood 2: Flash Flood Forecasting Tools

Brief Description: These five lessons discuss various tools that may be useful to forecasters when forecasting potential flash flood events. Some of these tools are web-based while others (e.g., average recurrence intervals) are tools available in AWIPS.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 2.25 hours


IC Flash Flood 3: Flash Flood Warning Best Practices

Brief Description: These lessons discuss some basic best practices of issuing Flash Flood Warnings. Topics covered include how to pick an appropriate precipitation source for flash flood decision making; best practices related to FFMP, Flash Flood Warning polygonology, and text; and knowing when to use enhanced wording to indicate a Flash Flood Emergency.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3 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: 5 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

The WDTD has developed a Flash Flood Warning Decision Tree to help forecasters follow the product issuance requirements laid out in NWS Directive 10-922.

List of Collaborators

Below is a list of all the SMEs that either assisted WDTD in developing the scope of the course or created lessons in the course:

  • Richard Grumm (NWS State College, PA)
  • Steve Martinaitis (CIMMS/NSSL)