NOAA/National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training BranchUnited States Department of Commerce
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FY24 WOC Severe Track Will Open Soon

The FY24 version of the WOC Severe Track will kick off in January 2024. If you want to sign up for the next available WOC Severe, please complete the WOC Severe Registration Form. Note: You should coordinate with your local training facilitators (e.g., SOO) before completing this form.

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

Warning Decision Training Division

Office of Chief Learning Officer

Warning Operations Course (WOC): Severe Track

How to Register?

The FY24 version of the WOC Severe Track will kick off in January 2024. If you want to sign up for the next available WOC Severe, please complete the WOC Severe Registration Form. Note: You should coordinate with your local training facilitators (e.g., SOO) before completing this form.

Course Description

The Warning Operations Course Severe Track (WOC Severe) is designed to improve the performance of NWS offices during severe and near-severe weather (i.e. severe thunderstorms and tornadoes). The course that consists of approximately 26 hours of training material on topics that are relevant to severe weather warning decision-making. Required elements include:

  • Distance modules
  • Forecast Challenge
  • Live, instructor-led webinars
  • WES simulation

WOC Severe modules include a combination of learning technologies including web-based recorded modules, live instructor-led webinars, and Weather Event Simulator 2 (WES-2) simulations. The course is designed to allow NWS staff to participate with the assistance of an on-site training facilitator (SOO, DOH, or locally appointed training officer). Instructional components for NWS employees are tracked by the training facilitator using the NOAA Learning Management System.

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, accessible to all, and doesn't require login
  • LMS Version - Lessons link to NWS Learning Center (aka: LMS), where NOAA employees can obtain and track completion credit; login is required to access.

The lesson content is the same for each link. All recorded web modules are available online, but the live instructor-led webinars, forecast challenge, and WES-2 simulation are only available to NOAA employees. NWS employees enrolled in WOC Severe should already have all of the WOC course content provided in a curriculum on their personal transcript. However, you can also use the LMS link from this website to access the content and ensure you receive completion credit.

WOC Severe Orientation

Brief Description: This section provides a brief introduction to WOC Severe.

Delivery Method: Web module

Approximate Completion Time: 10 minutes



Brief Description: Explore the fundamentals of mesoanalysis, including introductions into both why and how to conduct mesoanalysis as a part of severe weather operations.

Delivery Methods: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 1.5 hours


Model-Based Information

Brief Description: Models, especially convection-allowing models (CAMs) change rapidly and are a fundamental component of severe weather forecasting in the 0-48-hour time periods. Stay apprised of the latest features and recommended uses of CAMs and other models to support severe weather forecasting.

Delivery Method: Web modules & videos

Approximate Completion Time: 1.5 hour


Storm Structures and Hazards

Brief Description: The ability to diagnose and anticipate convection requires a deep knowledge of storm structures and characteristics, as well as the environments that support them.

Delivery Method: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 3.75 hours


Data Fusion

Brief Description:With so many observational platforms available – radar (including WSR-88D, terminal Doppler, and others), satellite, and other detection networks – the challenge of pulling together multiple sources rapidly in the process of forecasting severe convective weather and making warning decisions can seem daunting. These modules will address the many platforms of information that can aid severe weather forecasting and warning decision making, including how to combine multiple sources of data.

Delivery Method: Web modules

Approximate Completion Time: 4 hours


Warning Methodology

Brief Description: Creating and maintaining effective warnings is itself a skill set that requires practice and development. In this section, we will draw attention to more challenging warning scenarios and provide opportunities to practice using best practices to create warning polygons, select options within the warning interface, and create and update warnings efficiently.

Delivery Method: Web modules and WES-2 mini exercises

Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours


  • Documentation:
  • Climatology and Verification

    Brief Description: During and after severe weather events, NWS bears responsibility for gathering and disseminating reports, quality-controlling them, surveying damage, and sending the records to NCEI's Storm Data archive. Learn here about the flow of data from reports to archives, as well as responsible practices for using severe weather data and climatology.

    Delivery Methods: Web modules

    Approximate Completion Time: 0.25 hours


    Severe Weather Operations

    Brief Description: These modules focus on the interactions between NWS field offices and the Storm Prediction Center.

    Delivery Methods: Web modules

    Approximate Completion Time: 35 minutes


    Live Instructor-Led Webinar (Requirement: Attend 1)

    Brief Description: This year, the required WOC Severe live instructor-led webinar will focus on using mesoanalysis during severe weather operations. The webinar will be offered 4 times; each student must attend at least one session, as well as complete the follow-up homework assignment.

    Delivery Methods: Live instructor-led webinar and brief written homework

    Approximate Completion Time: 1.25 hours


    • Instructor-Led Training Session (register via the CLC)
    • WOC Severe Instructor-Led Webinar Follow-Up Homework FY24: LMS Version
    Forecast Challenge

    Brief Description: The Severe Weather Forecast Challenge provides an opportunity to practice evaluating mesoscale environments that may be conducive to severe weather and identifying most probable location and types of hazards, all in a game-like format. Participation in the forecast challenge is open to all NWS employees, but it is required for WOC Severe completion.

    Each student in WOC Severe is required to attend one of 6 Forecast Challenge debrief ILT sessions. The first session is scheduled for April 23 and the last session is scheduled for May 30. It is important to note that these sessions cannot be recorded and there is no makeup available should a student miss attending one of these 6 sessions.

    Delivery Method: Web interface and live instructor-led webinar

    Approximate Completion Time: 3 hour


    • Instructor-Led Training Session (register via the CLC and Shindig)

    Supporting Links:

    WES Simulation

    Brief Description: Students will apply WOC Severe learning objectives in a warning decision making simulation that focuses on mesoscale and storm-scale environmental assessment, data analysis, and warning creation, with options to add mesoanalysis and IDSS support.

    Delivery Methods: Weather Event Simulator (WES) in the Cloud, with supporting simulation guide, briefing and debriefing modules, and CLC quizzes.

    Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

    WES Simulation: FSD (released 2024 and required for WOC Severe in FY24)

    • Student Guide: Student Guide for FSD
    • WES Case Introduction: FSD July 2022: Web Version | LMS Version
    • WES Case Summary: FSD July 2022: Web Version | LMS Version
    • SOO/Training Officer Guide - contact the WOC Severe email address to request:

    Other Documentation