NOAA/National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training BranchUnited States Department of Commerce
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FY23 WOC Severe Track is Now Available

The FY23 version of the WOC Severe Track will be released in January 2023. 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 FY23 version of the WOC Severe Track will be released in January 2023. 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 xx 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.

Important Instructions for Forecast Challenge Involving NWS Virtual Lab

We recommend you participate in the WDTD Severe Forecast Challenge forum on the NWS Virtual Lab to facilitate interaction with instructors and fellow students:

1. Go to the NWS Virtual Lab and "Sign In" using your NOAA LDAP ID (email address minus the "") and password.
2. Ask to "Join" the "Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD)" Community listed under the "All Available Communities" list.
3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail after we have approved your membership.
4. You may then access the "Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD)" community listed under "My Communities." The "Severe Forecast Challenge" forum is subcategory under the Advanced Warning Operations Course (AWOC).
5. Once in that forum you will be able to start and contribute to discussion topics with fellow students as well as to view forecast discussion feedback given to other students. The discussion feedback that is posted will be anonymous and will not be attributed to a student by name.

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: 0.75 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:
  • Storm Data and Climatology

    Brief Description: These lessons go over the functionality of the Damage Assessment Toolkit application while creating effective post analysis of storm data using different techniques.

    Delivery Method: Web modules

    Approximate Completion Time: 5.25 hours


    Severe Weather Operations

    Brief Description: TBA

    Delivery Methods: Web modules

    Approximate Completion Time: 0.25 hours


    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 FY23: 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.

    Forecast challenge debrief webinars provide an instructor-led debrief for the WOC Severe Forecast Challenge. The session will review the severe forecast process and student forecasts issued for that day and the current week using archived WDTD data such as model data and SPC mesoanalysis. Each student in WOC Severe is required to attend one of the TBD sessions. There are X sessions scheduled from May TBD to June TBD. If circumstances prevent a WOC Severe enrollee from attending one of the sessions, they will be required to complete a makeup homework assignment connected to the forecast challenge and during the forecast challenge period.

    Delivery Method: Web interface and live instructor-led webinar

    Approximate Completion Time: 3 hour


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

    Supporting Links:

    WES-2 Simulation (Requirement: Complete 1)

    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 2 (WES-2), with supporting simulation guide, briefing and debriefing modules, and CLC quiz.

    Approximate Completion Time: 2.5 hours

    WES-2 Simulation: SHV (released 2021 and required for WOC Severe in FY21):

  • Past simulations (for reference and additional practice):

  • Other Documentation