Training Project for the Thailand Meteorological Department

The NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) is undertaking a training program for meteorologists, forecasters and senior managers of the Thailand Meteorological Department. The project is sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Approximately 30 Thai Met staff will visit the Forecast Systems Laboratory during May and June to participate in four training programs that have been specifically developed for the Thailand Meteorological Department.

Thai Met has recently installed a new supercomputer for use in numerical weather prediction and a series of forecaster workstations for nowcasting and mesoscale forecasting needs. The FSL training program is directed toward providing staff with the capabilities to make effective use of these new tools. Several classes will be presented:

  • A Short-Range Forecasting Class will provide forecasters and meteorologists within the Thai Met Forecasting Center with the training necessary to effectively utilize the new supercomputer and forecaster workstation systems being installed in the Center. This training will provide forecasters with skills to move from synoptic-scale forecasts to the capability of also providing mesoscale forecasts for Thailand. FSL-developed forecaster workstations will be used to provide forecasters with the opportunity to train on modern display systems and to use data from observation systems being developed in NOAA Laboratories. Classes will include sessions addressing the use of specific data types, particularly remote-sensing data sources, as well as classes addressing specific types of weather events. Ongoing real-time weather events will be a key ingredient in the training activities.
  • A class in the Operation of a Meteorological Computer Center will provide systems administrators and system software developers with policies, procedures, and techniques needed to operate and maintain a computer center that has the capabilities and uninterrupted operational status necessary to support the demanding requirements of an operational weather service.
  • Training in the use of the FSL Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) will provide an understanding of local-scale numerical modeling capabilities that allows accurate forecasting of mesoscale weather features. The LAPS model provides a valuable tool for analyzing and forecasting small-scale severe weather events. FSL scientists will operate the LAPS model for the Thailand area on FSL computer systems. This local-scale Thailand model will continue to operate at FSL and its products will be available to Thai Met for a year following the training classes.
  • An Executive Training Program will allow senior managers of the Thai Met Department to have an opportunity to visit a number of NOAA Offices and develop a better understanding of how NOAA is organized and managed. This activity will be important to TMD as they seek to modernize their weather service and improve the timeliness of their forecasts and warnings. Site visits to NOAA facilities in the Washington D.C. area, Boulder, and Miami will provide an opportunity to talk with senior NOAA officials about organization and management issues.

The scientific training sessions will be a mixture of classroom sessions and real-time forecast situations. Day-to-day weather events throughout the United States will dictate the real-time forecast scenarios to be studied. In addition, the LAPS forecast products for Thailand will provide the opportunity for the Thai Met visitors to prepare forecasts using the NOAA forecast tools for their normal forecast regions.

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