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MSC Ensemble Prediction and Probabilistic Forecasts distance course, 9-13 March, 2009

The Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is delivering the distance course Ensemble Prediction and Probabilistic Forecasts from March 9 to 13, 2009.

The course aims at providing training on the use and limitations of ensemble prediction systems and it is mainly addressed to operational forecasters.

Registration as soon as possible (see below). As this is a pilot project, there will be no cost for registration.


Delivery method

The training will be delivered using GotoWebinar. This will require high speed internet with audio capability. Audio will be provided through the internet so a headset with microphone is recommended. We will also provide a telephone number to access the audio. For telephone audio, a connection may be necessary to a phone number in Canada.

Training components

There will be approximately 15 hours of synchronous "virtual classroom" sessions. Not all participants will have the ability to communicate by voice to the group. Several students will be asked to present their answers to questions and assignments. All participants will have the opportunity to submit text questions in real time. The remainder of the course, approximately 10 hours, will be assignments and self study activities. A course website will be established and it will contain presentations, notes, assignments and links to other necessary information.

Course requirements

- Send names of participants to Kent Johnson (kent.johnson@ec.gc.ca)

- Participate in system testing during week of March 2 to 6.

- In order to officially complete the course, some assignments will have to be submitted by e-mail.

- In addition, the course will require completion of two modules from the Cooperative Program for Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET). These modules have a final quiz which must be completed. In order to complete these modules, it is necessary to register (free) through the MetEd registration Page. For this course, it will be necessary to have quiz results sent to the course lead, Doug Lundquist (doug.lundquist@ec.gc.ca).

- Agree to participate in a post-course qualitative evaluation. This may include a short telephone interview with our evaluator.

Course limitations

- This course is a pilot project. As such, there may be technical difficulties for which we apologize in advance. We may not be able to fix any technical problems.

- The instructors are not trained teachers and so delivery and interaction may not be equal to some other training events. Part of the course evaluation will be to determine what additional resources will be needed for future events.

- This course will be conducted in English. Text questions will be accepted in English or French.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Kent Johnson (Kent.Johnson@ec.gc.ca) or Mr. Doug Lundquist (doug.lundquist@ec.gc.ca) by e-mail.


Draft Weekly schedule (all times UTC)

Day 0 virtual classroom (date and time to be determined)

during the week of March 2 to March 6

- Testing of virtual classroom software

Day 1 (March 9) virtual classroom

- 16h-16h30: Introduction to Ensemble Prediction Systems

- 16h30-17h30: Road Salting Game

- 17h30-18h00: Break/discussion

- 18h00-19h00: Introduction to Probabilistic Forecasts

Self-study prior to day 2 virtual classroom

- COMET - Introduction to Ensemble Prediction

- COMET - Ensemble Forecasting Explained

Day 2 (March 10) virtual classroom

- 16h-17h00: Principles, sources of error, use of probability forecasts

- 17h00-18h30: Wind energy game and discussion

- 18h30-19h00: Introduction to North American Ensemble Forecast System

Self-study prior to day 3 virtual classroom

- NCEP Ensemble Training Page

- ECMWF Predictability and Ensemble Forecasting

- Read WMO Guidelines on communicating forecast uncertainty

Day 3 (March 11) virtual classroom

- 16h-17h30: Ensemble Prediction System products

- 17h30-18h00: Break/discussion

- 18h00-19h00: Meteogram/EPSgram exercise

Assignment for completion prior to day 4 virtual classroom

Examine operational examples of probabilistic forecasts such as tropical cyclone tracks or the collaborative convective forecast product (USA)

- Use deterministic information to produce 10 day forecast for assigned location - submit text and images for evaluation

- Use EPS forecast information to produce 10 day forecast for assigned location - submit text and images for evaluation

Day 4 (March 12) virtual classroom

- 16h-19h00: Presentations of selected EPS-based forecasts with discussion

Day 5 (March 13) virtual classroom

- 16h-17h00: Presentations of selected EPS-based forecasts with discussion

- 17h00-18h00: Integrating high resolution deterministic forecasts with ensemble prediction systems

- 18h00-19h00: Summary and course evaluation

mise jour Wednesday 4 May 2016