EUMeTrain Marine Course 2019

The 4th Eumetrain Marine Course was delivered on the Moodle platform and was held in the period of 8 weeks, from 26 March to 17 May. The following WMO Marine Weather Forecaster Competences are addressed:

  •  -Analyse and monitor continually the marine weather situation;
  •  -Forecast marine weather phenomena, variables and parameters;
  •  -Warn of hazardous phenomena;

Accordingly the following skills were trained:

  1.  1. Interpret satellite imagery and products to identify potentially dangerous phenomena
  2.  2. Using satellite altimeters and scatterometers
  3.  3. Use of NWP in waves and swell forecasting
  4.  4. Identify characteristics of waves and swell
  5.  5. Identify non-routine weather conditions
  6.  6. Use forecasting model outputs in hazardous conditions

The form of the course was mainly asynchronous, although online practical lectures were provided by experts from ECMWF ( and KNMI (

Lecture 1: Ocean Waves

Presented by Jean Bidlot (ECMWF)

Starting from the basics, this lecture introduces the students to wave model products (eg. wave height and mean propagation direction), wave spectrum analysis, long swell forecasts, extreme forecast index etc. Since these outputs (alongside data from the bouys) are the basic material marine forecasters have for forecasting and nowcasting waves in seas and especially in oceans, explaining the positive and negative sides of model outputs is very important for understanding and thus correctly using the products marine forecasters use.

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Lecture 2: Sea Surface Vector Winds

Presented by Ad Stoffelen (KNMI)

The lecture deals with modelled winds and winds derived from instruments onboard satellites like Metop-A and Metop-B in low orbits around the Earth (polar orbits). Today's models are evolving at a rate that is faster than the increase of density of observations and that presents a problem for forecasts. Here stands the question 'Will meteorology continue to develop and improve?'. The lack of observed data is thus filled with the data from satellites, although this data also has its own constraints due to the way it is derived. In the lecture the characteristics of the satellites carrying instruments for measuring winds and waves will be explained and the logic behind the calculations of winds using satellites will be discussed.

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During the course time frame participants were requested to complete several mandatory assignments: 1) Elaboration of a showcase; 2) Going through learning modules and related quizzes; 3) Participation in course forum with relevant discussions and questions. The showcase was considered the main task for the course participants.

Access the material

The materials that had been used in the course are still kept and sorted out on the course website. The website is hosted on the Eumetcal's Learning Management System (LMS) and can be accessed here

The next edition of the EUMeTrain Marine Course is foreseen for the spring of 2021.