The Training Bulletin

Joint newsletter related to new activities and resources
in international meteorological training

// Issue II (Dec 2014 - Mar 2015)
Activities & events
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2015 CM SAF Training Workshop in Africa

08 – 12 June 2015, South Africa

In Summer 2015 the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF), the South African Weather Service (SAWS) and EUMETSAT will be running a training Workshop on 'The Use of gridded Satellite Data for Climate Services in Africa' in Pretoria, South Africa.

The key objective of the 2015 CM SAF Training Workshop is to instruct active and potential users in the use of gridded satellite data in CM SAF products for operational climate monitoring and climate research, focusing on applications in Africa.

If you are a climatologist , with some or extended experience in using satellite data for climate applications, and you would like to participate in the workshop, go to our website to find out more about the application and selection process .

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Marine Forecasting Course approaching

Fall 2015, online

The Marine Forecasting Course is a distance learning course designed to train forecasters to improve the quality of marine forecasting and nowcasting through the better use of satellite and model data. The course is a joint project from EUMeTrain, EUMETSAT and EUMETCAL with the goal of preparing forecasters in the core skills related to marine nowcast and forecasts

This on-line training course will focus on the analysis of the current state of sea surface and atmosphere, trough remote sensing observations, and combine with model outputs. The use of physical and dynamical reasoning (including conceptual models) is also presented to provide statements about the evolution of the atmosphere and sea surface as it affects the short term ocean forecast.

Additional information soon available here.

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Baltic+ courses for operational meteorologists

early 2015, estonia

The Baltic+ course is a joint initiative of the National Meteorological Services of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.  It aims to increase the knowledge of, and skills in, using satellite observations, and provide a meeting place for exchanging ideas, practices and knowledge.

The objective of the course is to produce and deliver a training event that demonstrates new developments in satellite meteorology. The experts from the participating countries will have an opportunity to learn about new tools and methodologies for using satellite data in operational forecasting. The event will also help the networking between meteorologists and experts in the region.

The core topics at the course are the operational use of satellite data and the use of different satellite products derived from the SAF network,  as well as other newest multi-spectral environmental satellite applications.

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Eumetcal course Weather Radar Applications in Nowcasting for Weather Forecasters

april - june 2015, online/langen

Registration for Eumetca's blended course Weather Radar Applications in Nowcasting for Weather Forecasters is open. The course has been developed by experts of several European and overseas institutions, and continues the successful series of Eumetcal courses in radar meteorology. The online part of the course will start on 8 April 2015 and last eight weeks. The classroom phase, hosted by DWD in their training facilities in Langen, will be on 8–12 June 2015.

Detailed information about the course, including a link to the registration form, can be found on the Eumetcal website. Deadline for registration: 15 January 2015

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WMO/Eumetcal Online Course for Trainers of RA-VI

February - May 2015, online

Are you looking for an opportunity to sharpen your training skills? Meet other trainers to learn how they conduct their work? Engage in discussions, debates, and other exercises to deepen your understanding and expand your ideas about training processes? WMO and Eumetcal have the pleasure to inform you that an Online Course for RA VI trainers, training managers, and occasional trainers. The goal of this online course is to help increase knowledge and skills in planning, developing, delivering, assessing, and evaluating learning activities.

Course will be offered over 12 weeks, in 3 modules, from 16 February to 29 May 2015. A follow on residence Workshop for up to 30 participants is being considered for late 2015 for those successfully completing the Online Course and providing an accepted training development plan.

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Practice Moodle skills anytime, anywhere, at any level

asynchronous, Online

To answer member and user needs, EUMETCAL, EUMeTrain, EUMETSAT, WMO ETR, VLab, and other partners, will offer self-directed online courses on the use of Moodle in the meteorological training community.
The modular format of these courses will accommodate users with different needs, such as occasional trainers and frequent users who would like get more creative ideas, as well as absolute beginners or those who would just like to refresh their skills.
While many Moodle training resources are already accessible online, it requires significant patience to discover those most useful to your own needs. Our course will consist of new and existing resources targeted at trainers in meteorology, operational hydrology, and related disciplines. They will be based on how we have seen Moodle used in these communities, on the guidelines from the WMO Competencies for Education and Training Providers, and on the results of a needs analysis survey conducted with different user groups. Thank you to everybody who took time and replied to our survey.
Expect more news about the Moodle course to come in the next issue of the Training Bulletin and through your national or regional training contact points.

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Conceptual Models for Southern Hemisphere — new project starting

january 2015 - march 2016, Online

Conceptual Models for Southern Hemisphere is a joint project between four Centres of Excellence (VLab) in the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. The purpose of the project is to improve warnings and awareness of weather risks, through the use of conceptual models.

The first stage of the project was in 2013/2014; eight Conceptual Models were developed in full.  In 2015 the project will continue, and the team from the four Centres of Excellence will develop more models. 

Each conceptual model will be presented with descriptions of cloud structures in satellite images, meteorological physical background, NWP parameters, typical appearance in vertical cross-sections, and weather events.  The website will host these new developments. It also contains useful references that support this research.  The content is also accessible through MetEd.

Some South African models are being used for the first time at the South African Weather Service - EUMETSAT Online Satellite Workshop, and we’re looking to forward to hearing the users’  feedback.

The collaborative work is inspired by SatManu, a manual developed by EUMeTrain to illustrate conceptual models in the Northern Hemisphere. The project will run from January 2015 until March 2016, and is co-funded by WMO and EUMETSAT.

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EUMETCAL/ECMWF workshop on Advancing numerical weather prediction training and education

15 -18 June 2015, reading

NWP products and models are continually developing in response to societal needs. This workshop aspires to bring together the academic, forecasting and training communities to discuss future training needs, solutions and contribute to improving the use and understanding of NWP in hydro-meteorological services and universities in a continuously changing environment.

Registration and call for contributions will be open in the beginning of year 2015.

More information can be found on this web page.

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CALMet XI conference on education and training

7-11 September 2015, seoul

A forum to share experiences, expectations, and new ideas for applying emerging technologies and strategies in meteorology and hydrology education and training. An opportunity to collaborate and network with international training entities involved with workforce development in support of national meteorological and hydrological services.

Workshop themes:

  • • Competency-based training and assessment
  • • Adopting new teaching strategies and innovations
  • • Quality control and trainer competencies
  • • Collaboration and the Global Campus

Call for proposals will open 12 January - 24 April, 2015. For more information please contact:, or visit the web page

// Issue II (Dec 2014 - Mar 2015)
Resources & Tools
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Product Tutorial on the 'SEVIRI Physical Retrieval' products of NWC SAF

Training module, online

A new Eumetrain product tutorial on the SEVIRI Physical Retrieval product, developed by NWC SAF (Satellite Application Facility on support to Nowcasting and Very Short-Range Forecasting), has been published. The aim of this Product Tutorial is to help the readers to understand the product.

The SEVIRI Physical Retrieval product creates information on convective environmental parameters, namely moisture content and atmospheric instability. These parameters are important to study the potential for deep convection, or to predict the further evolution of already existing convective clouds.

The product is retrieved from SEVIRI data, an instrument on the Meteosat Second Generation geostationary satellites. It uses NWP (Numerical Wweather Prediction) forecast moisture and temperature profiles as 'background' information. The algorithm can slightly improve the NWP humidity profiles. It can improve the shape of some mesoscale features, like the exact location of a moisture boundary or local moisture gradient.

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Satellite observations of deep convective storms – learn and discuss

training module, online

The Convective Storms module is a resource produced by EUMETSAT, in collaboration with Martin Setvak (CHMI). It focuses on the satellite observations of deep convective storms, and their interpretation. 
The module explores what the present weather satellites can tell us about internal structure of storms and their possible severity, with impacts on nowcasting of possibly severe storms.  Material included in the module is mostly based on the MSG satellite SEVIRI instrument. But it also includes some AVHRR and MODIS imagery to show storm tops in better detail, explain the limitations of the MSG data, or indicate what we can expect from the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG).
The examples are aimed at an African audience, nevertheless, the presented techniques of image enhancement and image interpretation are valuable for nowcasting and monitoring of convective storms in general. The module is currently only available in English. The French version is in preparation and will be released soon.
In addition, we used a new approach and opened the material for discussion. The ‘discussion’ feature has been provided to the users to comment on the content and to ask or answer questions.

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The Climate Atlas for Europe

visualization tool, Online

The climate atlas is a tool to help visualize climate datasets for Europe. It is also a guide for working with satellite data in climatology. It can be found on the EUMETSAT website.

There are some high quality satellite-based climate datasets that provide high quality climate data with high spatial and temporal resolution and wide spatial coverage. However, the core challenge for experienced and early career scientists in climatology is the transition from working with in-situ observations to the gradual use of satellite-based climatological information, which requires a change in the methodology and way of thinking.

A Climate Atlas demonstration tool has been created to present the experience of using some of the climate datasets. It provides an example and guidelines for producing useful products for national use in a climate service. It offers practical advice and will serve those who are willing to take their first steps in exploring satellite data for climate research.

The step-by-step guidance through the process of creating the atlas for Europe and Latvia contains the description of several datasets suitable for climate analysis, and an overview of tools and instructions for manipulating with the data. It also gives the new user an insight into the core challenges and choices between different datasets, their advantages and disadvantages, quality assessment, and visualisation options.

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Weather animations on YouTube: for you to use in teaching

training tool, online

EUMETSAT has a number of weather animations on its YouTube channel (  These are available to you to use in you training.

The resources include:

Items marked with ** have an audio commentary in English – of course you don’t have to use it.  The commentary is aimed at a general public audience – there is much more of interest to professional meteorologists in the animations.  

These videos could be used to start a discussion on the weather patterns in a particular region, which could lead to a discussion on conceptual models. Also people could discuss what is seen from the data presented and what other data are needed to see other atmospheric phenomena.

These resources are free for everyone to use, including downloading the video to place in a course site. If you have feedback on the animations please contact EUMETSAT.

// Issue II (Dec 2014 - Mar 2015)
Stories & Achievements
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Eumetrain Event week on Droughts, Floods and Landslides

december 2014, online

Droughts, floods and landslides are extreme events that occur at least once every year in some part of the world, causing substantial economic and social impact, sometimes even casualties. How can we be prepared for these natural hazards?

From the synoptic and hydrological point of view, some variables can be used as early indicators for such disasters. Moreover, satellite data can be used for identification and monitoring of these events. Early warning systems, most based on satellite data, have, therefore, been set up by different organisations worldwide. From 1–5 December 2014, several experts from Europe, Africa, United States and Brasil shared their knowledge and experience on these adverse environmental events during an online event week on Droughts, Floods and Landslide, promoted by EUMETRAIN (an international training project sponsored by EUMETSAT to support and increase the use of meteorological satellite data). All the recordings and lecture slides will be available on official eumetrain events page.

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CALMet Online 2014 – Collaborating Under the Rainbow'

october - november 2014, online

Held from 6 October to 30 November 2014, this CALMet Online event succesfully gathered together old colleagues and welcomed the new one. There were more than 170 participants and facilitators across the globe taking part in sessions. The facilitators took turns in presenting their sessions at mostly in asynchronous mode, but with one synchronous opening chat session on "weather briefing".

Seven sessions were presented sequentially on various topics. Under the CALMet rainbow, participants and facilitators worked together, posted questions, provided answers, discussed the issues, problems, challenges and alternative solutions. They formed teams and played learning games, collected materials, shared resources, built new networks and strengthened the old ones. They practiced forecasting skills using simulators, and designed and produced useful outputs. The various handy outputs can be a series of learning solutions and activities, a webinar checklist, material and resources on Conceptual Models, practical guidance for preparing for a new satellitte generation or lessons-learned on distance learning and online activities.

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The EUMETCAL/EUMeTrain Course on Synoptic and Mesoscale Analysis of Satellite Imagery

november 2014, online/Langen

International training courses on satellite meteorology have been offered since 2009. Although the first course was a co-operation between EUMETSAT, EUMETCAL and the DWD, subsequent courses in 2011 and 2014 involved the co-operation of EUMeTrain. EUMETSAT has generously sponsored the course participants from transition countries, and EUMETCAL gave financial support to one student in the 2014 course. This course was blended, meaning that 10 topics were covered during the online phase (self-study and live presentations) and students attended a one-week classroom phase at the training centre of the DWD in Langen.

Five trainers came to the classroom part in Langen, in order to teach the students and to guide them through the exercises and group work. Many students were very active in the course forum, resulting in an intense exchange of experiences and ideas. Some students worked together during their preparation of the homework. About 80% of the students provided the proof of their high skill by delivering at least 50% of their work at a high quality. Some participants impressed the trainers with outstanding engagement.

Despite the formal evaluation of this seminar the trainers have already received very positive feedback. The next course is planned for 2016.

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Trainers getting their hands dirty: The 2014 WMO Training Development Workshop

3 -7 November, casablanca

Inspired by recent successes in delivering online learning events by RTCs in Africa, the WMO ETR Office, EUMETSAT, and VLab delivered its first Online Seminar for Trainers in the early months of this year. Following the success of that course, with 35 certificates issued, in November the same team hosted a week-long Training Development Workshop.

Twenty-one participants from African training teams, and two from Europe, came together with nine facilitators working in groups to begin substantial development on projects requested by their institutions, countries, or regions.

On Monday, the project teams shared their plans and then got to work. The room was 'buzzing' all week with debate, deliberation, decision-making, and resource development. Facilitators worked with their project teams, bouncing ideas around and demonstrating skills. Project teams also took off in their own directions and surprised us all. By Friday, each project team had made substantial progress toward realising the aims of their projects — some with major redesigns, and some with finished or draft training resources.

The training team will get together again this year, with a few new additions, to repeat this dual-course approach in Europe. Look for the WMO/Eumetcal Course for Trainers announcement in this edition of the bulletin.

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Satellite Applications Course 2014 – English and French editions

second half of 2014, blended

The Satellite Applications Course (ESAC) aims to help the learners to prepare better forecasts through the use of satellite information. In the past the course was a fortnight long and classroom-based. In 2013 we decided to shorten the classroom phase to one week and combine it with a five-week online phase. We completely re-designed the classroom phase by minimising the number of lectures and introducing more hands-on practice.

Based on last year's positive experience, EUMETSAT, together with the Centres of Excellence in Nairobi (Kenya) and Niamey (Niger), delivered two blended courses. For the Anglophone Africa the online component took place 16 June to18 July. It was attended by participants from 19 countries and was followed up by an onsite course in Nairobi 25–29 August. Two months later, a similar model was available for the participants from 16 Francophone African countries. The online component was delivered 6-31 October, followed up with on-site course hosted in Dakar 24–28 November.

Moreover the 12th was the first time the course took place outside of Niamey, actually in Dakar. The lack of the operational environment simulated in previous courses in Niamey was replaced with practical sessions to improve the forecasters' skills in identifying fog, smoke, dust and convective initiation. There were requests for the duration of the classroom phase to be extended by one week, which we will consider in our planning for 2015.

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High Impact Weather - Even Week 2014

08 – 12 september, online

EUMeTrain organised an event week with presentations related to high impact weather. During the week, experts from European, American and West Asian National Weather Services provided an insight into the challenges of forecasting critical weather events such as storms, avalanches and floods.

What uncertainties do forecasters encounter when dealing with high impact weather?
How can they warn people and how long is the lead time?

To obtain a better predictability of high impact weather, it is important to understand the physical/meteorological processes causing them. This event week offered online presentations from meteorologists involved in the prediction of extreme weather situations, which are available in the form of webcasts.

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International school on applications with the newest multi-spectral environmental satellites

june 2014, Bracciano

EUMETSAT and the Centro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica (CNMCA) of the Italian air force, organised the 13th 'International Summer School on Applications with the Newest Multi-spectral Environmental Satellites'. The course presented in depth explanations of methods and techniques used to extract information from environmental satellite data, with emphasis on the latest measuring technologies.

It was attended by 16 participants from different countries. The lecturers and tutors were Ralf Bennartz and Mike Hiley, from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies; EUMETSAT trainer Jochen Kerkmann; Davide Melfi (CNMCA) and Zanita Avotniece, a EUMETSAT trainee from the Latvian Met Service.

The curriculum consisted of 13 lectures covering a number of subjects, including convective clouds and climate applications. Participants were also able to take part in 14 lab sessions and to access real-time MSG data to practice their new skills on actual weather situations.

In addition, the portable version of McIDAS-V (McV-Cast) was used for the first time. No installation of the software was required, which was a great improvement. McIDAS-V is a tool used extensively in the EUMETSAT courses. Read about our practice with McIDAS-V in the '"Practical use of EUMETSAT data'" course that was delivered this year in Latvia. (

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Basic Satellite Meteorology course 2014

may - June 2014, online

The Basic Satellite Meteorology course was held from 6 May to 10 June 2014 and focused on satellite systems, sensors and instruments, the information content of spectral channels, and the high variety of meteorological products. It was aimed at students and professionals in meteorology who want to keep up to date on the present status and rece nt developments in the field of satellite meteorology.

The online course was co-organised by EUMeTrain, EUMETSAT and EUMETCAL. All the presentations were recorded and can see, together with accompanying slides, on the dedicated web page.