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Professional Competency Unit 2:
Demonstrate Understanding of Climate Variability and Change Sufficient to Apply to Local Services
Producer: Deirdre Kann, WFO ABQ, and COMET

Training Need: NWS staff must understand how climate fluctuations affect local weather variability in order to:
1. Incorporate this understanding into local products and services.
2. Explain climate issues to the public.

Training Objective: NWS field staff must be familiar with important aspects of climate variability currently used in climate monitoring and prediction.

Specific Job Task Skills and Knowledge

1. Demonstrate familiarity with the definition, description, teleconnections and predictability of the following components:

  • ENSO
  • AO/NAO
  • PDO
  • MJO
  • Monsoonal systems
  • Land surface processes
  • Drought genesis and maintenance
  • Volcanic effects
  • Solar and lunar variabilities
  • Anthropogenic effects and global change
  • Internal modes of variability
  • Thermohaline circulation

    Instructional Components:

    Instructional Component 2.1: Introduction to Climate Variability
    2.1.1. Climate Versus Weather (residence training on Climate Variability)
    2.1.2. Statistics in Climate Analysis

  • Glossary of Statistical Terms
  • Basic Statistics I: definitions of climate time series, period and frequency, histogram, pfd, mean, variance, etc.
  • Basic Statistics II: climate time series spectrum, types of correlation and definition of statistical noise
  • Statistical Noise or Should Synopticians Worry About Climate? (*webcast)
    2.1.3. Dynamic Climatology
  • Glossary of Dynamic Meteorology Terms

    Instructional Component 2.2: Season by Season Climate Patterns
    2.2.1. Atmospheric Circulation and Sea Surface Temperature (residence training on Climate Variability)
    2.2.2. Monsoonal Systems (residence training on Climate Variability)

    Instructional Component 2.3: Intraseasonal Variability
    2.3.1. Madden Julian Oscillation

  • The Madden-Julian Oscillation Life Cycle (*webcast)
  • The Role of the MJO in Oceanic and Atmospheric Variability (*webcasts)
  • MJO: Physical Mechanism, Prediction, and Impacts (residence training on Climate Variability)
  • MJO: Communicating to Local Customers (residence training on Operational Climate Services)

    Instructional Component 2.4: Seasonal to Interannual Climate Variability
    2.4.1. ENSO

  • The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Cycle (*webcast)
  • ENSO and Beyond (*webcast)
  • ENSO: Physical Mechanism, Prediction, and Impacts (residence training on Climate Variability)
  • ENSO: Communicating to Local Customers (residence training on Operational Climate Services)
    2.4.2. AO/NAO (residence training on Climate Variability)
    2.4.3. Drought
  • Understanding Drought (*webcast)
  • Drought: Physical Mechanism, Prediction, and Impacts (residence training on Climate Variability)
  • Drought: Communicating to Local Customers (residence training on Operational Climate Services)
    2.4.4. Volcanic Effects (not available at this time)

    Instructional Component 2.5: Intra-decadal to Long-term Variability
    2.5.1. Pacific Decadal Oscillations (residence training on Climate Variability)
    2.5.2. Global Change

  • Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together( webcast )
  • Global Climate Change: Physical Mechanism, Prediction, and Impacts (residence training on Climate Variability)
  • Global Climate Change: Communicating to Local Customers (residence training on Operational Climate Services)
    2.5.3. Thermohaline Circulations (residence training on Climate Variability)
    2.5.4. Solar and Lunar Impacts (not available at this time)

    Instructional Component 2.6: Land Surface Processes and Local Effects (not available at this time)

    *The webcast is hosted by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and requires a registration for tracking NOAA personnel training progress. Anybody can register for free and use the modules.

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