The mission of the NWS Training Program is to ensure training needs are met in a cost-effective manner by sustaining an efficient and effective workforce. Learn more about Training Division Function, Structure, and Staff.
National Training Plans
Procedures used by the NWS Training Program are described in the National Strategic Training and Education Plan (NSTEP). The end result of the NSTEP process is an annual Implementation Plan for NWS Training and Education, which offers details on national training activities. All available NWS training is accessible from the NWS Training Portal web page. For any questions about the Implementation Plan, contact
Goals of the NWS Training Program
- Establish a logical, flexible and responsive training infrastructure to quickly translate field training and education requirements into easily accessible, usable and effective training materials.
- Implement an efficient, open and consistent process for defining and establishing priorities for NWS training requirements.
- Create an integrated model for defining required knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform job tasks. These definitions will be easily accessible and understood by users, and are used by the trainers as the template for development.
- Develop annual implementation plans (IPs) for training and science support to ensure responsiveness to field requirements and to sustain the high level of science and technical infusion required to maintain the high forecast standards of the NWS.
- Create a process to facilitate rapid response to new or changing training priorities within any fiscal year. Identify requirements that cannot be met due to resource limitations or additions to training priorities and raise to upper management.
- Establish an effective evaluation process to ensure staff reaps the intended benefits of training. Involve local supervisors in assessing the impact of training on job performance and providing feedback to the Team.
NWS Training Providers
- The COMET® program was originally envisioned as a broad effort to affect meteorology education and training in the United States. The program, located in Boulder, CO, has expanded to enhance meteorology education in universities and meteorological services worldwide. One of the primary means to meet this objective was the development of an Education and Training Group. This group works in tandem with the Forecast Decision Training Branch to design and produce virtual courses, classroom instruction, case studies, and web-based learning modules, for the Meteorology Education & Training (MetEd) website.
The Forecast Decision Training Branch (FDTB) in Boulder, CO provides training and education to operational NOAA staff in areas related to hydrometeorological operational forecasting. The staff works closely with the Office of Atmospheric Research's (OAR's) Earth Science Research Laboratory (ESRL), the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) program, and with the COMET program.
As an integral component of mission support, the NWS Training Center (NWSTC) in Kansas City, MO provides training to NOAA/NWS employees in the areas of management, leadership, meteorology, hydrology, equipment maintenance, systems support, and related activities. The NWSTC Leadership Academy offers leadership training to all federal agencies. NWSTC staff develop and deliver courses in a number of formats including residence classes and workshops, web-based and computer-based self-study tutorials, teletraining (interactive web delivery), and work aides. In addition, NWSTC staff provides consulting services, research and development, technical and operational documentation assistance, and system deployment support.
NWSTC's goal is to teach job-specific and practical skills; integrate systems so the whole, instead of individual parts of the problem can be recognized; emulate the NWS working field environment; and provide students the ability to work and experiment with concepts or equipment as part of learning
The Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB) in Norman, OK develops and delivers training on the integrated elements of the warning process within an NWS forecast office. Training activities provide basic and advanced WSR-88D operator proficiency, with an emphasis on the integrated data environment, warning methodology, decision making and situational awareness.