2016 SOO Development Course

CIMMS scientists played a significant role in supporting the 2016 SOO Development course, a training program for National Weather Service Science and Operations Officers. Between Monday, August 15, 2016 and Friday, September 2, 2016, twenty SOOs from NWS  forecast offices across the country came together at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. This was the first year that all three weeks of the program were held in a single location. The meeting agenda was designed to promote the latest findings in research and provide management tools for improving staff performance.

Course objectives included:

  • IDSS, Risk Communication, and Emergency Management Decision Making
  • GOES-R
  • Emergence of CAMS, Ensembles, and other High-Res Data Sets
  • Tools for Extracting Intelligence from Ensembles, M-Climate, CIPS, etc.
  • Evolving toward an operating concept that incorporates probabilistic information
  • Effective messaging
  • Leadership and Management
  • Developing and Delivering Effective, Interactive Exercises
  • Collaboration and Facilitation
  • High functioning performance individuals using Science, technology integration
  • Time & project management

During the first week, CIMMS staff helped lead lab sessions for the participants. Kristin Calhoun and Tiffany Meyer supported a convective laboratory, which included concepts on evolving the warning program, exploring findings from the Experimental Warning Program in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed.

In the second week, NSSL’s Lans Rothfusz discussed the Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats program, and CIMMS’ Chris Karstens provided a demo of the related Probabilistic Hazards Information tool. Transitioning to advancements in hydrology, Jill Hardy and Steven Martinaitis offered a flash flood lab that highlighted procedures and objectives for Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor and the Flooded Locations And Simulated Hydrographs Project.


Chris Karstens speaking about PHI.

Bill Line provided an overview of the GOES-R program and updated the SOOs on its current status.


Bill Line discussing GOES-R

CIMMS scientists with the NWS Warning Decision Training Division presented the latest developments in training. Andy Wood spoke about curriculum development and guidelines for using the Learning Management System. Dale Morris and Alex Zwink took part in a discussion on the Weather Event Simulator and the WES-2 Bridge. Chris Spannagle and Clark Payne were contributors to a demonstration on gamification in training.

In addition to these presentations, WDTD staff invested substantial efforts toward the infrastructure of the laboratory exercises throughout the course. WDTD staff was responsible for setting up the laboratories and the WES-2 Bridge, integrating data for lab use, as well as testing and troubleshooting to ensure all equipment was in working order. WDTD supported each of the the following laboratory exercises:

-Convective Laboratory
-Flash Flood Laboratory
-WES-2 Bridge Lab


A number of CIMMS staff at WDTD contributed to lab activities over the three-week period:  Phillip Ware, Eric Jacobsen, Michael Bowlan, Clark Payne, Jill Hardy, Thao Pham, Chris Spannagle.

Special thanks goes out to the conference hosts at WDTD, NWS, and Forecast Decision Training Division, and to all of the attendees. CIMMS was proud to be a part of this important exchange between research and operations, and we look forward to continued collaborations!