Advanced Fire Weather Forecasters Course

Advanced Fire Weather Forecasters Course
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Description

The Advanced Fire Weather Forecasters Distance Learning Course addresses advanced training needs of Incident Meteorologists (IMETs), Fire Weather Program Leaders (FWPLs) in NOAA's NWS weather forecast offices (WFOs), and Regional Program Managers. These individuals are responsible for maintaining local fire weather programs and supporting all-hazards incidents onsite including wildfires, hazardous material releases, and incidents of national significance.

Goals and Objectives

Course Goal

The goal of the Advanced Fire Weather Forecasters Course is to prepare students to deliver specialized services to NWS customers and to manage local and regional fire weather programs. Advanced knowledge of mesoscale meteorology and fire behavior are necessary to better support fire management activities. After completion of this course, students will have a better appreciation for the needs of their customers and the intricacies of providing forecasts for specific fire events.

Course Objectives

  1. Define extreme fire behavior and conditions under which it occurs
  2. Apply mesoscale meteorological concepts to forecasting fire weather
  3. Evaluate atmospheric stability and explain potential effects on fire behavior
  4. Describe unique characteristics of fire climatology at specific locations in the United States
  5. Describe specific fire weather data sources and guidance products and explain how they are used in fire weather forecasting
  6. Describe the components and responsibilities in the Fire Weather Program
  7. Describe the importance of the fire weather program to customers
  8. Apply situational awareness concepts to fire weather forecasting operations
  9. Develop Red Flag Warnings and Spot Forecasts by analyzing case studies of critical fire weather patterns
  10. Given a fire behavior software program, explain what weather data is input and how it is used

Overview

This course addresses advanced training needs of Incident Meteorologists (IMETs), Fire Weather Program Leaders (FWPLs) in NOAA's NWS weather forecast offices (WFOs), and Regional Program Managers. These individuals are responsible for maintaining local fire weather programs and supporting all-hazards incidents onsite including wildfires, hazardous material releases, and incidents of national significance.

This course provides a review of the following core concepts:

  • Science
    • Define extreme fire behavior and conditions under which it occurs
    • Apply mesoscale meteorological concepts to forecasting fire weather
    • Evaluate atmospheric stability and explain potential effects on fire behavior
    • Describe unique characteristics of fire climatology at specific locations in the United States
  • Procedures
    • Describe specific fire weather data sources and guidance products and explain how they are used in fire weather forecasting
    • Describe the components and responsibilities in the Fire Weather Program
  • Mentoring and Culture Building
    • Describe the importance of the fire weather program to customers
    • Apply situational awareness concepts to fire weather forecasting operations
    • Develop Red Flag Warnings and Spot Forecasts by analyzing case studies of critical fire weather patterns
    • Given a fire behavior software program, explain what weather data is input and how it is used

This course consists of an orientation, nine core topics, and three modules that deal specifically with NOAA's National Weather Service fire weather services. The orientation provides an overview of all the components of the course. The core topics deal with the science of fire and characteristics of the fire environment as well as topics specific to creating a fire weather forecast. The NWS-specific topics detail the history and structure of fire weather services as well as how to best coordinate and communicate weather information to customers.

To receive a course completion certificate, you must successfully complete the nine core modules which take about eleven to twelve hours. The total time to complete the entire course is approximately 18 hours.

Course Outline

Additional Resources

Virtual Conferences

Occasionally, virtual conferences will be held on specific topics. For more information on the conferences, please contact your Regional Fire Weather Program Manager.

The first Fire Weather Virtual Conference was held in April of 2008. For more information, please contact fire_wx@comet.ucar.edu.

Course Outline