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Training for Professionals


To help meet satellite training competencies for National Weather and Meteorological Services in the U.S. and globally, CIRA leverages three programs and coordinates activities with NOAA and other US and International partners. The VISIT and SHyMet programs focus on training for the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) and the WMO VLab program focuses on the global community.


The primary mission of the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) is to accelerate the transfer of research results based on atmospheric remote sensing data into NWS operations. The continuing professional development of NWS forecasters focuses on transferring the latest techniques to integrate remote sensing data, especially from satellite and radar, into the forecast process. The education approach uses distance education techniques (web-based audio/video modules and live teletraining) and is most effective when utilizing the expertise of the Science Operations Officer (SOO) and a satellite/radar focal point at the local forecast offices.

The Satellite Hydrology and Meteorology (SHyMet) Courses offer existing, new, and updated satellite training materials in a series of structured courses. The courses cover basic principles of satellite imaging and sounding, channels and products, identification of atmospheric and surface phenomena, and the integration of meteorological analysis with satellite observations and products into the weather forecasting and warning process. Advanced topics on identification of atmospheric and surface phenomena with associated case examples are also included.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Virtual Laboratory for Training and Education in Satellite Meteorology (VLab) is a global network of specialized training centres and meteorological satellite operators working together to improve the utilization of data and products from meteorological and environmental satellites. It was established by the WMO and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) in 2003. The activities here are sponsored by NOAA, the US satellite operator.

The WMO VLab Regional Focus Group (RFG) of the Americas and the Caribbean meets virtually for monthly weather and climate briefings. Register here to join us for the next session on Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 15:00 UTC.