Report on organized workshops
The concept of workshops for forecasters
Forecaster’s training in eGAFOR was planned and conducted, as it was defined in the project, in the following manner:
- An initial set of trainers, consisting of at least one instructor from each METeorological Service Providers (METSP) partner, was trained on the eGAFOR Editor* workshop.
- Each METSP partner organised a National Level Workshop (NLW). All operational forecasters attended NLWs, where they were taught the concepts of collaborative forecasting, the recommended practice for eGAFOR MET elements forecasting and usage of eGAFOR Editor.
- Upon completion of all NLWs, Joint Level Workshop (JLW) took place. The JLW had two main objectives for the forecasters, training simultaneous collaborative forecasting and getting to know each other (experience in meteorological collaborative practice in Europe shows that it is much easier to work with familiar colleagues). The JLW was also used for the eGAFOR system prototype testing, a part of WP3.
* eGAFOR system prototype consists of two parts, a part for forecasters, eGAFOR Editor and a part for end-users, eGAFOR Viewer
The eGAFOR Editor workshop
The WP4 team attended the eGAFOR Editor workshop in Bratislava on 26.2.2020. The goal of the workshop, training of basic performance of the eGAFOR editor was successfully achieved.
National level workshops
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the National level workshops were organized for a longer period than planned. Operational forecasters from all METSP partners attend the training on a national level as follows:
The goal of the National level workshops was to familiarise operational forecasters with creating eGAFOR product, which was defined in the Recommended practice booklet, and to learn how to use the eGAFOR editor.
Joint Level workshop
The Joint level workshop was organised in period 1.-31.3.2021.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joint level workshop was organised in an online form. Program for the online version of the Joint level workshop was created and approved by all partners. Since the main goals of the Joint level workshop were to meet colleagues from all partners in the project and to practice simultaneous collaborative forecasting and harmonization of the forecasts, it was decided that for one month all forecasters (for forecasters in shifts mandatory, for forecasters not in shift optionally) will hold a daily joint teleconference and simultaneously practice the eGAFOR forecasting.
The JLW was conducted from 1st until 31st March 2021. Every day, operational forecasters from all METSP partners attended the workshop. At the beginning of each session, a teleconference was held on which all forecasters introduced themselves and discussed the weather situation for the day. After the teleconference, forecasters simultaneously and collaboratively created an eGAFOR forecast. Harmonization issues were resolved via phone or built-in chat.
On all the sessions at least one instructor from the WP4 team was monitoring the workshop and was available to the forecasters.
Despite some technical difficulties, forecasters did not experience harmonization issues in 74.5% days of the workshop.
Workshops for the end-users
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, workshops for the end-users (general aviation pilots) could not be organised. To circumnavigate this issue, a tutorial video ˝How to use the eGAFOR Viewer¨ was created instead of users training. The video is made public via YouTube and is accessible through the eGAFOR Viewer.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the timeline of all workshops was prolonged. In some cases, the time gap between the National level workshop and the Joint level workshop was too long, so in some cases, skills in using the eGAFOR system prototype were forgotten. However, due to the long duration of the Joint level workshop, there was enough time to improve that skills. Despite the fact that in 74.2% of workshop days some technical issues were experienced, all planned eGAFOR forecasts were successfully issued during the Joint level workshop.
All the operational forecasters from all METSP partners attended both the National level workshop in their respective country and the Joint level workshop in the online form.
Due to the online form of JLW forecasters had not the opportunity to meet in person colleagues from other METSP partners. However, thanks to daily teleconferences they managed to familiarize themselves with most of their colleagues from other countries.
Because of the relatively long duration of the JLW, forecasters had enough time to practice simultaneous collaborative forecasting and harmonization of forecasts. Thanks to that, the forecaster’s skills significantly improved during the joint level workshop.